Now a member of the Calgary Flames, Hiller faced his former team and their familiar style of play in the post-season for the first time on Thursday. The results weren't good.
Hiller was pulled after allowing three goals in the first 22:13 as the Flames dropped the opening game of their second-round series against the Ducks 6-1.
"We knew they were strong in front of the net, but we didn't do a good enough job to block them out," Hiller said. "I thought they were able to walk in, even in the slot, and had quite a few good scoring chances. We definitely got to work harder there, and I got to make one or two more saves, and it might be different."
Corey Perry had two goals and two assists and Ryan Getzlaf scored once and set up three more for the Ducks, who showed no signs of rust after an eight-day layoff following their sweep of the Winnipeg Jets. Emerson Etem, Matt Beleskey and Patrick Maroon also scored.
Every even-strength goal produced by the Ducks came within 10 feet of Hiller or replacement Karri Ramo.
Beleskey put the Ducks on top 1-0 at the 10:17 mark of the first period, capitalizing on a gaping net after a pass from Kyle Palmieri from the edge of the crease. Maroon doubled the lead 2:54 later with a backhand goal from practically on top of Hiller.
"They're a big team," Calgary's Matt Stajan said. "If you lose body position, they're going to make you pay. They got skill and size so we got to tidy it up, everybody does. All their goals were pretty similar and their power play was effective tonight. We know what we got to do and now we got two days to get ready for the next one."
Hiller made 11 saves, and Ramo stopped 18 shots. Frederik Andersen made 23 saves for the Ducks.
Sam Bennett had the Flames' lone goal at 9:16 in the third period, the rookie's third of the post-season.
Hiller, the Ducks' goaltender from 2007 to 2014 before signing with the Flames as a free agent this season, was derisively serenaded with chants from the opening faceoff. The jeers only intensified before Hiller was replaced by Ramo early in the second period after Perry put the Ducks ahead 3-0 on a wraparound shot.
The Flames' best chance came on their first shot, a Josh Jooris breakaway just 2:05 into the game. But Andersen made the save, and the Ducks were in control the rest of the way.
"The save was the big thing that got us going," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "If that puck goes in I think it's a whole different ball game. It changes the complexion of everything."
Etem converted a Francois Beauchemin miss into the Ducks' fourth goal midway through the second period, Perry added his second 44 seconds into the third period on the power play, and Getzlaf piled on 2:48 later with another power-play goal.
Calgary's Michael Ferland absorbed several big hits in the first period and did not return to the game. Jiri Hudler left in the second.
Neither Ferland nor Hudler's status was updated after the game.
"Everybody has got to be better, everybody has got to fill in if guys aren't able to go," Stajan said. "Somebody has got to come in and do a job."
The Flames managed only one shot on a pair of Perry penalties in the first, and have scored on only 1-of-9 power plays away from home this post-season.
Notes: Anaheim hosts Game 2 on Sunday. ... Perry has an NHL-best 11 points this post-season. ... Drew Shore made his playoffs debut for the Flames, playing 14:17 with a -1 rating and 2 PIM. … The Flames scratched C Lance Bouma, LW Mason Raymond, D Corey Potter, C Paul Byron, D Raphael Diaz, and C Marcus Granlund. ... Ducks G John Gibson (flu) did not dress.Suggest a correction