Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, left, stops a shot by Chicago forward Jonathan… (John Smierciak / Associated…)
Reporting from Chicago — The Ducks' seven-game, 13-day trip began with talk and ended with action.
In between came some stellar play, most notably from goaltender Jonas Hiller and Teemu Selanne; some familiar power-play issues and one hard-earned point when Blackhawks center Patrick Kane beat Hiller to finish a 3-2 shootout thriller in front of 21,247 at the United Center.
"We played much better in this game than we did the previous two," Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said after his 500th career game behind the bench. "That's what we're going to build on."
The construction project began before Tuesday's morning skate, when Carlyle met with both his defensemen and forward groups to review video clips of slippages in fundamental play. Players talked some more behind closed doors following the morning session.
"It was matter of fact, not pointing any fingers," Carlyle said.
The airing of issues appeared to pay off in the first minute of the second period, when Ryan Getzlaf got behind Sean O'Donnell to cash in a power-play opportunity off a feed from Corey Perry.
The Blackhawks tied it midway through the period when Kane unveiled a spectacular spin move to feed Marian Hossa for a tap-in. But Selanne pushed the Ducks ahead late in the second with his 640th career goal, tying Dave Andreychuk for 13th on the all-time NHL scoring list.
Though Patrick Sharp blasted a Kane pass past Hiller early in the third to tie the score at 2-2, Hiller rebounded from getting pulled against Phoenix with saves on point-blank shots by Michael Frolik and Hossa in the final 10 minutes.
In the shootout, only Selanne, shooting second, solved Corey Crawford, who stopped Perry and Getzlaf. Jonathan Toews and Kane won it for the Blackhawks.
"We played way better," Selanne said. "We still had too many turnovers in the middle zone. But the effort is there."
The Ducks killed all three penalties to make it 28 of their last 29. . . . With his family making the trip up from nearby St. Louis, Patrick Maroon started in his first NHL game and skated 15:19 on a line with Perry and Getzlaf. "He did fine," Carlyle said. . . . Devante Smith-Pelly was scratched because of the flu. . . . Carlyle, whose first game also came against the Blackhawks, is 270-172-58. He said he didn't know about his milestone until an autograph seeker told him.