Did the Ducks go into turnaround mode because Jonas Hiller became Jonas Hiller, the All-Star goaltender, again? Or did Hiller become Hiller again because the Ducks helped ease the way?

Hiller would say it is a bit of both.

"The biggest difference right now is everybody believes we can win, which I felt really wasn't the case in October and November," Hiller said. "If we were scored on, we were always worried about losing a game and never seemed to be really comfortable out there. We never went out there with the mind-set that no matter who we played, we can beat them.

"Now it seems like we're going out there and we don't worry who is playing against us. These days, that's the difference. We found a way to get closer together as a team."

Hiller was talking on the telephone from New Jersey the day after one of those statement-type games. The Ducks beat Pittsburgh, 2-1, on Wednesday night with Hiller making 25 saves. They are in the midst of an eight-game trip — playing at Florida on Sunday — and have picked up points in the first five games of the trip, three wins and two shootout losses.

In fact, the Ducks and Hiller have not lost in regulation since Feb. 1, against Dallas, going 5-0-3. He has given up two or fewer goals in 15 of his last 18 decisions. In his last seven starts, Hiller has gone 5-0-2 with a goals-against average of 1.65 and a save percentage of .935.

"We pretty much have to win every game. We can't have a cold streak," Hiller said. "We had a long enough cold streak this year."

The Ducks were 20 points out of a playoff spot Jan. 5 and got as close as six last week. Heading into Saturday night's action, they were seven behind the eighth-place Kings in the Western Conference.

The Ducks seem to have perfected the skating-on-the-edge mentality. This is the fourth consecutive season blighted by a rocky start. Last season, they closed with a impressive rush, doing it without Hiller, who was sidelined with vertigo symptoms, and their impressive surge was guided by eventual MVP Corey Perry and aided by the goalie duo of Ray Emery and Dan Ellis.