ANAHEIM – Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau has told his team that "good teams don't lose two in the row," and his troops looked determined to not let that happen tonight.
Two nights after taking a rare home loss to Minnesota, the Ducks scored five times and never trailed in rolling to a 5-3 victory over the visiting Flyers at Honda Center. Anaheim captured its NHL-best 40th win and improved to an awe-inspiring 22-2-2 at home, having won 12 of their last 14 there.
"We preach about it a lot, bouncing back after a loss," Boudreau said. "When I talk about losing streaks following winning streaks, you try to make it a point to not let it snowball. Not that it won’t happen, but that’s what we talk about."
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf recorded a Gordie Howe Hat Trick with a goal, an assist and a fight, in helping his team bounce back. "We didn’t play very well the other night," he said. "Like we’ve been able to do most of the season is rebound after a tough game. I thought our guys skated well tonight. We moved the puck better and we got some results."
Anaheim has only lost two in a row in regulation on two occasions this season, and not since November 14.
But tonight the Ducks didn’t truly get comfortable until Dan Winnik broke out of a scoring slump with a gargantuan shorthanded goal in the third. Anaheim was killing a Hampus Lindholm high-sticking penalty a little more than 12 minutes into the period, when Saku Koivu knocked down a pass and went off and running the other way on a 2-on-1. Koivu fed across the slot to Winnik, who wristed it far side for his first goal since the October 10 home opener against the Rangers.
"It felt good. It was a long time coming," said Winnik, who played his 100th game as a Duck tonight. "You think about it, like, When is one going to go in? You have chance after chance or even some tips that you see other guys score on. It weighs on you a bit. It’s nice to get that pressure off me."
The goal gave the Ducks some much-needed insurance, as they went in front 4-2 with 7 1/2 minutes left in the game.
"We kind of had a stinker against Minnesota," Winnik said. "The talk the past couple days was to come out and put forth a good effort, and I think we did that tonight. When we’ve been successful, we’ve been throwing the body around."
The Ducks slammed the door when Koivu got the puck from Andrew Cogliano and poured it into an empty net with 23.8 seconds left to make it 5-2 Anaheim. Philadelphia got a goal from Michael Raffl (off Mark Fistric’s stick) with 9.1 seconds left, but it was too little too late for the Flyers (26-23-6).
Anaheim struck first halfway through the first period on a goal by Patrick Maroon, who spent four years in the Flyers organization before being traded to the Ducks in 2010. His goal was set up when Francois Beauchemin lifted a shot on net from the point, and Maroon tipped it through out of midair.
Philadelphia got one back four minutes later on the power play, as Vincent Lecavalier wristed a shot from the right wing circle that snuck between the wickets of goalie Frederik Andersen.
The Ducks went back in front with 35.1 left in the period, as Lindholm fired on net from the point and Ryan Getzlaf tipped it over the stripe from just outside the crease. It was the 26th goal for the Ducks captain, establishing a new personal high for a season in just his 52nd game.
Getzlaf assisted on the goal that put Anaheim up 3-1 in the second, sending a puck from the right wing across to Corey Perry, who scored it from the slot.
The goal, the assist and a spirited fight with Steve Downie early in the second gave Getzlaf the esteemed Gordie Howe Hat Trick. "He said to me earlier that I owed him one from the first game of the year when he was in Colorado," Getzlaf said of the scuffle. "He asked me to go and I thought it was an okay time to do it."
The Flyers got within a goal 5:48 into the third on a fluky play in which Mark Streit flipped the puck on net from the corner, and it deflected off Andersen, then off Matt Read’s knee and found the net.
Andersen was solid on the evening, saving 27 of 30 Flyers shots to improve to 14-2-0 in his freshman season. His highlight of the night came in the first period, when he laid out to rob Lecavalier with the leather from point blank range.
Nick Bonino was hit hard (but legally) by Zac Rinaldo in the first, leaving the ice with an upper-body injury, but returning to start the second period. He ultimately left the game for good later in the frame.
"He’s day-to-day right now," Boudreau said. "I think he’s going to be okay. I think he should be playing before the [Olympic] break. I told him if it isn’t 100-percent right, I don’t want him to get really hurt."
The Ducks will be at it again at Honda Center two evenings from now, when they battle the Stars in a Saturday night tilt.
The Ducks are 12-3-0 in their last 15 games and 22-4-0 in their last 26 games.
The Ducks improved to 40-11-5 (85 points) overall. This remains Anaheim’s best ever start to a season (now through 56 games), besting the previous mark of 33-14-8 for 74 points in 2006-07. It’s also the deepest into a season that the Ducks have ever led the league in points (previously 48 games, 2006-07).
Anaheim is now 22-2-2 (46 pts.) at Honda Center this season, the best home start since the 2011-12 Detroit Red Wings (23-2-1, 47 pts.).
For the second time in as many months, the Ducks have tied the club record for wins in a calendar month. The Ducks are 11-3-0 in January following an 11-1-1 December. Prior to December, the club had won 11 games in a calendar month three times in club history (never before in December or January).
With 187 goals scored this season, the Ducks have scored the most goals through 56 games in club history. In addition Anaheim’s 133 goals allowed are the fewest in club history
Saku Koivu played in the 1,100th game of his career, tallying 1-1=2 points. The goal ties him with Joe Sacco (62) for 11th on the Ducks all-time goal list.
Teemu Selanne tied Scott Mellanby (1,431) for 25th on the all-time games played list.
Ryan Getzlaf scored his career-high 26th goal of the season as part of a two-point night (1-1=2). Getzlaf, whose previous career high in goals was 25 in 2008-09 and 2006-07, is now on a three-game point streak (1-3=4). He also has points in 11 of the last 12 games he has played (6-10=16) and owns a plus-or-even rating in all 12 contests (+9)
Corey Perry extended his point streak to four games (2-2=4) with his team-leading 29th goal of the season and league-best 10th GWG (1-0=1). Perry has 7-9=16 points in his last 13 games and is a plus-or-even in all 13 appearances (+10)
Frederik Andersen has won five consecutive starts, recording a 2.00 GAA (10/299) and a .935 SV% (145-155). He is unbeaten at Honda Center, going 7-0-0 in 8 appearances (6 starts) with a 1.42 GAA (10/423) and .953 SV% (201-211).
Daniel Winnik scored his fourth career SHG (1-0=1) in his 100th game as a Duck.
With 0-1=1 point tonight, Mathieu Perreault now has points in his last two games (1-1=2).