After what could only be described as a really crappy effort from the Ducks on Tuesday night in a loss to Minnesota, the Ducks certainly righted the ship on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Ducks brought energy and physicality right from the get go and it translated to a 5-3 victory.
"We kind of had a stinker against Minnesota," said Daniel Winnik, who had a short handed goal. "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 were throwing. The Flyers were throwing. Even the captain, Ryan Getzlaf, was throwing. Punches, that is.
Getzlaf had the Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, an assist and a fight, only the second of his career. His fight with Steve Downie was part two from earlier this season.
"He said to me, earlier, that I owed him one from the first game of the year when he was in Colorado," said Getzlaf. "He asked me to go and I thought it was an okay time to do it."
In the coach's eyes, there is never a good time to do it when your captain makes $8 million per year and would serve your team far better on the ice than sitting in the penalty box for five minutes. Nonetheless, these things happen.
"It was a pretty physical game," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "They were trying to push us around, but I thought we did a pretty good job of standing up for ourselves. We can play that kind of game if people want.
Unlike some games where the Ducks spot the other team the first goal, the Ducks got on the scoreboard first thanks to Patrick Maroon, a former Philadelphia property. Maroon scored at 10:38 of the first period.
Vincent Lecavalier tied up the game with a power play goal at 14:35, but the Ducks took back the lead with a goal from Getzlaf at 19:24.
Corey Perry extended the lead at 10:29 of the second period. Frederik Andersen, who made 27 saves, several of them spectacular, made sure the Flyers did not close that gap.
Matt Read brought Philadelphia back within one goal again in the third period at 5:48. The Flyers had a good chance of tying up the game for the second time while on the power play. Instead, the Ducks got a break.
Saku Koivu, playing in his 1100th career game, intercepted a puck and got it to Winnik, who scored his second goal of the season short handed. Goaltender Steve Mason did not have a chance, as Winnik roofed the puck.
"It felt good," said Winnik, who had not scored since October 10. "It was a long time coming. 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."
It also gave the Ducks some breathing room and sucked a little bit out of the Flyers.
An empty net goal from Koivu at 19:36 made it 5-2, and Hooters once again is losing chicken wings.
The Ducks let down a little after that, but the Flyers made it 5-3 just :14 seconds later with a goal from Michael Raffl. But there was no time for more and the Ducks left victorious.
"Good teams don't lose two in the row," is Boudreau's mantra. And the Ducks are a good team, now having a league leading 40 victories and 85 points.
They now get to face a very speedy Dallas Stars team on Saturday night as they continue their current home stand.