The Anaheim Ducks' depth is a big reason they're on top of the NHL standings. They showed off that depth Thursday night in a 5-3 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Ducks got goals from their stars, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. But fourth-liner Patrick Maroon also scored at even strength, Daniel Winnik had a shorthanded goal and Saku Koivu hit the empty net. In all, Anaheim's 13 points were shared by 11 players. That was enough support for rookie goaltender Frederik Andersen, who made 27 saves and won for the 14th time in 16 NHL decisions.
The Ducks improved to 40-11-5 and have 85 points, six more than the Chicago Blackhawks in the race for the Presidents' Trophy. They are 22-2-2 at Honda Center, and coach Bruce Boudreau was happy with the way his team rebounded after a 4-2 home loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
"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."
Vincent Lecavalier, Matt Read and Michael Raffl scored for the Flyers (26-23-6), who played the first of three games in California. The Flyers are 3-6-2 in their last 11 games following a 7-1-0 stretch, and the loss dropped them out of the final wild-card playoff berth in the Eastern Conference; Philadelphia and the Ottawa Senators each have 58 points, but the Senators have a game in hand.
"I'm definitely pleased with the effort," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "It was a hard-fought game. That's a very good team over there and we played with them, but that's not good enough."
The Flyers outshot Anaheim 10-5 in the first period and had all three power plays, but two deflections and a sensational save by Andersen sent the Ducks off the ice at intermission with a 2-1 lead.
Maroon put the Ducks ahead at 10:38 with his fifth of the season when he got a piece of Francois Beauchemin's straightaway wrister and tipped it over Mason's shoulder. The Flyers tied it at 14:35 during the first of two penalties drawn by Philadelphia forward Zac Rinaldo. Eric Gustafsson carried the puck down the left side and found Lecavalier alone in the right circle, and Lecavalier zipped a shot through Andersen's pads for his 12th goal and a 1-1 tie.
Andersen got even about three minutes later. After Rinaldo drew another power play, Lecavalier picked up the rebound of Braydon Coburn's slapper and appeared to have an open net. But Andersen got his glove up and snagged Lecavalier's shot a few inches above the ice to keep the game tied.
"I thought it changed the momentum both ways," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "If Vinny scores there, we probably come in at the end of the period with the lead."
Instead, the Ducks skated off with a 2-1 edge after Getzlaf tipped Hampus Lindholm's point shot through Mason's pads with 35.1 seconds remaining for his career-high 26th goal.
"If he shoots the puck, he's going to score. And he shoots the puck a lot -- a lot more than he's done in the past -- so consequently, he's getting goals," said Boudreau, who's been pressuring Getzlaf to shoot more.
Getzlaf and Philadelphia's Steve Downie were sent off for five minutes apiece after a fight early in the second period. Anaheim's captain completed a Gordie Howe Hat Trick midway through the period with a brilliant setup on Perry's goal.
"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 with Downie. "He asked me to go and I thought it was an OK time to do it."
Getzlaf controlled a pass from Cam Fowler in his own zone and carried the puck over the Flyers blue line and into the right circle. He found Perry coming late and hit him with a perfect feed in the slot for a one-timer at 10:29 that Mason had no chance on. It was the 29th of the season for Perry and the 63rd point of the season for Getzlaf, who's third in the NHL scoring race.
The Ducks' size, depth and willingness to go to the net made life difficult for Mason.
"There wasn't a single clean shot from the point the entire night," he said. "They did a great job of getting sticks on it, bodies in front. When you have a team like that, it makes it difficult to stop pucks. We controlled a lot of the play, but they were able to get two deflections in there. For the most part, we did a pretty good job."
Read got the Flyers within a goal 5:48 into the third period thanks to some superb hand-eye coordination. Defenseman Mark Streit carried deep into the left circle before firing a shot that hit Andersen's pads. Read crashed the net and deflected the puck out of the air and into the net for his 14th of the season.
Philadelphia got a chance to tie the game when Lindholm was sent off for high-sticking Flyers captain Claude Giroux. Instead, the Ducks got the insurance goal they were looking for when Koivu broke up a pass by Kimmo Timonen inside the Anaheim blue line, raced in on a 2-on-1 break and saucered a pass to Winnik. His high wrister beat Mason for the ninth shorthanded goal allowed by the Flyers this season. The goal was Winnik's second of the season and first since Oct. 13.
"It felt good. It was a long time coming," said Winnik, who played his 100th game as a Duck. "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."
Koivu hit the empty net with 24 seconds remaining. Raffl scored with less than 10 seconds left.
Ducks forward Nick Bonino left in the first period with an upper-body injury after a hard-but-legal hit by Rinaldo. He returned to start the second period, but left the game for good later in the period.
"He's day-to-day right now," Boudreau said. "I think he's going to be OK. 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."
Material from team media was used in this report