Hockey / Sports

The Anaheim Ducks' Francois Beauchemin tries to free himself from the Philadelphia Flyers' Brayden Schenn (10) during the first period at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. (Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/MCT)

Ducks topple the Flyers

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It will not go down as his third hat trick of the season, but the one Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf had Thursday night would do Mr. Hockey proud.

Getzlaf accomplished the so-called "Gordie Howe" hat trick by scoring goal, assisting on another and dropping the gloves for a second-period fight as the Ducks bounced back with a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at Honda Center.

After scoring near the end of the first, Getzlaf got in a fight with Philadelphia's Steve Downie. Later, he led a four-on-two rush and hit Corey Perry in stride with a cross-ice pass.

Perry easily put the puck past Flyers goalie Steve Mason for a 3-1 lead. The set-up by Getzlaf gave him his second career Gordie Howe version but left him one behind his goal-scoring running mate.

"Corey?" Getzlaf said in mock astonishment. "Yeah, but he gets beat up all the time. It's different."

Daniel Winnik celebrated his 100th game as a Duck by scoring his first goal in 48 games, and Patrick Maroon and Saku Koivu also found the net. The NHL-leading Ducks reached 40 wins before February for the first time in franchise history.

"It means we've done our job at the start of the year," Getzlaf said. "That's about all it means. It's a long season. It's a long grind.

"We've got to win our share of games here going into that (Olympic) break so that after the break, we're refreshed and right back at it."

Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots to improve to 14-2 in his rookie season. Matt Read cut the lead to 3-2 in the third, but Winnik finished off a two-on-one rush with Koivu for a key shorthanded goal.

"It was a long time coming," Winnik said. "You think about it. It's like, 'God, when is one going to go in."

Koivu later added an empty-net goal. Getzlaf's score gave him 26 goals, topping his previous high of 25 set in 2006-07 and 2008-09.

Center Nick Bonino left the ice with an apparent left hand or arm injury late in the first after being hit by Flyers agitator Zac Rinaldo. Bonino returned for a few minutes into the second but did not play again.

"He's day to day right now," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I think he's going to be OK. I think he should be playing before the break."


Dreams often come true when you least expect them.

Mark Fistric was an insurance signing by the Ducks last summer, an extra defenseman on their radar who became their focus once Sheldon Souray went down with a long-term wrist injury.

Fistric was on a one-year deal for $900,000 and became the guy the Ducks needed when someone else was unable to play. It is a role he's been familiar with since breaking in with Dallas six years ago.

On a recent day at Disneyland with wife Geena and son Myles, the Edmonton native learned how valuable he has become to the Ducks when they finalized a three-year contract extension worth $3.8 million that was signed Wednesday.

"I was just more worried about my game and trying to get in the lineup and make it hard for the coaches to take me out," Fistric said Thursday. "Just out of the blue, my agent gave me a call and said they were looking to extend me.

"I couldn't have been more happy to hear the news. It came together pretty quick. ... It was a pretty good day. Pretty special day for my family."

Fistric was back in the lineup against Philadelphia after sitting out the Ducks' 4-2 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday. He has been effective when called upon, which has been much more often since late November.

After playing just twice in a 22-game span, Fistric jumped in when Francois Beauchemin suffered a shoulder injury. Other than missing three games because of an upper-body injury, Fistric has played in 24 of a possible 29 games.

He has been a minus player at even strength in just five of them. Fistric is also second on the team with 123 hits despite not being an everyday option.

"He was like everybody else in our first game, wasn't very good," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "But the more he plays, like everybody else, the better you get. He certainly has made an impact in the defensive zone as far as physicality for our team.

"It's something that sometimes we lack."

Fistric has forced Boudreau into making some tough lineup decisions, especially with Luca Sbisa now available after recovering from a hand injury. Bryan Allen was scratched Thursday.

"My goal is to make the coach's job hard," Fistric said. "And I think that whenever you can make Bruce scratch his head every time he's coming to the rink, you're doing your job.

"At the end of the day, I'm sure Bruce loves it too. It's always nice to be a coach and come to the rink having 23 guys that he can throw into the lineup and have a chance to win every night."


Viktor Fasth is wearing his gear again and skating on the ice. He's been moving around in the crease the last few days with Ducks goaltending consultant Dwayne Roloson watching him intently.

No one else is around. No shots are being taken. It doesn't say much about where Fasth is in his recovery from some troublesome lower-body inflammation but it does represent progress.

"It's nice to be back on the ice," Fasth said. "Especially to have the equipment on again. Even if we're taking small steps here."

Fasth opened the season as the starting goalie in the Ducks' season opener at Colorado. He has played in just four other games since, none of them coming after Nov. 18 at Pittsburgh.

There was that ill-fated Nov. 22 night when he injured himself during the warmup. Fasth wouldn't say if he tore a muscle in his lower region but he isn't trying to come back too early this time.

"It's always hard," Fasth said. "You want to do everything you're expected to do. It's hard to listen to your body. That's the thing you have to learn.

"It's been going well so far, the last week here. It feels good."

(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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