On Sunday night, Dec. 27, 2015 the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a final score of 4-2 in front of a capacity crowd of 17,322 at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Early in the first period, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf scored the first goal of the game and his linemate Corey Perry later added two more as the Ducks won their final home game of 2015.
John Gibson got the start in goal for Anaheim, while Philly went with Steve Mason. Special teams played a big part in the game, as four of the six goals scored, were scored during a power play. Anaheim did have to go with a five-man defense rotation for most of the night, due to Cam Fowler having been injured in the first period after logging less then four minutes of ice time.
The Ducks had good hustle from the start. Perhaps wanting to make up for sloppy play which plagued them on their most recent road trip, on this night, they were sharp. They outshot the Flyers 29-21 over the course of the first two periods, but the game was knotted at 2-2 going into the third period. This was when the Ducks played their best hockey.
The first two periods had featured wide-open hockey, but with the game on the line, the final period was much more conservatively played. Anaheim forward Corey Perry scored just 58 seconds after the period began, to give his team a 3-2 lead. The turning point came when Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen took a holding penalty at 7:16.
On the ensuing Philadelphia power play, the Flyers had the puck in the Anaheim zone when Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner made the play of the game. Stoner was able to knock the puck off the stick of Philly forward Jakob Voracek, as the latter set up in the high slot. Stoner’s teammate Andrew Cogliano corralled the loose puck and tipped it ahead into the neutral zone where Shawn Horcoff scooped it up and went in on a breakaway.
38 seconds after the Flyers power play had begun, Horcoff converted the breakaway to put the Ducks ahead 4-2. This was the most critical moment of the game, as a power play goal by the Flyers, could have swung momentum in the other direction. In the end, the 4-2 lead held up; the Ducks had scored on two of the eight shots they registered in the third period, while holding the Flyers to just five fruitless shots on goal.
Ducks notes – Cam Fowler suffered a sprained knee during the game. There is not yet a timetable for his return. In the wake of the injury, the Ducks have recalled defenseman Shea Theodore from their primary AHL affiliate in San Diego. The Ducks now begin a Western Canada road trip, during which they will play three games in four nights. They will play in Calgary on Tuesday, Dec. 29, in Edmonton on Thursday, Dec 31 and in Vancouver on New year’s day. The trip precedes an eight-game homestand which begins with a game against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016.
Dec. 27, 2015 – Anaheim Ducks 4, Philadelphia Flyers 2. Final shots on goal: ANA 37, PHI 26. Power play: ANA 2/3, PHI 1/5. Three Stars of the game: 1) Corey Perry – ANA, 2) Rickard Rakell – ANA, 3) John Gibson – ANA. Goaltenders: ANA – John Gibson, PHI – Steve Mason.
Ducks forward line combinations:
Ducks defense pairings: