“There wasn’t a single clean shot from the point the entire night,” Mason said. “They did a great job of getting sticks on it, and bodies in front, and when you have a team like that, it makes it difficult to stop pucks.”
The Flyers, who started a difficult three-game California trip, got to within 3-2 on Matt Read’s 14th goal with 14 minutes, 12 seconds left. Frederik Andersen, Anaheim’s 6-foot-4, 230-pound goalie, made the save on Mark Streit’s shot from a wide angle, but the rebound bounced off Read’s shin pad and into the net.
But Anaheim made it 4-2 on Daniel Winnik’s shorthanded goal with 7:34 remaining.
“That,” Read said, “deflates your tires.”
Kimmo Timonen’s cross-ice pass was deflected by Saku Koivu, who started a two-on-on one with Winnik. Robbed by Mason earlier in the period, Winnik deposited the ninth shorthanded goal scored against the Flyers, tying them for the most surrendered in the NHL (see accompanying story).
Koivu (empty-netter) and Michael Raffl exchanged goals in the final 24 seconds.
Overall, coach Craig Berube said he was “definitely pleased with the effort. The guys competed hard; it was a hard-fought game and that’s a very good team over there, and we played with them.
“But it’s not good enough,” he added. “We’ve got to find ways to win hockey games.”
The Ducks are 22-2-2 at home; the Flyers slipped to 12-13-5 on the road.
The game’s turning point probably occurred with 2:37 left in the first period, when Andersen somehow gloved Vinny Lecavalier’s point-blank rebound with the score tied at 1-1.
“When I got it, I thought quickly, ‘I’ve got to put this upstairs,’ because if he puts his glove down (he’ll make the stop), but he made a great save,” Lecavalier said.
After Steve Downie got caught out of position and Anaheim went on a three-on-two break, Corey Perry (29 goals) took a pass from Getzlaf and scored from the slot with 9:31 left in the second period, giving the Ducks a 3-1 lead.
The Ducks scored those three goals on just 12 shots.
The Flyers outplayed Anaheim in the opening period, but still faced a 2-1 deficit after the first 20 minutes.
“We controlled a lot of the play, and they were able to get two deflections in there,” Mason said.
Getzlaf tipped Hampus Lindholm’s shot through Mason’s legs with 36 seconds left in the first period to put the Ducks ahead, 2-1. It marked the second time in the last three games that the Flyers had allowed a deflating goal in the waning seconds of a period.
Anaheim, which took a league-best 39-11-5 record into the game, had taken a 1-0 lead on a double-deflection with 9:22 to go in the first. Francois Beauchemin’s shot was deflected by Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds and then by former Flyer Patrick Maroon, who was in front of the net. Mason never had a chance, and Maroon was credited with his fifth goal.
About four minutes later, the Flyers knotted the score at 1-all as Lecavalier, from the right circle, took a slick pass from Erik Gustafsson and beat Andersen with three seconds left on a power play.
“Gus made a great play,” Lecavalier said after his 12th goal. “…He came in wide, and I came in on the right side, my one-timer side _ and I knew he was looking for me the whole time.”
The Flyers had a 10-5 shots edge and had all three power plays in the opening period.
Berube called Andersen’s save on Lecavalier and the Getzlaf’s goal late in the first period “momentum changers.”