George Parros got into a fight Wednesday night -- nothing out of the ordinary for someone who makes his living as an NHL enforcer. It was the two goals he scored that made it a night to remember.
"I was feeling really good," Parros said after being named the game's First Star. "It seemed like the pucks were coming to me tonight."
Both of Parros' goals were set up by Kyle Chipchura -- who got his first points in 14 games this season. Bobby Ryan scored into an empty net in the final minute, securing Anaheim's third straight win after six consecutive losses and putting them into a three-way tie with Dallas and Phoenix for the Pacific Division lead.
Steve Bernier had two power play-goals in his return to Florida's lineup and Mike Santorelli also scored. Bernier played for the first time since Nov. 12, when he was struck in the face by the butt end of Brent Burns' stick at the conclusion of a win over Minnesota. Bernier had surgery the next day to repair an orbital bone near his right eye and missed eight games. Burns received a two-game suspension without pay.
"We didn't play well enough to win the game," Bernier said. "There are always some positives. We scored two goals on the power play. We need to focus on playing good 5-on-5 and play the same way on the power play. If we do that, we'll have a lot more chances to win."
Parros put the Ducks on the board 14:01 into the game after Chipchura won a battle for the puck behind the net and fed a passout in front, where Parros batted it into the net just before falling to the ice. "I snuck on the ice after a change," Parros said, "and Chipper found me in front with a great pass."
Parros, who entered the game with 27 total points and 750 penalty minutes in his previous 314 NHL games, looked more like himself on the ensuing faceoff, dropping the gloves with Darcy Hordichuk.
"It was great, obviously tonight and any other time George can chip in offensively - and he also had a big fight to follow his goal," captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "Not a lot of guys follow up a goal with a fight right off the faceoff, but that was good for our group and creates energy for sure."
Getzlaf made it 2-0 with at 6:04 of the second with his eighth goal and first since Nov. 12. Tomas Vokoun made the initial save on Toni Lydman, but the Ducks' captain jumped on the loose puck in the crease and poked it in to snap an eight-game goal drought.
Parros gave Anaheim a three-goal cushion 50 seconds later with his third this season and 16th of his six-year career, beating Vokoun on a short wrist shot to the glove side.
"We definitely had the right approach. We started the hockey game very, very well," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We were very workmanlike. And anytime you have a player like George Parros go out and score a couple of goals, everybody feels real good for him, and that kind of led the way."
Anaheim rookie Cam Fowler was serving a delay-of-game penalty when the Panthers got on the board at 8:08 of the second, ending an 0-for-37 drought on the power play. Santorelli banged in a rebound during Florida's first opportunity with the man advantage, after Hiller stopped Kulikov's one-timer.
Bernier redirected a shot by Stephen Weiss from above the left circle with 18:40 remaining to cut Anaheim's lead to 3-2, but Perry made it a two-goal game again by beating Vokoun for his 12th of the season 55 seconds later.
Bernier cashed in on Florida's other power play, converting a rebound of Bryan McCabe's slap shot from the right point with 1:07 left and Vokoun on the bench for an extra attacker. Ryan's empty-netter put the game away.
Parros' bid for a hat trick was clearly on the minds of the Honda Center crowd, who came alive every time he stepped on the ice in the third period. But it was not to be.
"It was an awesome feeling," Parros said. "You could hear them getting crazy every time I touched the ice in the third period. It was a good feeling and I appreciate it.
"I wanted the hat trick for sure. It was great feeling, glad our line could finally contribute. We can't rely on the top two lines every night. It definitely helps to chip in."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report