By Kyle Shohara
A game tonight in Philadelphia means the Ducks had little time to dwell on their 6-2 loss last night in Pittsburgh. It was a rarity for a team that’s been on fire since the Christmas break, not only because of the loss, but the way in which they lost.
Anaheim had been so defensively sound over a stretch that’s seen the Ducks go 13-4-1 since Dec. 26 (resumption of play after the Christmas break), a record that equates to a .750 points percentage, third-best in the NHL during that span.
Tonight concludes Anaheim's ninth set of back-to-back games this season and second set in as many opportunities (also Feb. 4 at Los Angeles and Feb. 5 vs. Arizona). The Ducks are 6-5-3 in back-to-backs, including a 2-3-2 mark in the second contest.
“That's what's good about back to backs,” said Ducks left wing Patrick Maroon, a former Flyers draft pick from 2007. “I think when you have a bad game like you did the night before, you get to bounce back. Come back and play hard. Try to go out there and get the W."
Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau added, “I'm really happy we’re playing today, right away. We’ll see what we're made of. Usually in the past, and in my history anyway, if you get beat badly the night before, you come back and show your true colors the next night. So hopefully that’s where we’re at tonight.”
Line combinations remain to be seen, as the team opted to forego a morning skate at Wells Fargo Center. It figures to be Frederik Andersen’s net tonight considering John Gibson started last night, despite being relieved by Andersen late.
The Flyers are coming off a 3-2 loss against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on Sunday – their first regulation defeat in the past five games (3-1-1). Philadelphia is 12-7-6 on home ice, with tonight marking the start of a three-game homestand.
“When we’re playing good defense, it leads to our offense,” said Boudreau. “When we’re playing just helter skelter all over there, then we’re having what we had last night. Two breakaway goals against and a two-on-one goal against. We were just ad-libbing, and we’re not a team that ad-libs very well.”
This contest wraps up the two-game season series between the two clubs. The Ducks have won a club-record five straight over the Flyers to improve their record to 14-8-7 in the all-time season series. Furthermore, Anaheim has not lost to Philadelphia in regulation since the 2007-08 season, going 8-0-2 in the process. The Ducks have also won four in a row in Philadelphia dating to Oct. 10, 2009, another franchise first. These two teams opened the season series on Dec. 27 at Honda Center, a 4-2 Ducks victory.
“We've been rolling for a while,” said Ducks right wing Chris Stewart. “It's been a while since we laid an egg. I think it was good for us to kind of get humbled a bit. Teams aren't just going to hand you the two points. We've still got to come to work. In hindsight and retrospect, that's the great thing about this game. It's not even 24 hours later, and we have a chance to redeem ourselves. We have to show up and play tonight.”