Take away their leading scorer and starting goalie, and the Ducks still win.
Forced to adapt through a Sunday scratch of acknowledged leader Ryan Getzlaf (upper-body injury) and a last-minute illness to goalie Jonas Hiller, the Ducks weathered being outshot by Pacific Division rival Vancouver to win, 3-1, at Honda Center.
"You've got to be ready when you're called upon to give the team a solid chance to win the game," said rookie goalie Frederik Andersen, who found out he was starting for Hiller 30 minutes before the game and stopped 35 shots to improve to 6-0.
Owning the most points (31) in the NHL, the Ducks (15-3-1) are 8-0 at home and on an 8-0-1 run as they re-pack for a four-game trip that starts Tuesday in Florida. That trip will close a test of 20 games in 37 days and 12 of 15 road games.
"… January and February, we get a lot of time off. That seems like years away right now," said Ducks center Nick Bonino, who scored the decisive goal with 51 seconds remaining in the second period.
With an empty-net goal by forward Andrew Cogliano, the Ducks have outscored their eight home opponents by a combined 35-13.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said the decision to scratch Getzlaf was made Sunday after the league's second-leading scorer (22 points) told the coach "he wasn't feeling right," experiencing lingering discomfort from a Friday morning-skate fall.
"It made for an easy decision," Boudreau said. "This isn't Game 77 or the fourth game of the playoffs."
Hiller was suffering through flu symptoms, Boudreau said.
The Ducks took just five first-period shots at Vancouver goalie Eddie Lack and — after scoring on two first-period power plays Friday with Getzlaf on the ice — let a high-sticking penalty pass with no real threat.
"The second-leading scorer in the league, one of the best players in the world, you're going to miss him, but we did a great job battling," Boudreau said.
Andersen kept the game scoreless through 20 minutes by stopping 13 shots.
Ducks General Manager Bob Murray has a tough decision to make. Goalie Viktor Fasth said Sunday he's recovered from an Oct. 17 lower-body injury and will be on the trip.
Andersen ranks second in the NHL in save percentage and third in goals-against-average (1.41).
"I want to just make sure it's a tough decision if they want to send anyone anywhere," Andersen said.
The Ducks first led when wing Corey Perry head-butted a bounding blue-line shot to the crease and tapped the puck into the net — his team-leading 11th goal.
Vancouver (11-7-2) answered less than six minutes later on Tom Sestito's first goal of the season.
Late in the second, Ducks forward Emerson Etem lured Lack to commit to his right, then delivered a pass allowing Bonino to score into an open net on Lack's left.
"We've had guys step in all year," Bonino said. "We've got a lot of character and a lot of depth, and it showed tonight."Copyright © 2015, RedEye