ANAHEIM, Calif. -- They played well and skated with the best team in the National Hockey League.
Take away a few mistakes, and maybe the Flyers get a point against the Ducks.
But upper echelon clubs cash in on mistakes like a guy cleaning up at the card table on 21.
And that’s why the Ducks defeated the Flyers 5-3 on Thursday night at Honda Center.
“I’m definitely pleased with the effort –- guys competed hard,” coach Craig Berube said. “That’s a very good team over there and we played with them. But it’s not good enough. You can say what you want, but we’ve got to win hockey games.”
Among the miscues … the Flyers gave up a decisive shorthanded goal to Anaheim late in the game when trailing, 3-2.
They also gave up goals in the final minute of play during the opening period.
It happened last weekend against Boston when the Bruins scored in the final minute to go into the dressing room ahead 2-0. Berube said it was as deflating as could be.
The same thing happened Thursday. After dominating much of the first period, Ryan Getzlaf scored off a deflection to snap a 1-1 tie in the final 35.1 seconds of play. A crushing goal.
“Obviously, it changed the momentum and we had real good momentum,” Berube said. “It changed it both ways.”
Vinny Lecavalier, who had one goal already by then, almost got a second but Ducks goalie Federik Andersen made a mid-air grab. Another key play.
If Lecavalier scores, maybe everything changes.
“He made a great save,” Lecavalier said. “When I got it I thought quickly, I got to get this upstairs because if he puts his glove down [it's a save]. But he made a great save. When you look at it, I should have shot it on the ice. Obviously, I didn’t know that before. He got lucky. He made a great save.”
And it became even more pivotal as Corey Perry made it 3-1 in the second period with an impossible shot from Getzlaf off the rush. Getzlaf, incidentally, had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick -- goal, assist, and fight -- in this one.
With the win, Anaheim swept both games from the Flyers this season.
“It’s a tough building to play in,” Mark Streit said. “They come hard on the forecheck. We tried everything. Even down 3-1, we were positive in the room and there was confidence in the group.”
Goalie Steve Mason said he was screened most of the night by Anaheim’s aggressive attack at the net.
Getzlaf’s goal at the end of the first period that made it 2-1 was such.
“We controlled a lot of the play and they had two deflections in there,” Mason said. “The shot was going a couple of feet wide and [Getzlaf] made a nice deflection and somehow it finds a hole like that.
“There wasn’t a single clean shot from the point the entire night. They did a great job getting sticks on it and bodies in front. When you have a team like that, it makes it difficult to stop pucks.”
There was still a lot to like about the Flyers' effort in this one as a prelude to the rest of the trip against Los Angeles and San Jose.
"You can build on it," Matt Read said. "The Ducks have a great record at home. You try to come on this trip and be a game over .500 with a 2-1 record. We got to put this behind us, learn from it and move into L.A. on Saturday and do the same thing."