Ducks sail through Hurricanes, 5-3

At different times, the Ducks have taken a game to prove the integrity of their NHL-best record.

Tests of toughness, challenging road assignments, matches against potent-scoring foes and tight defenses have been confronted and overcome.

Sunday night at Honda Center, the Ducks simply outclassed a slumping team, cruising past the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-3.

BOX SCORE: Ducks 5, Hurricanes 3

Ducks' goals leader Corey Perry scored Nos. 31 and 32 in a 10-minute span of the first period and the Ducks were ahead, 5-0, less than midway through the second before letting off the gas.

"We were as good as we can be," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It wasn't just Corey scoring the goals, it was the [defense] getting the puck to the forwards, playing fast. We didn't want it to end.

"We proved when we want to play fast and smart, we're a good team."

Carolina took the liberty of the massive deficit to send 26 third-period shots at goalie Frederik Andersen, but the rookie stopped 24 and finished with 49 saves to claim his 15th win, even as he faces an uncertain immediate future.

Viktor Fasth, who began the season as the Ducks' backup goalie, returned to Anaheim on Sunday after completing a four-game conditioning stint at minor league Norfolk.

Fasth, out since suffering lower-body muscle inflammation before a Nov. 18 game, is expected to be activated before the Ducks play Montreal on Wednesday.

"I haven't talked to anyone about it, so we'll see," Andersen said of his situation.

Boudreau said Andersen, in his first start since Feb. 3, was "tremendous."

"He's proven he can play in the NHL, no doubt," Boudreau said. "Quite frankly, we're blessed with … really good goalies. Viktor proved himself last year. It's really good when you have that many riches in the most important position on the team."

Fasth, who was 2-2-1 before his injury and 15-6-2 in his 2013 rookie campaign, has also been rumored as possible trade bait before Wednesday's NHL trading deadline.

The question is whether the Ducks even need to make a move.

They scored three goals on their first 12 shots against Carolina's Cam Ward. Perry collected a missed shot from Dustin Penner and blasted it past Ward, then notched his 31st assist on defenseman Francois Beauchemin's second goal of the season.

The Ducks maintained the puck on the Carolina end for an extended period before Perry scored again.

"It's all about having good starts, jumping on your opponent," Perry said. "We did that. We played our style of game and proved it works."

Forward Andrew Cogliano made it 4-0 by scoring his career-high 19th goal of the season, and third short-handed version, following Nick Bonino's hooking penalty.

"When you're not on a good team, the holes in your game are much more dramatic," Cogliano said, crediting linemates Saku Koivu and Daniel Winnik for his success. "When it's a good team, everyone looks good."

Carolina slipped to ineptness following a goaltender interference penalty on Koivu.

The power play disappeared because the Hurricanes had too many men on the ice, leading to a four-on-four game and a goal by forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Carolina is scoreless in 21 power plays in its last five games, all losses.

The Hurricanes were the first team back from the Olympic break, making up a postponed game Tuesday in Buffalo. They've been beaten in the four games they've played in the six days, including a Saturday loss at the Kings.

"We knew they played [Saturday], that if we got on them early, they might sit back," Perry said.

Twitter: @latimespugmire

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