Happiest place on earth, indeed.
Ducks defenseman Mark Fistric was at Disneyland with his son Wednesday when he finalized a $3.8-million, three-year contract extension.
“Pretty special day for my family,” Fistric said. “We really love it here. I love the team, the guys, coming to the rink every day [even] when I wasn’t playing.”
Fistric, 27, has played in 27 of 55 games for the NHL-leading team (39-11-5) after being obtained as a free agent in the summer following what turned out to be a season-ending conditioning injury to veteran defenseman Sheldon Souray.
Fistric played in only four of the Ducks’ first 24 games, but he filled in admirably
when veteran Francois Beauchemin was injured, the Ducks going 6-1-2, and has
been a solid contributor.
“He certainly has made an impact on the defensive zone in physicality, which has been something we lack,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said of the 6-foot-2,
Since Dec. 20, Fistric has played in 14 of 19 games, and has a goal and four assists with a plus-eight in goal differential and 18 penalty minutes overall.
“I’ve always been the steady, depth defenseman,” Fistric said.
The three-year deal says everything Fistric needed to hear from Ducks General
Manager Bob Murray, rendering the idea of seeking a free-agent offer in an
increased salary cap market in the summer moot.
“When Bob said he wanted a deal, I said, ‘The sooner, the better,’ ” Fistric said. “That alone shows me he’s happy in my play, and [how] he thought I can be a valuable contributor to this organization.
“It might not be every night, but it is my job when I am in to bring what I have all year long .… It’s a big confidence booster, love the stability.”
Flyers up next: The Ducks are 3-3 in their last six games with the Philadelphia Flyers visiting Honda Center on Thursday night.
The Flyers (26-22-6) have won just three of their last 10 games, but that includes a 5-0 spanking of Detroit on Tuesday.
Forward Wayne Simmonds has a team-high 17 goals and center Claude Giroux has 16 goals and 34 assists.
“They’ve got the potential on any night to be as good as anybody,” Boudreau said. “They’re three lines deep, toughness, they’ve always had that, good puck movers. And when their goalies are on top of their game, you know you’re in for a long night.”
Boudreau said the Ducks’ 4-2 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday was hopefully a blip on the screen, as “16 players” had a bad night.
The coach said he doesn’t hold last season’s late-season fade over his team’s head as a nagging reminder not to let up.
“Last year was a different animal, we had nowhere to go [in the standings] up or down,” Boudreau said. “If we want to be the best, then it’s going to be a battle for  more games.”
In the net: Ducks rookie goalie Frederik Andersen (13-2, with a 1.87 goals-against average) was first off the ice at Thursday’s morning skate, indicating he’ll start. Forward Jakob Silfverberg skated late, indicating he’ll be among the healthy scratches.
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