Whether the Ducks wanted to admit to every example of standing up for each other was beside the point.
They did so, especially for goalie Frederik Andersen, and shut out the Vancouver Canucks, 4-0, in a Pacific Division road test that bodes well for their playoff aspirations.
Not only did the Ducks (32-10-6) claim their sixth consecutive victory by limiting Vancouver to three shots on goal during a 31-minute-plus span into the third period, they effectively countered each attempt by the home team to assert some authority.
“We answered properly,” Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said. “There were some good hard hits out there that didn’t deserve fights, and I thought our guys did a good job of not overreacting to things.”
Although it appeared he was hit by Vancouver forward Derek Dorsett in the first period, Getzlaf said it wasn’t contact that sent him to the dressing room after four minutes of ice time in the first period.
“I got a headache, I jarred something in my neck that triggered something and I couldn’t get it to go away,” Getzlaf said. “Saw the chiropractor and got it to go away.”
Early in the second period, Ducks center Ryan Kesler found Dorsett and launched a right elbow to his face that dropped the forward to the ice and forced him out of action for the evening.
“All I know is I was going for the puck and felt him hit me, hope he’s all right,” Kesler said. “It’s unfortunate. It’s a fast game out there. Didn’t even see him. Wasn’t malicious at all. Just trying to get the puck out of the zone.”
The Canucks (26-17-3) were already irked that Ducks right wing Corey Perry hooked Daniel Sedin, and they sought to get at him as soon as Perry left the penalty box. Instead, Ducks forward Patrick Maroon ran interference, and was shoved from behind.
The perpetrator, Vancouver forward Zack Kassian, was sent to the box for roughing.
Just before that penalty ended, Canuck Jannik Hansen hit Andersen from behind, a goalie interference penalty that wasn’t called until Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri whizzed a shot past Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller for a 2-0 lead 7:19 into the second.
“Instant karma,” said Andersen, who made 17 saves to post his second shutout in four starts (and third of his career) and win his 27th game.
Palmieri said the delayed penalty allowed him to “stretch the zone a little bit, was able to get loose and get a shot off.”
That shooting ability shined similarly for Ducks forward Matt Beleskey, who wound up and delivered a 1-0 lead 13:43 into the first period — his 18th goal — and for center Rickard Rakell, whose blast nearly halfway through the third iced the outcome.
Three Vancouver penalties limited the hosts to two shots on goal in the second, and the Ducks improved their recent penalty-killing effectiveness to 19 of 21.
“They made it real easy for me,” Andersen said of a defensive effort defined by defenseman Clayton Stoner’s headfirst slide to get a puck out of harm’s way in the third.
The Ducks are now 23-0-5 when scoring the game’s first goal.
“For people who wonder if we can lock a game down, the record indicates we can,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire