So they used Friday afternoon's 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames to sharpen the strengths required to navigate a schedule that takes them to San Jose on Saturday, against the Kings on Tuesday, and on to Chicago and St. Louis.
Their first line combined for three goals and three assists. They kept the Flames scoreless in the third period after suffering through late-game defensive lapses recently. And they didn't commit a penalty.
"We put the puck in the net … limited their chances, that's a thing we need to do," center Ryan Getzlaf said after extending his personal scoring streak to nine games with two assists. "We're prepared for it. These are big games to measure ourselves."
The victory extended the Ducks' home winning streak over Calgary to 18 games, dating to Jan. 19, 2004.
The Ducks also benefited from the return of veteran center Saku Koivu, who had two assists. He had sat out 15 games since suffering a concussion in Columbus on Oct. 27.
"I felt physically pretty good," Koivu said. "You can only get into contact so much in practice. I felt fine. We have a second tough game [Saturday] so hopefully things remain well."
Koivu had a key role in the Ducks' first goal, by defenseman Sami Vatanen.
Rather than shoot while skating to goalie Reto Berra's left, Koivu shuffled a pass to Andrew Cogliano, drawing Berra to skate to his left.
Cogliano dished to Vatanen, who blasted a shot to the vacant right side of the net, leaving Berra to sprawl back with no chance. Vatanen has three goals in his last six games.
"That was one of those plays we try to get overloaded … bit of a broken play ended up being a nice goal," Koivu said.
The goal was Perry's 14th. He scored 15 goals in last season's shortened 48-game schedule.
Early in the second period, Getzlaf bypassed a power-play shot to pass toward the net, where Penner scored.
"Obviously, being paired with [Perry] and Getzlaf, the way we read off of each other … we're opportunistic," Penner said.
Getzlaf also assisted Penner's third-period goal, his ninth of the season that equaled his total in 98 games during the last two seasons as a King.
"When you're a happy hockey player, you do things better than when you're not a happy hockey player," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said of Penner.
"It adds a new dimension when Penner's scoring. They're tough to contain. It'll be interesting if they go against [Joe] Thornton's [San Jose] line, only for size. Those will be the six biggest men in the league on the ice."
Rookie Frederik Andersen saved 19 of 21 shots to improve to 7-1.
AT SAN JOSE
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket. Radio: AM 830.
Etc.: The Pacific Division co-leaders square off in their first of four meetings. The Sharks have an NHL-low three losses, ranking in the top five in goals per game and goals given up. Centers Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski have a combined 33 goals for San Jose and Brent Burns had a hat trick in Friday's 6-3 victory over St. Louis.