Ducks' Corey Perry fires the puck to score a goal in the second period… (Christine Cotter / Associated…)
Corey Perry is linked with Ryan Getzlaf by more than just their membership on the Ducks' first line.
So when Perry's close friend remained sidelined Sunday against the Kings by a leg injury, it was clear who was carrying the heaviest burden in the captain's absence.
Consider a regulation goal and the winning shootout shot proper compensation.
"When you don't have your top guy out there, everyone knows there's going to be holes and roles to fill," Perry said after the 4-3 victory at Honda Center moved the Ducks (26-8-5) nine points ahead of the defending Stanley Cup champions in the Pacific Division standings.
Perry gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead late in the second period, taking an Andrew Cogliano pass and beating Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier to his right in a one-on-one battle.
With the Ducks up, 2-1, in the shootout, Perry again went to Bernier's right for the winner, soiling the goalie's 9-0 record as a starter.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick also let all three shots past him in the team's most recent shootout, a March 30 loss at Minnesota.
"Just tried to mix it up," Perry said of his fifth shootout goal this season. "I've done a bunch of stuff throughout the year … just trying to find holes."
No Duck was willing to call the Kings dead in the Pacific Division standings, but they certainly are feeling strongly about their nine-point lead with nine games remaining.
"They've been playing well; everyone knew they were hitting their stride," Perry said. "It's huge. If we continue to put teams behind us, we're going to be in good position going forward and building confidence going into the playoffs."
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau called it "a big win," considering only two of their remaining games are against teams in playoff position.
In the Kings' dressing room, defenseman Drew Doughty said his team's 38-22 disparity in shots on goal proved "we outplayed them.
"I don't think there's any doubt about that. … We came back three times down a goal. That shows a lot of character and how bad we want to win. It's just too bad we didn't get both" points.
A game after allowing an embarrassing short-handed goal by his net, Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth stopped 35 shots.
Getzlaf sat out his second consecutive game because "we want him to heal as much as possible," Boudreau said before the game.
Afterward, Boudreau said Getzlaf's eligibility for Monday's home game against Edmonton would hinge on a morning skate conversation.
"Ryan, can you play?" Boudreau said he'd ask. "And we'll go from there."
Kings center Jeff Carter scored his fifth regulation goal in six games and added a shootout goal. … Ducks defenseman Sheldon Souray had two assists and was positioned to pass Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz for the NHL lead in plus/minus goals differential while on the ice until Dustin Brown scored with 3:45 left to force overtime.
MONDAY VS. EDMONTON
Where: Honda Center.
On the Air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830.
Record vs. Oilers: 0-0.
Etc.: Left wing Taylor Hall has 28 assists for the Oilers.