Getzlaf will miss his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury sustained during a morning skate Friday. He went on that night to record a hat trick in a 6-2 victory against the Buffalo Sabres, but sat out Sunday when the Ducks beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 to finish a three-game homestand.
"Make no mistake about it, we missed the big fella coming in there," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said Tuesday. "He is our straw that stirs the drink. When he's playing he controls the power play, he kills penalties, he usually plays against the other team's best checking line. We miss him."
Getzlaf did not take part in the morning skate Tuesday, but Boudreau said he was expected to be on the ice for practice Wednesday. The Ducks' next game is Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"Just the whole idea of you could get him back and if it's not feeling 100 percent, then you could just get it worse," Boudreau said. "We want to make sure that he's 100 percent."
A victory against Florida would give the Ducks, who have the best record in the NHL at 15-3-1, the best 20-game start in franchise history. Last seaon's team also started 15-3-1, but lost its next game in a shootout against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Frederik Andersen, who was named the NHL's Second Star of the Week for Nov. 4-10, will start in net for Anaheim for the fourth time in five games.
Andersen will bring a 6-0-0 record and 1.41 goals-against-average into the matchup against the Panthers. He is the first goalie since December 1993 (Damian Rhodes of the Toronto Maple Leafs) to win his first six NHL games.
"It's tough to be upset about this start, obviously," Andersen said. "It's been fun. Been fun playing on a great team like this. That's been a lot of help so far."
The Ducks, who have won their past five games and are 8-0-1 in their past nine, will be facing a Florida team hoping to snap a nine-game winless streak (0-5-4).
"I don't use the word 'trap,' but it's a scary game when you have a new coach and you come back into their building," Boudreau said. "You just know they're going to be flying. They've lost [four of their last five] by one goal, so it's not like they're far away. They just need a break here or a break there. They're going to win sometime. And they're going to start winning in droves, but we just don't want it to be tonight."
Veteran Panthers defenseman Mike Mottau, recalled Monday from the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, is expected to play his first NHL game since April 25, 2012.
Mottau, 35, has appeared in 313 NHL games with the New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Boston Bruins. He replaced veteran Ryan Whitney, who was loaned to San Antonio, and was paired during the morning skate with Erik Gudbranson.
"He's played at this level before," Horachek said of Mottau. "He's a smart player. He's a leader. I'm sure that he's going to step right in and do a good job."
Here are the projected lineups for the Ducks and Panthers on Tuesday at BB&T Center:
Scratched: Matt Gilroy
Suspended: Jesse Winchester
Notes: Winchester will be serving the final game of his three-game suspension for elbowing Boston Bruins center Chris Kelly on Thursday. Gomez will miss a third consecutive game because of a lower-body injury. His status is listed as day-to-day.