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Getzlaf Could Make Season Debut Tonight vs. Flames

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara / AnaheimDucks.com

Reinforcements might be on the way.

We won't know until pregame warmups when he gives it a go, but tonight could mark the season debut for Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. There is no doubt he's the one that stirs the team's drink, so having him back would give the Ducks a huge boost down the middle.

The 32-year-old center, who led the Ducks with 73 points (15g/58) in 74 games last season, missed Thursday's season opener for the first time in his 13-year NHL career. "Just coming out of the summer, where I felt so good, it's always a little disheartening to sit back and watch the start of the season," Getzlaf said to reporters earlier today. "Everything has been moving a lot better the last few days. That's what our progression has been, getting that movement back. The mobility. As soon as that came back, I was able to get back in."

Also on the ice this morning were Patrick Eaves, Nick Ritchie, Ryan Miller, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen. Among them, the most likely (it seems) to return to the lineup tonight would be Ritchie, who missed Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers with a lower-body injury. Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said to reporters that he still needs to consult with the team's training staff regarding Ritchie's status.

John Gibson will likely make his third consecutive start for the Ducks. Through two games, Gibson is 1-0-1 with a 3.47 goals-against average and .896 save percentage.

Fans hoping to see Jaromir Jagr make his Flames debut will have to wait another day, it seems. The 45-year-old right wing, who signed a one-year contract on October 4 and is in his 25th NHL season, did not take part in line rushes this morning. Jagr is currently the leading point scorer among active NHL players and has the second most regular-season points in NHL history (1,914 points, 765g/1,149a) behind Wayne Gretzky.

The Flames will likely use the same lineup that fueled them to a 6-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Johnny Gaudreau (1g/3a) and TJ Brodie (2g/2a) led the way for the Flames, who erased a 3-1 deficit with four goals in the second period. Former longtime Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith is the expected starter tonight.

One of the hallmarks of Calgary's game is its speed on the blueline. Expect to see the Flames come with a four-man rush with regularity if the opportunity presents itself. "They're going to want to involve their D in the rush," said Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg. "You have to be aware of who is on the ice when you play against them. They have some forwards who can really make some skilled plays out there. We just have to play them hard."

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