By Kyle Shohara
Ducks fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the Ducks announced today that captain Ryan Getzlaf, who suffered a deep facial laceration last night in Game 1, is expected to play tomorrow night.
Getzlaf took a Tyler Seguin slap shot in the cheek area with 16 seconds remaining in Anaheim’s 4-3 victory, and immediately headed to the locker room. But not before he crumbled to the ice, leaving a small pool of blood for the ice crew to shovel.
He received numerous stitches, and x-rays were negative.
Hockey players are known as some of the toughest athletes in sports, and Boudreau says that’s what makes Getzlaf who he is. “That’s why he’s the captain, won two gold medals and a Stanley Cup,” Boudreau said. “He’s learned from the Scotty Niedermayers and Chris Prongers who were here before him. He’s a battler and a gamer. He won’t look too pretty, but he’ll be playing.”
Getzlaf’s teammates say his return speaks of his leadership.
“It’s a good thing for our leader to show that,” said Cam Fowler. “He’s definitely the biggest part of our team, and it would certainly be a big loss if he went down. I’ve seen him take his fair share of bumps and bruises, and he always bounces back. It’s a good thing for our leader to show that. We know he’ll be there for us no matter what.”
“He’s a guy who’s going to lay it all on the line,” said Corey Perry. “Those things happen, but it’s the playoffs. If you can get out there and play, you’re going to do that. You’re going to help your team win.”
Ben Lovejoy says Getzlaf looks like someone who’s playing postseason hockey.
“Luckily he’s married with a couple of kids,” he said. “He’s not out trying to impress people with his face. This is playoff hockey. I think he looks very good.”
Matt Beleskey played a shade over 11 minutes of ice time last night before leaving the game with a lower-body injury. Beleskey, who skated on the top line with Getzlaf and Perry, scored and goal and earned an assist for his first career postseason multi-point game.
Earlier today, Beleskey said it’s an injury that’s been off and on throughout the season.
“All year it’s kind of been all over the place, so it’s just something that’s day to day, and I’ll see how I feel tomorrow,” he said. “It’s going to be every morning coming in and seeing how I feel from there. It’s playoff time, guys. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”
Boudreau says the team’s depth up front shouldn’t be affected much if Beleskey can’t play tomorrow night.
“We haven’t had the same lineup twice in a row all year, so I don’t think it’s really going to affect us that much” he said. “We’re going to miss Matt, if he doesn’t play, because he’s a good player.”