Ryan Getzlaf won’t be the prettiest-looking player for the Anaheim Ducks Friday night, but all that matters to his teammates and head coach Bruce Boudreau is that he’s in the lineup.
Getzlaf, the NHL team’s leading scorer in the regular season, left the ice with 16.3 seconds left in regulation in Wednesday’s 4-3 playoff-opening win over Dallas after getting hit in the face by a shot from Stars forward Tyler Seguin, who had scored minutes earlier to make it a one-goal game.
Getzlaf, 28, suffered a deep facial laceration and received numerous stitches, according to team spokesman Alex Gilchrist, but x-rays were negative.
"Luckily, he's married, has a couple of kids," Anaheim defenceman Ben Lovejoy said. "He's not trying to impress anybody with his face."
Boudreau was more succinct: "I didn't want to look at him," he said.
In a 2010 game against Phoenix, the Regina native sustained nasal sinus fractures.
On Wednesday, Getzlaf topped all Ducks in ice time, playing 20 minutes 50 seconds while scoring a goal on four shots and adding an assist. The centre also had two hits, four blocked shots and won 50 per cent of his faceoffs.
He scored 31 goals and 87 points in 77 regular-season games.
Nobody in either dressing room was surprised Thursday to learn Getzlaf plans to play against the Dallas Stars in Game 2 on Friday night (10 p.m. ET) despite that huge cut on his face. Getzlaf was hit by Tyler Seguin's shot in the final minute of the Ducks' 4-3 victory over Dallas on Wednesday night in the series opener, but the puck apparently broke no bones — which means it'll be almost impossible to keep Getzlaf off the ice.
"That's why he is who he is," Boudreau said. "That's why he's won two gold medals and a Stanley Cup and he's not 30. He learned from the Scotty Niedermayers and the Chris Prongers that were here before him, too. He's a battler and a gamer. It won't look too pretty, but he's going to be playing."
Getzlaf, Kyle Palmieri and Mathieu Perreault scored in a dominant first period for Western Conference champion Anaheim, which began its post-season run on a dead sprint. The Ducks led 4-0 midway through the second period before Dallas got rolling in its first playoff game since 2008.