ANAHEIM DUCKS captain Ryan Getzlaf has a deep facial laceration but X-rays were negative and he is expected to play in Game 2 of the Western Conference first-round series tonight, according to the team.
Getzlaf was struck in the face by Tyler Seguin's slap shot with 16 seconds remaining in a 4-3 win against the Dallas Stars in Game 1 on Wednesday night. He immediately left the ice and was seen holding an ice pack to his face in the dressing room afterward.
Getzlaf did not skate yesterday and did not speak to reporters. He received numerous stitches and was still swollen.
"I didn't want to look at him," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said .
Getzlaf's decision to play did not surprise his coach.
"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's 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 had a goal and an assist with four blocked shots in Game 1. He led all Ducks forwards with 20:50 of ice time.
The Ducks were relieved that it wasn't serious. Defenseman Ben Lovejoy joked about their Hart Trophy candidate earning another scar.
"It's a scary situation," Lovejoy said. "Luckily he's married. He's got a couple of kids. He's not trying to impress anybody with his face."
It is the second serious facial injury for Getzlaf, who had non-displaced nasal sinus fractures when he was hit by a deflected puck in the forehead of a 2010 game against the Phoenix Coyotes. Getzlaf briefly wore a visor after the incident.
Boudreau said he didn't know if Getzlaf would wear a face shield or some protective device in tonight's game.
Getzlaf was the NHL's second-leading scorer this season with 87 points, having a spectacular offensive season while doing more of the Ducks' defensive dirty work than ever before. His two-way game was on display in the opener, and Anaheim followed his lead to hold off the Stars despite blowing most of a four-goal lead.
The Ducks know they've got to maintain their focus on that dirty work to take control of the series before heading to Dallas. Anaheim had a spectacular first half of Game 1 before slipping late in the second period.