The Anaheim Ducks’ narrow victory over the Dallas Stars in their Stanley Cup playoff opener almost ended very badly for team captain Ryan Getzlaf.
The eighth-seeded Stars fought all the way back from a four-goal deficit Wednesday night to cut Anaheim’s lead to 4-3 late in the third period. Dallas was making a last-gasp effort with its goalie pulled and less than 20 seconds remaining in regulation when Stars center Tyler Seguin’s one-timer elevated off the ice and nailed Getzlaf right in the face.
We’ve seen players take pucks to the face on several occasions over the last few postseasons — Andrew Shaw in 2013 and Steven Stamkos in 2011 immediately come to mind — but most of those have come off deflections.
Not this one, though. Seguin’s rocket took an unimpeded path from his stick right to Getzlaf’s jaw.
The Ducks star immediately went to the bench (his teammates were able to close out the 4-3 win without him), but Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters after the game that he doesn’t anticipate Getzlaf’s injury being anything more than a gash.
“I just know, he’s getting stitched up right now,” Boudreau said, via the team’s website. That’s the only thing I’ve heard. I think he’s going to be OK, but he’ll probably have a nasty cut on the side of his mouth. I’ll know more (later).”
Getzlaf finished with a goal and an assist in the game. The Ducks and Stars will play Game 2 on Friday night in Anaheim.