ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ryan Getzlaf looked every bit the part of a grizzled hockey player Friday night: Front tooth missing, fat lip and a new scratches on his face to go along with the thick, stitched-up gash across his chin.
The scene in the locker room was much different than what had unfolded in an Orange County hospital where only about 10 hours before the Ducks took a 2-0 series lead over Dallas with a 3-2 victory at the Honda Center, Getzlaf and his wife Paige welcomed a newborn daughter.
"I was in there icing my face while she was trying to push a baby out," Getzlaf said.
If there was any exhaustion or lingering effects from taking a puck to the face in Game 1 or any sign that the adrenaline from a momentous 48 hours had run out, you couldn’t tell. The captain simply did what he did nearly every night for the Ducks all season and produced. His two-point night helped spur a win and hold off a Dallas team that seems to be charging harder and harder in each game.
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"Every once in a while you need your best players to step it up when the rest of the guys lose their composure," said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau. "Getzy, with what’s happened to him the last three days, to come in and get two points a plus-3 rating is sure a reason why he’s hopefully nominated for the MVP."
Nearly every mistake the Stars’ made, the Ducks took advantage.
Late in the first period and down 1-0, Getzlaf picked up a turnover on the side boards, blew past a defender and avoided an oncoming one to sneak the puck past Kari Lehtonen. Corey Perry followed that up in the second when he rocketed in a slapshot to put the Ducks up 2-1.
Getzlaf again made the Stars pay in the third. In the attacking zone on the penalty kill, Getzlaf was double-teamed in the left circle and passed off to Andrew Cogliano, all alone on the right coming off the boards. Like an NBA sharpshooter left wide open, Cogliano chipped it over the goaltender and in for the shorthanded goal, the first-ever postseason goal of his career.
"Getz made a great play and I was able to put it upstairs," Cogliano said. "It’s probably one of the biggest goals of my career. He made a great play and it ended up being the game-winner, it was nice."
But before he made the initial pass to Getzlaf, he hacked at defenseman Sergei Gonchar on the boards, snapping his stick. Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff was furious, calling for a slash.
"We had a good chance to tie this game," Gonchar said. "I think the referee missed that penalty on me behind the net. In my opinion, we should have been 5-on-3."
Cogliano got away with it, further angering the Stars. Frederik Andersen made key saves down the stretch to stop all 15 of the Stars’ third-period attempts and the Ducks will leave Orange County with a two-game cushion.
"Obviously, losing two, nobody is happy about it," Gonchar said. "At the same time, it’s a seven-game series. I think we are playing better."
However, it was far from an emphatic victory. Once again, they did just enough to come away with another win.
On the road, they may need more.
"In a lot of games, we bend, but we don’t break," Boudreau said. "You see the sacrifices we were making. As many mistakes as we were making, we were blocking shots and getting in the lanes and doing things necessary to win."