In Game 4 Ducks were without the leadership of captain Ryan Getzlaf, who awaits medical clearance for Game 5.
Jerome Miron/Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Stars beat up the Ducks and beat them up good at their place in Dallas Wednesday night. The Ducks sat on their bench, visibly frustrated and without the leadership of their captain, Ryan Getzlaf, who was back in Anaheim with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
The captain did take the morning skate and looked ready to play, but said he will still need medical clearance. The issue is thought to be related to the gash on his face caused by a Tyler Seguin slap shot in Game 1, but the Ducks are staying mum.
"You guys are going to ask me about 800 more questions, and I’m going to have the same answer: I’m really not going to disclose what’s going on right now, and I won’t be able to," Getzlaf said. "We’re just looking forward to hopefully getting in the lineup, and that’s kind of all I can say."
Now back in Anaheim in the confines of the Honda Center for Game 5 and the series even at 2-all, it’s about getting back to the things that worked for the Ducks in the 54 games they won during the regular season and the two they already won in the postseason.
"I think we just have to forget about them," said forward Nick Bonino. "In terms of hits and stuff, I think we’re doing more of that than they are. But we’re just letting them get under our skin and we know that we shouldn’t do it, but we’re on the bench and we’re frustrated. So the best thing that we can do is not listen to them chirping, not listen to them say anything, just go out there and play a hard game."
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Injuries forced a roster shakeup which then led to a lineup shakeup in game 4. Changes to the lines were much more drastic than anticipated with Teemu Selanne a healthy scratch and favor of Emerson Etem and his linemates in Patrick Maroon and Mathieu Perreault playing on the top line with Corey Perry.
But the line of Maroon, Selanne and Perreault will now be put back together. Head coach Bruce Boudreau is going back to what works.
"They’ve played together and they’ve played well together," Boudreau said. "So I didn’t see why we would break up another line that was going good."
However, the top line may not quite be back together fully tonight as Getzlaf remains questionable.
"We’ll just have to see how his body reacts," Boudreau said of Getzlaf skating in the morning.
Other game 5 morning skate notes:
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– Etem played on the fourth with Devante Smith-Pelly and Rickard Rackell, creating a line where the median age isn’t even old enough to drink yet. The trio was on the ice for much of the fighting of the third period, and while it’s nothing new as hockey players, the young guys held their own against veteran troublemakers Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt.
"I think we did a good job of responding with three 20-year-olds on the ice," Bonino said. "Rackell did a pretty good job of jumping in there and grabbing guys."
– Goaltender Frederik Andersen will be back in the net for the Ducks Friday night. The rookie has started each of Anaheim’s first four games but was pulled in favor of Jonas Hiller after giving up four goals in Dallas in game 4.
"That might have been Andersen’s first bad game in an awful long time," Boudreau said. "I think he knows I have full confidence (in him). I started him in the playoffs so I don’t think that was an issue, so I don’t think I have to go over it and say, ‘Hey Freddie, I have a lot of faith in you, blah blah blah.’ I think that’s sort of a given from the amount of time he has played this year and the amount of big games he’s played in. "
– Boudreau said there is a "good chance" that defenseman Luca Sbisa will see his first game action since April 13, and only the 31st of the season as he’s dealt with nagging injuries all year.