An Anaheim Ducks era will come to an end Sunday when longtime captain Ryan Getzlaf plays his farewell game on home ice with the St. Louis Blues in town.
Getzlaf, 36, announced his retirement on April 5. He has spent his entire career with the Ducks, starting with the 2005-06 season, and he became captain in 2010.
“Seventeen years here,” Ducks forward Trevor Zegras told NHL.com. “He is the Anaheim Ducks to me. Through everything, new GMs, new coaches, he’s been here through everything. All of us young guys look up to him as the Anaheim Duck. It’s very cool in my opinion to say we got to play with him.”
The Ducks will honor Getzlaf during pregame ceremonies at Honda Center.
“It’s hard for me to put into words what Ryan Getzlaf has meant to this organization, what he means to this organization and what he means to me,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins told NHL.com. “It’s more of a feeling when you think about him as a person and a player. People are never going to remember what you said or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
The Ducks (30-35-14, 74 points) are playing out the string after a difficult season. They lost to the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 Saturday night to fall to 3-13-5 in their last 21 games.
Meanwhile the Blues (48-20-11, 107 points) are riding a 15-game point streak (13-0-2) after their 5-4 overtime victory over the Arizona Coyotes Saturday night. After blowing a 4-1 third-period lead, the Blues won in overtime on Justin Faulk’s second goal of the game.
“We just kind of let our foot off the gas,” Faulk said. “There’s no reason and there’s no excuse for it.”
St. Louis pulled even with the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division. Minnesota has played one less game in the race for home-ice advantage in their first-round playoff series.
Blues coach Craig Berube gave goaltender Jordan Binnington his second straight start Saturday, so he will likely will come back with Ville Husso (24-6-6, 2.46 goals-against average) in this game.
“Just going down the stretch here, I don’t want one goalie not playing in a certain amount of time, so it works out that way for us,” Berube said.
The Ducks won the previous two games against the Blues this season, 4-1 at home on Nov. 7 and 3-2 in overtime on Dec. 12 in St. Louis. Goaltender John Gibson won the first game for the Ducks and Anthony Stolarz won the second.
Stolarz faced the Kings Saturday, so Gibson (18-25-11, 3.16 GAA) is likely to start Sunday.
Blues forward Brayden Schenn and defenseman Torey Krug were sidelined Saturday with day-to-day upper-body injuries. The Ducks got defenseman Urho Vaakanainen (non-COVID illness) back in the lineup Saturday, but forward Sam Carrick (lower-body injury) remained out.
–Field Level Media