Ryan Getzlaf made two plays, two very different plays, that stood out in the Ducks’ 3-1 loss to the Blues on Monday night at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, each proving the 35-year-old captain still has something to give his teammates as his 16th season in the NHL winds to a close.
First, he pounced on a Blues turnover in their own end of the ice and, finding himself all alone in front of Jordan Binnington’s net, he sent a laser past him for the tying goal, only 25 seconds after St. Louis had taken a 1-0 lead.
Second, he chased down Jaden Schwartz of the Blues, denying him an empty-net goal in the closing moments of the game, leaping past the St. Louis player and then tumbling to the ice and crashing into the boards.
Getzlaf’s future remains to be determined, as he reminded reporters Monday. His eight-season, $66 million contract comes to an end when the Ducks’ season ends Saturday in St. Paul, Minnesota. He said he would think about what comes next for him during the offseason.
“I think I’ve made it pretty clear over the past year or so that being a part of a rebuild was something I was comfortable with,” Getzlaf said. “I’m trying to help this team any way I can. I’m going to continue to do that the rest of the way. As I’ve said all along, this summer, we’ll address the situation and talk to Bob (Murray, the Ducks’ general manager,) and ownership and make sure we’re pulling the same way.”
As for the present, Getzlaf can continue to provide leadership and mentorship to his youngest and least-experienced teammates, as he did by scoring the Ducks’ lone goal and then displaying some hustle and grit when the game was still in doubt.
“It’s critical,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “When you see your leaders doing that, and the second effort, it rubs off on everyone. It’s equal the other way. When we see our young guys bring so much energy, it brings energy to our older guys.
“It’s kind of the yin and the yang going back and forth. Ryan’s effort at the end gave us another chance to score. It’s important for everybody to bring energy, have second efforts, and Ryan’s always going to lead the way in that department.”
Near the end, with the Ducks in search of a tying goal, Eakins had mostly youngsters on the ice along with veterans Getzlaf and Kevin Shattenkirk. They failed to produce the tying score and Ryan O’Reilly sealed it with an empty-net goal with nine seconds left.
Robert Bortuzzo’s first goal of the season broke a 1-1 tie 2:13 into the third period. Brayden Schenn gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 5:52 of the second. Getzlaf countered at 6:17, for his 982nd career point, six shy of Teemu Selanne’s franchise record for his career.
The Ducks misfired on a third-period power play, missing the quarterbacking abilities of defensemen Jamie Drysdale, who sat out because of an unspecified lower-body injury, and Cam Fowler, who was forced from the game after suffering an apparent head injury.
The Ducks said Drysdale was day-to-day. Fowler’s status for Wednesday’s rematch with the Blues was uncertain.
“When you’re in a game like that and especially you’re looking for another goal, you want Cam Fowler out there,” Eakins said. “We’ve got enough injuries, enough guys out on the back end. You can go down the list. The guys we have are doing their best, but we need the skating ability and the offensive game that Cam has.”
AROUND THE RINK
Adam Henrique joined his teammates for their season-ending trip to play the Blues and the Wild after spending a week in quarantine after he was placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. A family member tested positive, but Henrique did not. Henrique didn’t play Monday. …
David Backes, a former Blues captain, wasn’t in the Ducks’ lineup for Monday’s game, but Eakins said he would play Wednesday against St. Louis. Backes hinted last week that this might be his final NHL season, after 15 years, the last two with the Ducks. …
Josh Manson also made the trip but wasn’t in the lineup. He suffered an apparent head injury during a fight with Brendan Lemieux of the Kings in the third period of an April 20 game at Staples Center. Manson has been limited to 21 games this season because of various injuries.