It's usually unheard of for Ryan Getzlaf to watch a game from the bench in the third period.
This isn't the usual season for the Ducks captain, though.
He's having the worst season of his career offensively and defensively, and it reached a nadir Wednesday when Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau benched him for more than eight minutes after Getzlaf's giveaway that led to an Ottawa goal.
Getzlaf couldn't argue with the decision Thursday.
"I was more upset with myself on the play than anything," Getzlaf said. "I understand. We're all accountable for things that we do on the ice. It's not very often that I get sat and sometimes the message needs to be sent."
Boudreau said he hadn't talked to Getzlaf much about the play, "but I've got to believe" the message was received. Getzlaf, runner-up for the Hart Trophy as most valuable player two seasons ago, has had several large mistakes this season. His overtime giveaway on a blind pass cost the Ducks against Arizona on Nov. 9, and Wednesday's mishap came after he couldn't control a pass Monday that led to Detroit's game-winning goal.
"Maybe he's trying to do too much because we haven't been winning," Boudreau said. "I don't have an answer. He wants to make the great plays. He wants this team to win, and he takes a lot of pride in this team. It may sound silly [but] you try a little too hard to make the right play."
Trying too hard was also the theme when Getzlaf struggled in the 2011-12 season. He later said that it was difficult to juggle hockey with family responsibilities, specifically being a father.
But Getzlaf doesn't think it's a case of trying too hard and said he's felt better recently. He redeemed himself Wednesday with a touch pass to rookie defenseman Shea Theodore that led to the game-winning goal.
"I'd be the first one to tell you I take a lot of responsibility for things that I do," Getzlaf said. "And when I make mistakes, there's nobody that wants to do things better than me. To go out there and be able to execute and get the goal when we needed it was big."
Theodore was still a popular topic a day after he became the first Ducks rookie to have his first score come as a game-winning power-play goal since Shane O' Brien in 2006.
"What I like more is that the bench was elated and the teammates on the ice were elated, and that means you like the guy and you're a close-knit team," Boudreau said.
Boudreau remembers his first goal, which came on a pass from his predecessor, Randy Carlyle, when the two were teammates on the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1977.
"I had a breakaway against Detroit and I beat Jimmy Rutherford up, glove hand, and we won, 6-0," Boudreau said. "It was pretty cool."
DUCKS NEXT UP
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
On the air: TV: Prime; Radio: 830
Update: Dallas has an NHL-leading 147 goals and has been rested for five days. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are among the league leaders with 25 and 24 goals, respectively. The Stars also own the third-best power play, which will provide a test for Anaheim's No.1 penalty-killing unit. "We've got to be ready to play our tight defensive game and take away their space, because they have got guys over there that can put the puck in the net and out-will us," Getzlaf said.