Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf will miss his second consecutive game when Anaheim meets the Washington Capitals tonight at Verizon Center.
Getzlaf, after suffering a lower-body injury while warming up before the Ducks' 5-2 victory in Nashville on Thursday, did not appear on the ice for warmups Friday after the Ducks earlier in the day summoned center William Karlsson from minor-league Norfolk.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters earlier Friday that Getzlaf would be assessed just before warmups to establish his availability, noting Getzlaf “was feeling a lot better this morning.”
Getzlaf, with a team-high 52 points, was a last-minute scratch in Nashville. The NHL doesn’t require teams to specify injuries beyond upper- or lower-body.
At Norfolk, Karlsson has four goals and 13 points through 29 games. Boudreau said the 22-year-old, who began the season with Anaheim, will play center instead of Devante Smith-Pelly, who filled in for Getzlaf on Thursday.
“If [Karlsson] plays as well as he did when he played well for us, he’ll be fine,” Boudreau said.
The 34-year-old is 1-3 this season, allowing two six-goal games, including his most recent appearance Jan. 29 in San Jose.
“In terms of his confidence, to have a good outing would be important,” Boudreau said.
The Capitals (27-15-10) will start minor-league call-up Philipp Grubauer in goal.
FORMER HOME: Boudreau said his 2007-11 run as Capitals coach was “the best four years of my life,” but he made it clear in a pre-game meeting with reporters that “it’ll be really nice to leave with a victory.”
In typical fashion, he downplayed the Ducks’ NHL-leading points total.
“There’s so many teams so close,” he said. “Just because you have the best record doesn’t mean you’re the best team. We have to fight every night to win. We’ll continue to do so.”
The Capitals, like the Ducks, didn’t advance to a conference final despite a coach-of-the-year honor and four division titles.
“We’ve got a lot of room to grow to polish up our game,” Boudreau said after being asked how he’s adapted to push for a stronger late showing. “We take every practice to try and get better on the systems stuff. Hopefully, we get better and better, and by the playoffs we’re holding teams to two goals or less and still winning those one-goal games. That’s when games get tighter.”