Ryan Getzlaf is once again out of the Ducks’ lineup.
The captain missed the first two games while he dealt with a lower-body injury but returned for Games 3 and 4, and scored two assists in the team’s 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Wednesday.
However, he’s injured again and was scratched for the Ducks’ first road game of the season, Friday against the Colorado Avalanche. The Ducks (2-1-1) listed Getzlaf as day to day with a lower-body injury.
The No. 1 center’s presence was felt all over the ice and shored up the team’s top six. The Ducks already are without No. 2 center Ryan Kesler, who underwent surgery in the offseason.
For now, Rickard Rakell, who scored a career-best 33 goals last season, assumes the position as the top-line center. The Swede actually made the transition from winger this offseason after it was learned Kesler would miss an extended period of time.
And so far, Rakell has thrived with two goals and two assists. He’s also shooting at a high clip, with a team-leading seven shots on Monday and another five on Wednesday.
He can’t replace Getzlaf, though. No one can. If the Ducks are going to have any success this season, they need their captain in the lineup, and at full strength.