GLENDALE, Ariz. -- From Arizona to Orange County to British Columbia to Newfoundland, a collective breath was being held across part of the hockey universe Saturday night as the Ducks played the third period against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Ryan Getzlaf was not on the ice and never did come back. The Ducks won, 5-3, at Jobing.com Arena for their sixth straight triumph, but Getzlaf's absence was immediately felt not only on their bench but throughout hockey-mad Canada.
The folks north of the border expect gold in the Sochi Olympics next month and Getzlaf is part of the team that is trying to recapture what it did four years ago in Vancouver. Any hint of an injury is going to be cause for worry.
Alarm bells were ringing when Getzlaf didn't return after blocking a shot late in the second period. But Ducks coach and proud Canadian Bruce Boudreau said the nation need not fret.
"He's just day to day right now," Boudreau said. "By the time he got back from the X-ray, which was negative, we were a third of a way through the third period. We had a pretty good lead so we said just ice it and get ready for tomorrow (against Detroit)."
Boudreau added that had the Ducks not entered the third with a 4-1 lead, Getzlaf "probably would have wanted to come back." His status for Sunday against the Red Wings is questionable.
Outside of that scare, the Ducks (34-8-5) continued their rampaging run.
Hampus Lindholm, 19, got his first two-goal game and the defenseman continues to build a case for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.
Dustin Penner's first goal since Dec. 15 made for his 300th career point, and his assist on Getzlaf's nifty backhand score was part of a three-goal second period. Sami Vatanen also scored in another offensive outburst.
The Ducks have scored four or more goals in all of their six of their most recent wins and they became the seventh team in NHL history to win 16 of 17 games during one stretch.
"If you're winning, you just feel really good about yourself," said goalie Jonas Hiller, who made 28 saves. "You kind of want to keep that feeling.
"In here, everybody goes out believing we can beat anybody in any stadium. If it's at home, if it's on the road. I think that self-confidence, you just need in this league to be able to win."
More numbers are being racked up during the Ducks' streak.
Hiller's 13 straight wins makes him the eighth goalie to do that in a single season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
But even he acknowledged that "it's not too tough to win as a goalie" if his team is scoring goals by the bushel.
"It's definitely a great thing," Hiller said. "At the same time, I'm real excited about winning with the team. That's kind of like what's the most fun right now. Sure, those personal things, they're always kind of cherry on a cake.
"At the same time, we need the whole team to win."
The Ducks finished sloppily, allowing late goals to Martin Hanzal and Mike Ribeiro. And they've allowed two goals or more in all but one game during their run, which had Boudreau imploring that they "can play a little more complete."
"You can always improve something," Lindholm said. "That's how you want to be. It's not now that we want to be the best. It's in the playoffs where we're looking to be the best."
Anticipation for John Gibson's first NHL start began the moment the Ducks called up the prized goaltending prospect from Norfolk (AHL) and brought him west to practice Friday.
And in reality, the buildup has taken place ever since Gibson's star turn at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in leading Team USA to a gold medal.
But it seems that Gibson will have to wait.
It was Hiller who got the start for the Ducks on Saturday night against Phoenix and Boudreau hinted that he'll come back with his veteran Sunday at home against Detroit.
"I think there's a chance," Boudreau said. "I'll talk to the goaltending coach on the plane. We'll talk to Hilly and see how he feels. And then we'll make a decision.
"We don't ask him if he wants to go. We just want to know if he's fatigued or not."
Asked earlier how serious he was about giving Gibson a look, Boudreau played coy and said, "I'm serious. I don't know when it will be. I'm a serious guy."
Ask the soon-to-be 21-year-old goaltender and you'll get a matter-of-fact response.
"I take it day by day," Gibson said. "Any team you're on, you want to play. Be ready if my name gets called."
Teemu Selanne did not play as he'll dress against Detroit on the second of games on back-to-back nights. ...
Jakob Silfverberg was back in the lineup after sitting Thursday against Nashville.
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