Ryan Getzlaf will play last home game with Anaheim Ducks

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Apr 23, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) and Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) embrace after the Kings defeated the Ducks at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

When the Anaheim Ducks host the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, it will be the last home game for captain Ryan Getzlaf. A chance to say farewell in front of fans that have cheered him for almost two decades.

Getzlaf, 36, announced his retirement on April 5. He has spent his entire career with the Ducks, starting with the 2005-06 season, and he became captain in 2010.

“Seventeen years here,” Ducks forward Trevor Zegras told NHL.com. “He is the Anaheim Ducks to me. Through everything, new GMs, new coaches, he’s been here through everything. All of us young guys look up to him as the Anaheim Duck. It’s very cool in my opinion to say we got to play with him.”

Ducks to honor Getzlaf

“It’s been an honor to play in the NHL and spend my entire professional career with one organization,” Getzlaf said in a statement. “None of this would have been possible without my family, who offered unwavering love and support each step of the way. Thank you to our owners, Henry and Susan Samueli, for leading an organization committed to success on the ice, but more importantly, to making a positive impact in our community and to those in need.

“A special thanks to the general managers, coaches, support staff, teammates, and of course, our fans. Playing for the Ducks and living in Orange County is a dream for an athlete, and much of that is because of you. Thank you all.”

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Nov 28, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) controls the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Before the game, everyone will need to get their tissues ready as the Ducks will honor Getzlaf in a pregame ceremony.

Per the team’s website: All fans in attendance will receive a free Getzlaf rally towel presented by Honda. Throughout the evening, special messages to Getzlaf from Ducks alumni, fans and notable league personnel will be shown.

“It’s hard for me to put into words what Ryan Getzlaf has meant to this organization, what he means to this organization and what he means to me,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins told NHL.com. “It’s more of a feeling when you think about him as a person and a player. People are never going to remember what you said or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

The Ducks (30-35-14, 74 points) are playing out the string after a difficult season. They lost to the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 Saturday night to fall to 3-13-5 in their last 21 games.

Getzlaf is the Ducks’ all-time leader in games played (1,156), assists (736) and points (1,018). He has recorded 36 points in 55 games this season.

Blues looking to finish in second place

Meanwhile the Blues (48-20-11, 107 points) are riding a 15-game point streak (13-0-2) after their 5-4 overtime victory over the Arizona Coyotes Saturday night. After blowing a 4-1 third-period lead, the Blues won in overtime on Justin Faulk’s second goal of the game.

“We just kind of let our foot off the gas,” Faulk said. “There’s no reason and there’s no excuse for it.”

St. Louis pulled even with the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division. Minnesota has played one less game in the race for home-ice advantage in their first-round playoff series.

Blues coach Craig Berube gave goaltender Jordan Binnington his second straight start Saturday, so he will likely will come back with Ville Husso (24-6-6, 2.46 goals-against average) in this game.

“Just going down the stretch here, I don’t want one goalie not playing in a certain amount of time, so it works out that way for us,” Berube said.

The Ducks won the previous two games against the Blues this season, 4-1 at home on Nov. 7 and 3-2 in overtime on Dec. 12 in St. Louis. Goaltender John Gibson won the first game for the Ducks and Anthony Stolarz won the second.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article