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(Thearon W. Henderson/2011 Getty Images)
(Thearon W. Henderson/2011 Getty Images)

NHL Notebook

Stanley Cups are not won or lost in February Add to ...

"Coming back in the lineup was basically about trying to fit back in again because guys were playing well and doing things right. It was one of those things where you didn't want to come in and ruffle too many feathers and take too much ice time away from guys who were playing well."

Thankfully, Getzlaf says there's been no psychological fallout from the injury.

"I don't think about it at all," he said. "If I was having some annoying headaches or stuff like that, it would be harder to do, but from where I sit now, I feel great. I feel 100 per cent. When you're in that situation, you don't think about it any more. You just play."

GAME OF THE NIGHT: The Ducks have a big game at home tonight against divisional rival Dallas. Currently, Dallas is holding down ninth spot with 74 points, one ahead of Anaheim at 73. Just three points separate eight teams challenging for the final five Western Conference playoff spots, after San Jose's eight-game winning streak has moved them six points clear of fourth-place Chicago.

It is closer than ever, in other words, but the Ducks have been down this road before - two years ago, they grabbed the final playoff spot and then proceeded to knock out top-ranked San Jose in the opening round. For now, the Ducks are having to jockey for positioning without goaltender Jonas Hiller, out with dizziness and scheduled to see another specialist today. In the meantime, Dan Ellis is their starter for the foreseeable future.

"Unless you start the season off winning 15 in a row and get way out front, you're pretty much in that group," said Getzlaf. "You look up and down the standings, from three to 13, we're all pretty much in the same boat. Everybody's pushing for a playoff spot. Definitely, you've got to pay attention and win your games."

ETC ETC: The milestones just keep coming for the Nashville Predators' Blake Geoffrion, who is giving his team an important lift in trying to stay in the playoff race. When Geoffrion made his NHL debut last week, he became the league's first fourth-generation player, following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather Howie Morenz, grandfather Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion and father Danny Geoffrion. The first two are both Hall Of Famers, while his father played professionally for both Montreal and Winnipeg. Geoffrion followed by scoring his first NHL goal earlier this week in Edmonton, and then scored his first NHL game winner Thursday vs. Vancouver, on a pass from Jordin Tootoo. Getting that sort of timely fourth-line scoring production early in the third period of a scoreless tie against the division leaders is critical for a low-scoring team like Nashville. If this keeps up, Geoffrion figures to be part of the Predators' mix until such time as coach Barry Trotz regains confidence in the slumping J.P. Dumont. Geoffrion, incidentally, was born in Plantation, Fla., but grew up in Brentwood, Tenn., and is seen as a hometown hero, the first player ever from Tennessee to play in the NHL ... That was Jonathan Bernier who earned a 1-0 shutout on behalf of the Los Angeles Kings last night against the Phoenix Coyotes. Bernier played, largely because Jonathan Quick was lit up for seven by the Red Wings in his previous start. It will be interesting to see the direction Kings' coach Terry Murray goes for Saturday afternoon's matinee against the Canucks ... Even though mathematically is still seems like a stretch to think the New Jersey Devils can make the playoffs, the one thing they have going for them is games in hand on their opponents. New Jersey still has 20 games left to play; if they can stay on their amazing roll, and with the New York Rangers showing signs of a massive fade, it is not completely out of the question that they can reel someone in. More good news for the Devils: Injured forward Zach Parise began skating with the team Thursday morning for the first time since Oct. 30, or when he hurt his leg with the team 3-8-1 and sinking fast. Parise's injury compounded a slow start and kept the Devils on a downward spiral that they were only able to correct after a coaching replacement - Jacques Lemaire in for John MacLean - and this week, they finally inched their way back to 12th overall in the Eastern Conference standings, with Atlanta well within their sights at 11. Wouldn't that be a delicious irony - if they snuck in and got a first-round meeting with the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that last year, as a seventh seed, knocked out the Devils, who were a No. 2? The opportunity for payback would be oh-so-sweet.

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