Ryan Getzlaf is back.

But the way the Anaheim Ducks played without him, you'd think his 14-game absence after taking a puck off the crest of his brow was no biggie.

The team, led by budding star Corey Perry and excellent special teams, rose to the occasion and the Ducks have put themselves in good position for a run to the playoffs.

With the big centre out, Anaheim rattled off a 10-4 record and — Vancouver Canucks take note — should be that much better with him back.

"It feels good," said Getzlaf after the Ducks practised at Rogers Arena on Tuesday afternoon. "The last couple days of practice we've been battling and everything felt great. I'm excited to play tomorrow night."

Getzlaf, 25, had a gruesome injury, even by hockey standards. Ducks rookie defenceman Cam Fowler tipped a shot from Shane Doan on Dec. 28 in Phoenix and the puck deflected up and hit him just above the bridge of the nose. The result was multiple sinus fractures. Getzlaf will have to wear a visor for the time being to protect the area.

But he said the biggest relief was seeing the team do well in his absence.

"It's made things a lot easier on me," he said. "When I'm up there watching and wishing I could be out there, at least my teammates are playing their hardest and winning games. We're in great position right now for a stretch run."

Perry has become a more complete player this season. He's killing penalties as well as seeing his usual time on the power play and cutting down on the penalties. He's become a player who can carry a team on his back.