Hockey
Gibson's Shutout Helps The Ducks
By Rudy Martinez
Apr 8, 2014 - 12:37:47 PM

VANCOUVER—It appears the Ducks have a secret weapon before the start of playoffs. John Gibson, 20,  made his NHL debut goaltending for the Anaheim squad in a fight for the Pacific Division lead. His excellent showing on the road ended with 18 saves for his first shutout and win against the Vancouver Canucks. Daniel Winnik, Kyle Palmieri and Matt Beleskey led the team on offense for the 3-0 win at Rogers Arena Monday night.

 

With the Ducks trying to gain ground on the resurging San Jose Sharks, a win against a struggling rival was necessary before the season’s conclusion. The Ducks didn’t have a strong showing in the first minutes as Andrew Cogliano tried to help on two plays, but was denied by Eddie Lack in the net for the Canucks. His net minding for Vancouver was tight until his defense blew it on their first power play.

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Ducks goaltender John Gibson makes a big save on Vancouver in Ducks 3-0 win.

 

Vancouver Captain Daniel Sedin was responsible for Anaheim’s first goal of the night, allowing Daniel Winnik to steal in the puck in the neutral zone to skate up and score on an unassisted wrist shot for his sixth of the season. Gibson dealt with the Canucks smoothly until he made a huge save with the right skate denying Vancouver from tying the game. Anaheim went back to firing on Lack, but his smooth shuffling in the crease stopped the Ducks from opening the lead any further giving the Canucks a pair of power plays that went unanswered.

 

The second saw more opportunities from the Canucks at the start, but paid the price after the whistle. Brad Richardson took a cheap shot on the rookie goaltender that made Palmieri and Nick Bonino respond by shoving the right winger into the boards as a warning. It put Vancouver on the man advantage for the third time, but both a man down.

 

The game went on an even strength run for most of the second until a chance for the Ducks arrived with three minutes left. On a shot through traffic, Ben Lovejoy’s shot deflected off the stick of Palmieri to score the team’s second of the night where the puck ended up sliding through the legs of Lack giving Palmieri 14 goals. Anaheim outshot Vancouver 7-3 as they had yet to scratch anyone important from the team until all would be well.

 

The game showed promise for the Ducks going into the third, as the fight began to disappear slowly for the Canucks. Beleskey made it a 3-0 game where Captain Ryan Getzlaf stole the puck near center ice, sending it back to Corey Perry who faked the shot and found the left winger open for his seventh goal. One last rush of offense came through for them as they took nine shots on net to Gibson. With the possibility of a shutout growing larger with the minutes falling off in the third, the Ducks defense played stellar to make that become a reality.

 

The horn sounded where the Ducks joined their rookie on the ice to congratulate him on the shutout, but increasing the lead on San Jose to three points. The Ducks meet them on Wednesday where they could return the lead to a single point with two games left or go up five and clinch the division Saturday against the Kings.



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