John Gibson continues to face a bevy of shots, but each and every night, he's up to the task.
This time, he had a whopping 52 shots unloaded on him by the
The goaltender swatted all but two away, and propelled the
"It's not up to me [how many shots I face]," said Gibson, who has given up two goals or less in three consecutive starts. "You don't have a choice.
"When you come into the game, you might get 10, you might get 50. You gotta be ready to play every night."
Luckily for the Ducks, Gibson has been ready when called upon. The team has allowed an average of 35.8 shots per game, worst in the
But they got the win, thanks to their power play, which is finally on track. For the first time in almost a month, the Ducks have reeled off consecutive wins in regulation.
“We only had one game this week and it showed, we were rusty with the puck. … To tax our goaltender to the level we taxed him tonight is unfair to him,” coach
"He saved our butts. We didn't have a very good outing from a standpoint of management of the puck. We turned the puck over 16 times in the second period alone, and we were fortunate enough that the power play won the special-teams battle."
The Ducks received power-play goals from
Josh Manson opened the scoring with a nifty breakaway goal late in the first period, and after that, the Ducks never lost the lead.
They threatened to allow the Panthers back in the game. That's what happens when you allow 50-plus shots, and you're forced to kill six infractions (including two delay-of-game calls). Carlyle is frustrated by the repeated parade to the penalty box, and something has to give.
"We're getting close to Game 20 here," Carlyle said. "The message has gotta get through here."
A Vincent Trochek shot on the power play cut the deficit to one goal in the second period, and the Panthers had an astounding number of chances on their three power-play opportunities in the final period.
But Gibson was there, diving, sprawling and denying every shot he faced on those penalty kills.
The Ducks still have much to clean up, but if they keep receiving performances like this from Gibson and the power play, they should be able to compete on most nights.
Ducks pay homage to Paul Kariya,
Ducks legends Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last Monday, and the team honored the dynamic duo with a pregame ceremony, including a question-and-answer session, at center ice.
Ducks owner Henry Samueli hinted that the team might soon add Kariya's No. 9 jersey to the rafters alongside Selanne's No. 8.
AT SAN JOSE
When: Monday, 7 p.m
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830