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Healthy John Gibson and Ryan Getzlaf are key to Ducks' playoff hopes

John Gibson is once again manning the net for the Ducks, and with 17 games remaining in a frantic race for the final playoff spots, they'll need him to stay healthy this time.

Gibson missed seven games last month, with the Ducks winning just two of those. But he was in net Friday, his first start in four games, for a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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The 24-year-old has been stellar all season, and that was again the case vs. the Blue Jackets, with plenty of the signature glove saves and penalty-killing performances that have been staples of his campaign as one of the best netminders in the league.

"It's getting to the time of the season where you can't make many mistakes," said Gibson, who's allowed two goals or fewer in his past eight starts.

"You need to be good, and you need to be good every night, so I think we're all holding ourselves to a little bit higher standard and putting a little pressure on ourselves."

The squad has been on a run, with points earned in six of their past seven games. And now the schedule heads into the home stretch, with 10 of their final 17 games at Honda Center.

Six matchups this month come against playoff teams, with another two against clubs sitting within striking distance of the final wild card spot the Ducks tenuously hold.

With so many contests, Ryan Miller figures to draw in net at some point, but Gibson is the man the Ducks will count on to lead them to the playoffs.

Getzlaf could return vs. Blackhawks

The Ducks captain was a late scratch from Friday's lineup, but Ryan Getzlaf could be recovered from the flu in time for Sunday's matchup vs. the Chicago Blackhawks.

The all-star center didn't practice Saturday, but coach Randy Carlyle said he expects Getzlaf to anchor the first unit against Chicago.

Getzlaf has been on a tear since recovering from a broken cheekbone and has 42 points in 40 games.

Ducks sign second-round pick

The club announced the signing of Max Comtois to a three-year, entry-level contract on Saturday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 19-year-old, selected in last year's draft with the 50th overall selection, is currently playing with the Victoriaville Tigres of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he's piled up 76 points this season in 50 games.

The left wing also played on Canada's World Junior team that grabbed gold earlier this year.

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He possesses great size at 6-2, 205 pounds, but Comtois is also a quick skater with a dependable 200-foot game.

UP NEXT

VS. BLACKHAWKS

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830

Update: When the teams met last month, the Ducks prevailed 3-2 on the road, avenging a 7-3 home defeat from November when the fortunes of both clubs were very different. The Blackhawks, who have won the Stanley Cup on three occasions in the past eight seasons, are poised to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. They currently possess a losing record and are 12 points behind the Ducks for the final wild card spot, though they did help out Anaheim by beating the Kings on Saturday.

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