GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A day after he beat the Nashville Predators, Ducks rookie goalie Frederik Andersen was sent down Friday to minor-league Norfolk (Va.), with rookie John Gibson pulled up for possibly his first NHL start.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau was evasive about when Gibson, who is 20, could play.
Ducks starting goalie Jonas Hiller is riding a team-record 12-game winning streak that’s the NHL’s longest since 1997, and given the Pacific Division consequences Saturday night versus the Phoenix Coyotes, a Hiller start makes sense.
Would Gibson start Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings with the Ducks’ 18-0-2 start at Honda Center –- one of the top five unbeaten-in-regulation starts in the last 40 years –- on the line?
Or could he go Wednesday at home against division-rival Vancouver before a tough Chicago-St. Louis road assignment Jan. 17-18?
“I wouldn’t mind giving Gibby a shot up here,” Boudreau said. “We’ve always said we have a number of very good goalies in our organization, so what’s wrong with giving different guys a taste?”
“I could,” Boudreau said. “I have faith in him. As to whether I will or not, I don’t know. I just know what’s going to happen [Saturday] and then after tomorrow’s game, we make decisions on what’s going to happen Sunday.”
Gibson, 20, said he has “no idea” about playing. “I’m just here. I’ll do whatever they say,” he said. “It’s been a long season so far, played a lot of games, but it’s been good. We’ve been winning.”
Gibson was 11-9-3 in Norfolk with two shutouts, a 2.61 goals-against average and .915 save percentage.
Boudreau said he was impressed by Gibson’s quick recovery from a bad period against the Kings in a September exhibition game. Gibson gave a strong showing the next night in Colorado.
“He was so determined that day, that showed me what kind of character he has and why he was so highly thought of,” Boudreau said. “Quite impressive.”
PENNER RECOVERED: Boudreau said forward Dustin Penner is expected to return to game action Saturday after missing two games with a swollen elbow.
“The medicine he’s taking is working … game-time decision, but I’d like to see him get back there playing,” Boudreau said.
FUN WITH NO. 1: Forward Matt Beleskey has been paired with the first line of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry this week, and was credited with two assists in Thursday’s 4-3 comeback win at Nashville as Getzlaf scored twice and Perry once.
“They’re probably the best combo in the league, consistency-wise, so you’re out there, you get a ton of looks with them and a lot of chances for points,” Beleskey said.
“It’s fun to watch them. Perry’s dedication to the game … they know where each other are, their tendencies, they talk to each other out there too. I get out and just try to play my game and stay out of their way.”
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