Goalie John Gibson back with Ducks, but unsure for how long

Goalie John Gibson returned to the Ducks' dressing room after a stint with minor-league Norfolk

The goalie who helped the Ducks win Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals last season against the eventual-champion Kings returned to the team's dressing room Tuesday.

John Gibson, 21, was recalled from minor-league Norfolk two days after starting goalie Frederik Andersen suffered an upper neck/head injury when he was unexpectedly whacked by the crossbar of a fallen goal in the third period of Sunday's 5-2 loss in Tampa Bay.

Gibson, who was 6-3-1 in 11 games with a 2.07 goals-against average in Norfolk, said he isn’t sure what his status is -- during Andersen’s layoff, or beyond.

“You know as much as me,” he told reporters.

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said Anaheim’s backup goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov, will start Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers but that there’s a chance Gibson could land a start by the time Andersen’s minimum time on the injured-reserve list expires following Sunday’s home game versus the Washington Capitals.

Gibson said he returned to Norfolk after suffering an early-season groin injury with marching orders to get in some games.

“Everybody has a tough year with injuries,” Gibson said. “This is my year. Not much I can do about it now.”

The assignment has continued longer than expected -- Anaheim signed veteran free agent Bryzgalov in December -- but Gibson said he remains hopeful he can contribute to Anaheim’s cause.

“I don’t think anyone gets to control their stuff,” Gibson said. “You just play hockey where you’re told to play. That’s all you can do.

“I don’t think I did anything wrong. I got hurt, missed two months. There’s nothing you can do about it. There’s still a lot of season left.

“I don’t know why I would give up.”

REMATCH TIME: The Ducks (34-13-7) were beaten down by Florida, 6-2, on Nov. 16 in Honda Center.

“The players definitely know the score from the last time we played them, and how that unfolded,” Boudreau said. “We’re a little more ready.

“Last game, we were really sloppy. We probably underestimated the speed of the team ... they had three two-on-ones in the first period, scored goals on four-on-twos in the second, we unraveled and that was the end of the game.”

Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who’ll return to the lineup after getting scratched in two of the team's last three games, said Bryzgalov is coming off a “great game.”

“He controlled the game, was calm, got a lot of whistles ... the guys have rallied playing in front of him, and hopefully that’ll continue tonight,” Lovejoy said.

Forward Devante Smith-Pelly said Boudreau reminded the team that the Ducks haven’t lost three straight games on the road during his tenure.

The Ducks were beaten, 5-2, in Tampa Bay on Sunday, giving up three first-period goals.

“We take pride ... we want to come out hard,” Smith-Pelly said.

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