John Gibson excels before leaving with apparent injury as Ducks defeat Maple Leafs
John Gibson picked up his fifth straight 20-win season Friday night, but it might have come at a cost.
The Ducks goaltender was injured midway through the third period of the team’s 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maples Leafs. Gibson — who made 26 saves and blanked the Leafs — appeared to be hurt while making a save on a shot by John Tavares. He came off with 9:40 remaining in the game after Adam Henrique’s goal put the Ducks up 2-0.
Coach Dallas Eakins did not have an update on Gibson after the game.
Ryan Miller stopped four shots in relief, including a one-timer from Tavares with 38.6 seconds remaining.
The NHL has sent a memo to teams advising them to tell players to limit close interaction with fans in response to concerns about the coronavirus.
“It’s not a good feeling, but it’s better when you’re staring at a two-goal lead. Thankfully we had the buffer,” said Miller, who made the 778th appearance of his career, moving him into second place for NHL games played by U.S.-born goaltenders. “We were hard on them and didn’t allow them to get turned up the ice in the neutral zone. It was a pretty effective way to keep them frustrated.“
Carter Rowney and Adam Henrique scored for the Ducks, who have won four of their last six.
“The primary objective was to jam that neutral zone up. I thought our guys did great job,” Eakins said. “It was muddy and deep coming through there for them. That’s what we have to do against teams with great skill like that.”
William Nylander scored with three minutes remaining in the game for Toronto, snapping a Leafs scoring drought of 144 minutes 33 seconds. Jack Campbell made 29 saves as Toronto has lost its last three.
“This trip we haven’t been able to generate much offensively,” coach Sheldon Keefe said. “You look at a lot of the goals we’ve scored here in recent games, a lot of it’s been happening around the net. We need to have more of a presence in there.”
Rowney opened the scoring 3:47 into the first period when he got the rebound of Michael Del Zotto’s shot from the point. Campbell made a pad save, but Rowney was down low to knock it in for his eighth goal of the season along with a point in three straight games.
Henrique gave the Ducks some breathing room midway through the third with a wrist shot from the slot. It is the center’s team-leading 25th goal and his first point in five games.
Nylander scored his 30th of the season after Toronto brought on the extra skater. The right winger forced a turnover in the Ducks’ zone and put a wrist shot at a tough angle from the left faceoff circle between Miller’s legs.
NOTES: Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Ceci was activated off injured reserve. Ceci missed 14 games after suffering an ankle injury against the New York Rangers on Feb. 5. Ducks right wing David Backes had an assist on Rowney’s goal for his first point with the team. Nylander’s goal marked the first six-on-five road goal by the Maple Leafs since James van Riemsdyk did it on Dec. 29, 2017, at Colorado.
Henri Richard, who holds the record for most Stanley Cup wins during his 20-year NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens, died Friday at age 84.
Maple Leafs: Return home to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
Ducks: Host the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.
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