Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson definitely knows how to make an entrance. In his first time representing the United States at the senior level during the 2013 World Championships, he recorded a remarkable .951 save percentage. In his first NHL game on April 7, he recorded a shutout. The trend continued Saturday, when Gibson got the surprise start for his first NHL playoff game.
The 20-year-old Gibson stopped all 28 shots in the contest, blanking the Los Angeles Kings en route to a 2-0 victory. With the victory, Gibson becomes the youngest goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout in his playoff debut. Despite his own stellar performance, Gibson was quick to share the credit with his teammates.
"It was all about our defense," said Gibson. "They cleared the front, and a lot of guys were blocking shots. It's playoff hockey, and you have to do what you have to do. It was a big game, and we came out with the win."
The Ducks skaters did, in fact, block 25 shots of their own; making life a little easier on their young netminder. Still, Gibson’s effort was not lost on his teammates.
The Ducks offense in the contest came from Devante Smith-Pelly and Ryan Getzlaf; who both tallied in the first period. In fact, they weren’t able to muster much of anything after the opening frame; only managing three shots in the second and third periods combined.
Still able to eke out the win, the series is now heading back to Anaheim tied at two games apiece. With the victory, the Ducks regained home ice advantage; although that may be a moot point, as the road team in the series has one each of the first four games.
Game five will be played Monday night, and Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau has already announced that Gibson will again be between the pipes for the Ducks.