With the second of back-to-back games for the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night, head coach Bruce Boudreau turned to his rookie goaltender.
Despite playing in his first NHL game on the road, Gibson wasn’t fazed as he back-stopped the Ducks to a 3-0 victory over the desperate Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.
With the win, Anaheim extends its’ lead in the Pacific Division to three points over the San Jose Sharks. The win also gives the Ducks the opportunity to clinch the division on Wednesday night against the Sharks.
Gibson was given an early lead to work with as Daniel Winnik scored shorthanded for his sixth of the season in the first period. Winnik applied a heavy forecheck and was able to get a takeaway, leaving him a wide open lane to fire his wrist shot past Eddie Lack.
With an early one-goal lead, Gibson went to work.
After numerous Canucks’ chances, including a few that rang off the posts, Gibson stood tall and managed a shutout in his first NHL game. He finished with 18 saves.
With Gibson holding down the fort in the net, the Ducks were able to keep adding to their lead in the later periods. Kyle Palmieri deflected in a Ben Lovejoy past Lack for his 14th tally of the season late in the second period.
The Ducks would add another insurance goal early in the third period courtesy of Matt Beleskey.
From there, it was all Gibson all the time.
After falling to the Edmonton Oilers Sunday night, Anaheim came into Vancouver in need of a better showing before a date with the Sharks on Wednesday night.
With a 3-0 win and two dominant rookie goalies on top of their games, the Ducks are poised to lock up the division title for the second consecutive season.
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