For an NHL team as young as the Anaheim Ducks, there is no shortage of rich goaltending history already for the franchise, and the list of amazing feats continues to grow every year. For now, the main goalie continues to be the ever-wonderful John Gibson, but for the Ducks, even the 3rd string goalie is making big moves this year.
Anthony Stolarz, in his 5th year of NHL play, came up big for the Ducks in their final two games against the San Jose Sharks. Coming just short of keeping his shutout streak alive for two whole games, Stolarz still kept the Sharks scoreless through just about 117 minutes of play. Save after save, he was looking unbeatable up until that first goal for San Jose, a shot from Erik Karlsson with just 2:16 left in the second game.
Setting a New Record for Anaheim Ducks Goaltenders
Despite that one blip on the scorecard, Stolarz also set a new franchise record in his incredible streak. Per the official Ducks Twitter page, Stolarz set the franchise record for most saves in a shutout with 46 saves. The pads and the glove were working really well for Stolarz and the Ducks, and with the offense giving him 4 goals twice in a row, it was a fantastic team effort in an otherwise forgettable season.
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Had Stolarz held on for those last two minutes, he would have been one game short of tying J.S. Giguere‘s incredible three-game shutout streak back in his 2002-03 campaign, in which Jiggy kept Nashville, Washington, and Pittsburgh all scoreless for 237 minutes in the NHL’s 19th longest shutout streak.
It is impressive to think that Stolarz is playing on a level where he came that close to being a game short of a record that might never be broken for the Ducks. This accolade for Stolarz is even more so impressive considering that he was only 13 saves away from tying Ben Scrivens and his 59 saves in a game back in 2014 for the most saves in a regular-season shutout.
Even though it was his fourth career shutout, Anthony Stolarz made sure to save his best performance for the Anaheim Ducks. Simply put, a shutout against 46 shots and only allowing one goal on 74 total shots in two games is a feat that any future Ducks goaltender will have a hard time matching up to. For his next few starts, the last thing left for Stolarz this season is to see how many more franchise records he can tear up.
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