By Kyle Shohara
A day after goaltender John Gibson recorded his first career victory (shutout) in his NHL debut, the 20-year-old was right back on the ice at Honda Center for a brief practice at Honda Center.
Gibson (20 years and 297 days) became the youngest NHL goalie since Buffalo's Darren Puppa (Nov. 1 1985 at Edmonton, 20 years, 223 days) to record a shutout in his NHL debut. The last NHL goaltender of any age to record a shutout in his NHL debut was Al Montoya (24 years and 47 days) of the Phoenix Coyotes on Apr. 1, 2009 at Colorado. Gibson also became the first goalie in a Ducks history to record a shutout in his Anaheim debut.*
*Elias Sports Bureau
After practice today, the even-keeled Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native reflected on his debut.
“I just wanted to enjoy the experience,” he said. “There’s only one first game, so I knew it was going to be a special day. I treated it like any other day, but there’s a little more emotion.”
The win put the Ducks in a Pacific Division-clinching scenario with the Sharks, who they’ll face tomorrow night. But if there were any nerves heading into his first career start, Gibson didn’t show it.
“We knew coming into it that we needed to get a win,” he said. “We want to win the division, so it was a big game. Hopefully, we can follow it up a big one tomorrow.”
UPDATES ON ANDERSEN, FOWLER
Andersen has not played since Friday’s game vs. Nashville at Honda Center when he took a Shea Weber slap shot off his head. Andersen said he started to feel the effects at the end of the period, and was held out of the third period for precautionary reasons.
Andersen didn’t accompany the team on their recent two-game road trip, but was skating on his own here in Anaheim.
“I felt good out there, definitely better than Friday,” said Andersen. “I’m taking it one practice at a time to see how it progresses. No headaches or anything, so it felt nice to be out there.
“It’s only been three days off, so I didn’t lose any technique or anything like that.”
Andersen is in the midst of an impressive rookie season. The 24-year-old netminder is 19-5-0 with a 2.27 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. Andersen ranks sixth among NHL goalies in SV% (.924) and 10th in GAA (2.27). He leads all rookies in wins (19), GAA and SV%.
Fowler has also been skating on his own, but said his return to the lineup won’t be tomorrow vs. San Jose.
“It’s my responsibility, and the responsibility of everyone involved, that no matter the situation, until I’m 100 percent, it’s just not something that’s going to happen,” he said. “It’s too much of an important time of the season to jump in if you’re not 100 percent.”
Fowler hasn’t played since March 14 at Colorado when a Patrick Bordeleau hit left the Ducks defenseman with a sprained MCL. The original timetable for return was 3-5 weeks.
“It’s been a really good progression since I started skating,” he said. “I’ve been getting more comfortable each day. Maybe not so much about the injury, but the timing and some of my skills are coming back. That’s equally as important as trying to get over the injury.
“Every day I skate, I seem to keep pushing forward from there.”
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