Morning Report: Ducks Ready for Most Important Game of the Series

Monday, 05.12.2014 / 12:04 PM PT / News
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Morning Report: Ducks Ready for Most Important Game of the Series
In a series in which the road team has won every game thus far, the Ducks will look to break that trend tonight as the scene shifts to Honda Center for Game 5. The Ducks are coming off two monumental victories at Staples Center that evened the series at two games apiece, the second of which featured 20-year-old rookie goaltender John Gibson making his postseason debut.
MORNING SKATE PHOTOS
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

In a series in which the road team has won every game thus far, the Ducks will look to break that trend tonight as the scene shifts to Honda Center for Game 5.

The Ducks are coming off two monumental victories at Staples Center that evened the series at two games apiece, the second of which featured 20-year-old rookie goaltender John Gibson making his postseason debut.

Yesterday, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau kept no secrets regarding tonight’s starting netminder. “I’m not going to try and play that game,” he said. “[Gibson] came in, played great, and is going to play again.” Gibson stopped 28 shots in Game 4, including several in close keeping the score 2-0.

Boudreau says he’s always believed Game 5 is the most important game in a series. “It always has been, whether you're down 3-1 or 2-2,” he said. “Game 5 is the big game. It really puts a team in the hole. The team that doesn't have home ice advantage wants it so bad, because they want to win it at home. We believe they’ll play their best game of the series.”

There’s a familiarity factor between these two teams, perhaps a reason why the road team has been able to win every game of this series. But Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri says their fans will help push them tonight.

“We want to bring that effort we had the last couple nights and get off to a good start in front of our fans,” he said. “The two teams are so familiar with each other’s buildings playing each other so many times during the year. We know what to expect from both arenas, but we’re excited to play in front of our fans again. Hopefully we can take a lead in this series.”

DESPERATE HOCKEY
When the Ducks were down 2-0 in the series, they talked about playing desperation hockey in Games 3 and 4 at Staples Center. And now with the series tied, they’re carrying that same mindset into Game 5.

“We know how important this game is,” said Teemu Selanne. “This is going to be the biggest game of the season. We knew it was going to be a tight series. We just want to do things better.”

“We’re going to come out and play like we did the last two games,” said Devante Smith-Pelly, who ranks tied for second on the team with three goals. “That’s playing desperate with a lot of urgency. It’s a lot better being up 3-2 than down 3-2.”

NOTES ON GIBSON
Per Elias Sports Bureau, John Gibson (20 years and 300 days) is the youngest goalie in NHL history to record a shutout in his playoff debut.

Gibson is only the sixth NHL goaltender in the last 60 years to post a shutout in his first Stanley Cup playoff game, the first since Jonas Hiller did so for the Ducks in 2009 (April 16 @ San Jose, CQF). The other goaltenders to do so since 1954 are Bob Mason (1987 Capitals), Jacques Cloutier (1989 Sabres), Chris Osgood (1994 Red Wings), Andrew Raycroft (2004 Bruins), and the aforementioned Hiller.

Gibson also registered a shutout in his first regular-season NHL game (April 7, 2014 at Vancouver). The only other goaltender in NHL history to notch a shutout in both his first regular-season game and his first playoff game is Hall-of-Famer Tiny Thompson with the Boston Bruins (November 1928 and March 1929).

Gibson (age 20 years, 300 days) is the fourth-youngest goaltender in NHL history at the time of his first career playoff shutout (debut game or not), behind Harry Lumley (age 18 in 1945), Patrick Roy (age 20 years, 229 days in 1986) and Carey Price (age 20 years, 243 days in 2008).

Gibson is the youngest goalie to win a playoff game since Montreal's Carey Price (20 years and 238 days) on April 24, 2008 vs. Philadelphia.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - ANA 79 50 22 7 232 217 107
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 SJS 77 38 30 9 217 216 85
11 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
12 COL 77 35 30 12 207 218 82
13 EDM 77 23 41 13 186 260 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 76 24 44 14 68
C. Perry 64 33 20 16 53
R. Kesler 78 20 27 -2 47
J. Silfverberg 78 12 26 14 38
S. Vatanen 64 12 25 6 37
P. Maroon 70 9 25 -4 34
C. Fowler 77 7 27 5 34
H. Lindholm 75 7 27 27 34
M. Beleskey 63 22 10 15 32
R. Rakell 68 8 22 8 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 34 11 5 .914 2.37
J. Gibson 13 7 0 .916 2.58

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