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

Monday, 05.12.2014 / 3:04 PM / 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 ANA 50 32 12 6 147 134 70
2 NSH 48 31 11 6 145 115 68
3 STL 48 31 13 4 156 117 66
4 CHI 49 31 16 2 155 113 64
5 WPG 50 26 16 8 140 127 60
6 SJS 49 26 17 6 137 135 58
7 VAN 47 27 17 3 129 120 57
8 CGY 49 26 20 3 140 127 55
9 LAK 48 21 15 12 133 129 54
10 COL 50 21 18 11 131 141 53
11 DAL 48 22 19 7 152 157 51
12 MIN 48 22 20 6 131 138 50
13 ARI 48 17 25 6 111 161 40
14 EDM 49 13 27 9 113 162 35

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 49 15 35 7 50
C. Perry 35 19 13 13 32
R. Kesler 50 13 19 -3 32
S. Vatanen 50 10 20 3 30
M. Beleskey 49 19 7 11 26
P. Maroon 42 6 19 1 25
C. Fowler 49 5 18 2 23
H. Lindholm 49 5 16 12 21
J. Silfverberg 50 6 13 2 19
R. Rakell 39 5 12 2 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 27 7 5 .918 2.27
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28

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