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It takes some special kind of insanity to compel someone to play goalie in the NHL. Standing, kneeling and sprawling between the pipes and purposely getting in the way of flying rubber pucks just doesn't sound like a fun way to spend a few dozen nights every year. But there are some who relish the opportunity and somehow play even better when the shot clock is at its ugliest. Here are five performances this year where a goalie carried his team to victory in a game that shouldn't have been close.
John Gibson Shuts Out Chicago
John Gibson is touted as the NHL's top goalie prospect for a reason -- and the Chicago Blackhawks found out why in late October. Gibson was lights-out, stopping all 37 shots he faced in a 1-0 win.
The Blackhawks were at their strongest during the third period, outshooting the Ducks 19-7, including 10 shots in the final 6:33 of the game. But Gibson was stronger, making a few spectacular saves on Jonathan Toews.
Niklas Hjalmarsson actually got one past Gibson, but instead of a goal horn, the crowd at the United Center was treated to a loud ping as the puck ricocheted off the crossbar. The Blackhawks are loaded with star power in the form of Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa, but they just couldn't beat the 21-year-old Gibson, who sent the Chicago fans home a frustrated lot.