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Morning Report: Gibson to Serve as Bryzgalov's Backup Tonight at Florida

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

By Kyle Shohara

A lot has gone on since the Ducks played Sunday afternoon at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. Goaltender Frederik Andersen didn’t practice yesterday after leaving Sunday’s game in the third period after the crossbar on a tipped-over net struck the back of his head. What was originally a day-to-day issue has now sidelined him at least through Sunday, as he has since been placed on injured reserve. In his place is John Gibson, whom the Ducks recalled earlier today.

In addition, defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who left Sunday's game with a lower-body injury, is listed as questionable for tonight's game, as is forward Jakob Silfverberg, who has the flu. Lindholm took part in the morning skate, but was not in the regular defense combinations. His usual partner, Francois Beauchemin, skated alongside Cam Fowler, while Eric Brewer was paired with Ben Lovejoy. Silfverberg was not on the ice for the morning skate.

Lindholm has earned 23 points (5g/18a) and a plus-13 rating in 53 games this season. He missed one game with a lower-body injury, Dec. 19 at Ottawa. The 21-year old ranks third among league blueliners with a plus-42 rating since the beginning of the 2013-14 season. Silfverberg has four points (2g/2a) in his last four games and five points (2g/3a) in his last six, including his fourth career multi-goal game (which included his fourth career shorthanded goal), Feb. 5 at Nashville. Silfverberg has 23 points (8g/15a) in 54 games.

After the morning skate, head coach Bruce Boudreau announced that Ilya Bryzgalov will get the start tonight against the Panthers. Bryzgalov is coming off his best performance as a Duck this season, a 32-save effort in Anaheim’s 3-2 shootout loss at Washington on Friday. The 34-year-old netminder played the final 8:02 of regulation in Sunday’s 5-3 loss at Tampa Bay after Andersen left the game due to injury.

Gibson, of course, took the NHL by storm last season, earning a shutout in his regular-season debut at Vancouver and finishing with a 3-0-0 record with a 1.33 goals-against average and .954 save percentage. The 21-year-old went on to record a shutout in his postseason debut, a 2-0 victory in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round at Los Angeles. At 20 years and 300 days, Gibson became the youngest goalie in NHL history to record a shutout in his playoff debut, and was only the sixth NHL goaltender in the previous 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 at San Jose, Western Conference Quarterfinals).

Gibson has appeared in four games with the Ducks this season, posting a 2-2-0 record with one shutout, a 2.28 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. Heading into his fifth appearance, Gibson suffered a groin injury during warmups on Nov. 2 at Colorado and missed 21 games from Nov. 2-Dec. 16. Reassigned to Norfolk on Dec. 17, the 6-3, 216-pound goaltender went 6-3-2 with one shutout, a 2.07 GAA and .935 SV% in 11 games with the Admirals.

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