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Ducks' Andersen confident about making Game 1 start

by Curtis Zupke /

ANAHEIM -- It's become clear that Frederik Andersen will be the starting goalie for the Anaheim Ducks to start the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the status of two other players are unknown.

Goalie John Gibson did not practice for a second straight day Tuesday because of an upper-body injury, which further confirms Andersen will start Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round Series against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVA Sports, SN, PRIME).

Gibson was injured in practice last Friday, the day before the regular-season finale. His status is not known and Boudreau told reporters Monday he won't be giving out injury updates. Center Nate Thompson has not practiced since he sustained an upper-body injury last Saturday from going into the boards awkwardly.

Andersen is aware Boudreau wouldn't hesitate to switch between him and Gibson when the latter gets healthy. Andersen knows he's the guy but said, "It's not really set in stone, other than Game 1, maybe."

For the moment, that's the farthest thing on his mind.

"It's only the distraction you make it to be," Andersen said. "For me, I don't want to think about it. I just want to do my job on the ice. That's all I can control. That's kind of been my idea the whole time I've been over here. You can't control … when you get a chance. That's just my thoughts on my job right now."

Gibson's injury made Boudreau's decision easier and avoids the goalie controversy from last season's playoffs, when Andersen competed with Gibson and Jonas Hiller before getting hurt.

Andersen missed eight games with an upper-body injury in February and was subsequently rested frequently down the stretch. He said it wasn't the ideal tune-up for the postseason but he's ready.

"Honestly, I would have wanted to be healthy instead of sitting out a month," Andersen said. "But what's done is done. It's all about what I do from now on anyway. It's kind of an illusion. If you feel too good, you might not be as good you think you are, and vice versa. It's all about staying the course and playing the way you're supposed to."

Andersen is believed to have the edge over Gibson because of age and experience, and Boudreau noticed increased maturity with Andersen from last season.

"I think he's calmer in the net," Boudreau said. "When he's calm, we're calm. He gives you that sense of, 'OK, everything's going to be fine.' I think a little bit last year, he was jittery in certain games and you could tell. He'd make the save, but it just didn't look as comfortable as he was this year in most of the nights we saw him play."

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