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John Gibson, Ducks look to rebound against Oilers in Game 7

Goalie was pulled in first period of Game 6 loss

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- The teacher knows his student better than almost anyone else connected with the Anaheim Ducks.

Which is why the video session between goalie John Gibson, who is coming off a subpar playoff performance, and goaltending coach Sudarshan Maharaj on Tuesday was more like a quick tutorial rather than "a long dissertation," according to Maharaj.

"John likes to see it, deal with it and then move on very quickly," Maharaj said.

With the Ducks facing a Game 7 against the Edmonton Oilers at Honda Center on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports), their goaltending has become a bigger point of concern. They will be attempting to win a Game 7 for the first time in 11 years.

 

[RELATED: Complete Ducks vs. Oilers series coverage]

 

Gibson played 8:25 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round on Sunday and was taken out after allowing three goals on six shots. His numbers have taken a hit at the hands of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Co. in this round.

After the first round against the Calgary Flames, Gibson was 3-0 with a goals-against average of 2.60 and .926 save percentage. Now he is 6-3 with a 3.00 GAA and .903 save percentage.

Gibson took responsibility after Game 6 and said he had to be better. His backup, Jonathan Bernier, allowed four goals on 29 shots in the Oilers' 7-1 victory.

"Over the course of the season you've established routines, you've helped them establish that core confidence level," Maharaj said. "So you really don't have to put them back together again.

Video: ANA@EDM, Gm6: Rakell, Perry combine for nifty goal

"You're really approaching it as the way you want them to approach it: it's just one game. All the good things they've done doesn't get negated by that one game."

Gibson was pulled in Game 3 of the first round, having allowed four goals on 16 shots, and responded with a strong performance in Game 4 when he allowed one goal on 37 shots.

The Ducks are 2-6 all-time in Game 7s. They've been knocked out of the past four Stanley Cup Playoffs in a Game 7 at home -- under then-coach Bruce Boudreau -- and also lost at Detroit in 2009 when coach Randy Carlyle was in his first stint with the Ducks.

Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are 1-5 in Game 7s. Andrew Cogliano, Jakob Silfverberg and Cam Fowler are 0-4. Gibson is 0-1, with the 6-2 loss coming against the Los Angeles Kings in 2014.

"Both winning and losing, I think you learn things along the way," Getzlaf said. "You take more out of losing than you do out of winning, most of the time. There's a certain accountability that you have to put upon yourself to go out and perform and just play the game."

The only Ducks player with a winning record in Game 7 is forward Patrick Eaves (4-3), but none of those were with Anaheim, and Eaves hasn't been on the ice against the Oilers since sustaining a lower-body injury in Game 3. On Tuesday he was on crutches at Honda Center but was not wearing a walking boot.

Forward Nate Thompson, who has been a physical presence for the Ducks, did not take part in practice on Tuesday. Carlyle called it a "maintenance day."

Defenseman Kevin Bieksa (lower-body injury) skated before practice and is said to be progressing, but is unlikely to play. The Ducks on Tuesday called up center Sam Carrick from their American Hockey League affiliate in San Diego.

With two days between games, the Ducks stayed off the ice and were able to decompress.

"When you battle and you play every second day, everybody gets beat up a little bit," Carlyle said. "You just don't seem to ever get an escape from anything. It's all encompassing, and it always is, and both teams feel the same way."

The special aspects of a Game 7 had rookie defenseman Brandon Montour remembering his childhood and growing up a Detroit Red Wings fan.

"You play road hockey on the street when you're a kid and you're playing late at night and picturing you are playing in a Game 7," he said, smiling.

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