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Goalie Gibson likely to start for Ducks vs. Penguins

by Abbey Mastracco / NHL.com

PENGUINS (14-9-2) at DUCKS (10-12-5)

TV: NHLN, ROOT, PRIME, FS-SD

ANAHEIM -- Goalie John Gibson is expected to make his seventh straight start for the Anaheim Ducks against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday at Honda Center.

Since being called up from San Diego of the American Hockey League on Nov. 24, Gibson is 3-2-1 with a 1.55 goals-against average, .942 save percentage and two shutouts. However, he allowed six goals in his only start against the Penguins on Oct. 9, 2014.

The Ducks are trying to string together consecutive victories for the first time since winning four straight games at the start of November. Anaheim comes off a 1-0 win against the San Jose Sharks on Friday.

"We have to play like that, maybe better," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said at practice Saturday. "We can't rest on our laurels because we won one game. The NHL is about winning, winning every day so we have to play a better game [Sunday] than we did [Friday] night."

There will be familiar faces and hometown connections in both dressing rooms. Penguins center Nick Bonino started his career in Anaheim and played 189 games in five seasons for the Ducks before being traded to the Vancouver Canucks in 2014. Defenseman Ben Lovejoy began his career in Pittsburgh and played two-plus seasons in Anaheim before he was traded to the Penguins on March 2. Left wing Beau Bennett is from Gardena, Calif. He became the highest-drafted California-born player when Pittsburgh selected him with the 20th pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.

Gibson was born in Pittsburgh and grew up rooting for the Penguins.

Here are the projected lineups:

PENGUINS

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis

David Perron - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel

Beau Bennett - Nick Bonino - Patric Hornqvist

Sergei Plotnikov - Matt Cullen - Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin - Ben Lovejoy

Olli Maatta - Ian Cole

Rob Scuderi - David Warsofsky

Marc-Andre Fleury

Jeff Zatkoff

Injured: Kris Letang (undisclosed)

Scratched: Adam Clendening, David Warsofsky, Daniel Sprong

DUCKS

Rickard Rakell - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Carl Hagelin - Shawn Horcoff - Andrew Cogliano

Mike Santorelli - Nate Thompson - Chris Stewart

Cam Fowler - Kevin Bieksa

Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson

Sami Vatanen - Clayton Stoner

John Gibson

Anton Khudobin

Injured: Simon Despres (concussion symptoms), Jiri Sekac (ankle)

Scratched: Frederik Andersen, Korbinian Holzer

Status report: The Penguins and Ducks did not skate Sunday. … Andersen is expected to be scratched for a seventh straight game. … Penguins coach Mike Johnston told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Saturday that he had not made a goalie decision. … Letang was on the ice for warmups Saturday, but is not expected to play against Anaheim.

Who's hot: Crosby has six goals and six assists in nine games and Kessel six goals and six assists in eight games against the Ducks. … Bennett has assists in each game of the Penguins' California swing, assisting on goals against the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings… Perry has two goals in his past three games.

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