Skip to Main Content
Conference Final

John Gibson expects Ducks to bounce back from rough Game 3

Goalie faces lots of contact, makes 38 saves in loss to Predators

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / Staff Writer

NASHVILLE -- All in a day's work, Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson said.

Gibson's goal crease had the bumping of a NASCAR corner and the jostling of a Black Friday door-crasher all bundled into Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.


[RELATED: Complete Predators vs. Ducks series coverage | Ducks can't find tying goal against Predators in Game 3]


The Ducks goalie made 38 saves, but the Predators scored two goals in the third period for a 2-1 victory and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"That's playoff hockey," Gibson said. "That's the way it is. Not many goals that are scored now are going to be nice. It's going to the net, off people. That's the way it is."

The most violent collisions in Gibson's blue paint included heavy contact with Predators center Mike Fisher in the second period and two apparent goals in the third period, each quickly disallowed by the referees because Gibson was bowled over by Nashville attackers.

On the first of those, Predators forward Harry Zolnierczyk skated through the top of the crease and knocked down Gibson, leaving an open shot for Nashville's Colton Sissons at 6:25 of the third.

Eight seconds later, Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm brought the puck to the net from Gibson's right and barreled through the Anaheim goalie in his attempt to score, presenting Ryan Johansen an open net.

Video: ANA@NSH, Gm3: Preds have two straight goals waved off

Not only was that apparent goal not allowed, but Ekholm was penalized for goalie interference at 6:33.

"I don't know, I had quite a few (incidents in the crease)," Gibson said. "I just play my position. Not much I can do other than trust that the referees make the right call. I'm just going to go out there and play. I think some of them may be close, but it's here or there.

"It's playoff hockey. They're going to go to the net. The only thing we can do is trust that the referees, if it's a penalty, they call it. If it's not, then obviously we're going to do the same thing. We're going to go to the net too, and if we hit their goalie, we know it's going to be called a penalty.

"It goes both ways."

Video: ANA@NSH, Gm3: Gibson lays out for series of stops

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said he loved Gibson's battle level in Game 3.

"He was incredible," Getzlaf said. "He played awesome. They were bumping into him all night long. I saw him on his back five, six times. And he stood in there and made the saves that he's supposed to and some that he shouldn't. So he allowed us to stay in the game."

Said Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano: "He was phenomenal. I think he hopefully could have stolen one for us there, but he was a difference. He looked dialed in all night."

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle suggested that the Ducks didn't give Gibson enough help in Game 3.

"I thought Gibby gave us a chance," Carlyle said. "He stood tall in the nets and gave us a chance, and that's all you can really ask of your goaltender. I just think we didn't do a very good job in front of him as far as managing the puck and managing the people that were inside.

"If you do the comparison, we look at it that they worked harder to get inside than we did tonight."

That was a difference on the game-winning goal.

Nashville's Roman Josi scored off a rebound on the power play with 2:43 remaining in the third after Viktor Arvidsson had good position near the crease, disrupting Gibson's view of a point shot from Ekholm.

Video: ANA@NSH, Gm3: Josi buries PPG for late lead

"I didn't really see it," Gibson said. "It bounced to their guy. That's the way it goes. We've seemed to be dealing with lucky bounces or breaks all playoffs. It's something we're used to, and I think we'll bounce back the right way."

The Predators outshot the Ducks 40-20 in Game 3 and have the edge in shots on goal in the series 119-76.

"I've got to do my job whether it's 10 shots or 40 or 50," Gibson said. "That's why I'm there. Obviously, they came out pretty strong tonight and took it to us a little bit. We battled hard. We competed. We were in it. We had the lead all the way until the third. It's definitely a tough one, but it's a long series."

View More