Turns out the injury suffered by Frederik Andersen on Sunday is more serious than first thought.
Andersen, originally listed as day-to-day with an upper-body ailment, has been placed on injured reserve by Anaheim and will miss the club’s next three games. In a corresponding move, the Ducks have recalled John Gibson from AHL Norfolk.
Andersen was initially hurt during the third period of Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay when the goal fell on top of him midway through the frame. Ilya Bryzgalov came on in relief.
While losing Andersen netminder will hurt — the Danish netminder has been a workhorse this year, and sits tied for fifth among all goalies with 44 games played — Anaheim is in a good position with Gibson, the 21-year-old prospect who played three regular season and four playoff games a year ago.
Gibson started out the year in Anaheim but was dispatched to AHL Norfolk after just four games. He’s been very good in the American league, going 6-3-2 with a 2.07 GAA and .935 save percentage despite missing extensive time with a lower-body ailment.
Boudreau: Andersen says he is fine after injury scare
That’s certainly a relief for the Ducks as they’ve leaned on the 25-year-old goalie more than just about anyone expected after coming into 2014-15 expecting a timeshare between Andersen and John Gibson.
Andersen is tied with Carey Price for second in the NHL for wins with 29 this season as he helps the Ducks continue their strong success in regular season play.
Here’s video of the moment that left the Ducks worried:
Considering how much Ilya Bryzgalov has struggled, Anaheim really dodged a bullet here (assuming there isn’t a setback).
The Anaheim Ducks suffered a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday afternoon, but that might not be the worst of it. Goaltender Frederik Andersen left the contest midway through the third period after the net fell on him.
It’s not clear if Andersen will end up being sidelined as a result of that potential head injury, but if the Ducks have a nightmare scenario, it’s losing him. Backup Ilya Bryzgalov has a 3.95 GAA and .859 in seven contests this season. Going into 2014-15, John Gibson looked like a viable alternative to Andersen and he might still be, but the 21-year-old has been limited to just 15 games this season (four in the NHL, 11 in the minors).
The Ducks owe their present position atop the Pacific Division standings in large part to Andersen.
Of course, before that happened, the Lightning were having a strong game against him. Tampa Bay ranks first in the NHL in goals per game and they showed again that it’s thanks to their depth rather than just the work of superstar Steven Stamkos. Brian Boyle scored the first goal as well as the marker that would ultimately be the game winner.
Sophomore Nikita Kucherov also netted his 20th goal of the campaign.
With four wins in their last six games, the Lightning have improved to 34-16-5 this season.
There were some out there who wondered if Bryzgalov was getting unfair treatment when he went into the 2014-15 season without an NHL contract. On a night like this, it’s difficult to imagine him playing at the highest level next year.
The San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks came into Thursday’s second period tied 1-1 and then things just fell apart for Bryzgalov & Co. It wasn’t all Bryzgalov’s fault, yet it’s still hard not to focus on him after he gave up six goals on 25 shots.
Some of those tallies were just pretty, like this great bit of puck movement that set up Joe Pavelski’s power-play goal:
Others were just rough to watch, like this Matt Irwin tally:
The Ducks probably wanted Bryzgalov to stick it out, but that was just getting uncomfortable.
Bryzgalov came in with a 1-2-0 record and a lousy .854 save percentage, yet his last start showed some promise. That’s gone away now.
The last two goals allowed were especially rough:
#NHLDucks Bryzgalov: "If I made a couple of saves on some of those goals, it might be different." #ANAvsSJS