Ducks ride Gibson’s strong performance to break slump

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The way Ilya Bryzgalov had been playing, a Frederik Andersen-less Anaheim Ducks team seemed to have a shaky short-term future. Good thing John Gibson’s back in the mix, then.

In just his second appearance since Oct. 30, Gibson absolutely carried the Ducks to a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, breaking Anaheim’s three-game losing streak in the process.

The shot differential was significant. Carolina generated a 36-17 disparity in the game with a 29-13 advantage through the first 40 minutes being the most glaring. Even so, only Jeff Skinner’s power-play goal bested Gibson tonight.

Matt Beleskey scored the game-winning, which impressively gives him an NHL-leading eight game-winners this season.

It’s pretty obvious that the Ducks have Gibson to thank for this win, but he took the typical humble hockey player approach after the game:

The Ducks expected to trot out a platoon with Andersen and Gibson in net, but injuries opened the door for Andersen through much of this campaign. Perhaps the reverse might open the door for Gibson?

Either way, Ducks brass has to feel a little bit better about this situation after that display.