SAN JOSE — Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson was given the nod to start the first half of the opening game of the 2019 NHL All-Star 3-on-3 tournament against the Central Division. He didn’t enjoy his 10 minutes of action in the defense-optional game, however.
The Pacific Division featured three hometown San Jose Sharks — Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski, and Brent Burns — so the SAP Center was revved up and ready to cheer. Well, about that. The Ducks netminder had a first half to forget allowing seven goals on nine shots faced. Patrick Kane and Mikko Rantanen would score twice.
“Oh, we left him out to dry,” said Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. “Breakaways and 2-on-1s all night.”
The Sharks fans in attendance didn’t appreciate his performance and not only started an anti-Ducks chant, but also directed a Bronx cheer his way after he made one of his two saves.
“It seems like sometimes it always goes in,” said Gibson. “It happens.”
According to the NHL, the seven goals scored in the first half tied a record under this All-Star formate set by the Metropolitan Division in 2017.
“It’s all in good fun,” Gibson said. “Obviously, nobody is ever happy about it, but it’s an event and you have fun with it.”
The crowd did have one thing to cheer for during that forgettable period: Karlsson scoring on a breakaway for the Pacific’s only goal.
The Central would advance to the final game with a 10-4 victory.