Ducks recall goaltender Gibson the day before Admirals face IceCaps in Game 3

Brendan McCarthy
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Updated at 7:55 p.m., Friday
 
As of Friday evening, the Anaheim Ducks still hadn’t officially made the announcement, but the Ducks have recalled goaltender John Gibson from their American Hockey League farm team, the Norfolk Admirals.

John Gibson

This, of course, is of particular interest to the St. John’s IceCaps and their fans since Gibson has been the Admirals’ best player in their AHL Calder Cup Eastern Conference semifinal against the IceCaps.

The best-of-seven series is tied 1-1 heading into Game 3 Saturday night in Norfolk, Va., Gibson has allowed just three goals on 84 shots in the first two games against the IceCaps. Overall in these playoffs, Gibson has a 1.45 goals-against average and .955 percentage.

Gibson will the place of Anaheim netminder Frederik Andersen, who suffered what appeared to be a leg injury midway through the third period of Thursday's Game 3 of the second-round NHL Stanley Cup playoff series between the Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.

There’s even some buzz that he could play in Saturday’s Game 4 of the L.A.-Anaheim series, even though Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau wasn’t actually acknowledging Gibson’s recall when he spoke to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun earlier today.

"He’s always an option, if he’s called up," Boudreau told LeBrun.

Jonas Hiller finished up between the pipes for in Thursday’s game for Anaheim, which won 3-2. The Kings lead the series 2-1.

Andersen has played as twice as many minutes as Hiller in the playoffs, but Hiller was the Ducks’ No. 1 netminder in the regular season, with 50 appearances.

Gibson made his NHL debut with Anaheim late in the season, recording a shutout in his first big-league start and winning all three of his games.

In Gibson’s absence, the Admirals will go with the more-than-capable Brad Thiessen, who had an 8-6-2 record, 2.26 goals-against average and .930 save percentage since joining Norfolk in late November after having started the season in the Finnish Elite League.

Thiessen hasn't played yet in the post-season and the IceCaps didn’t face the Admirals in the regular season, but are familiar with Thiessen from his days with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, including the 2012 AHL Eastern Conference semifinal.

Thiessen had a 2.11 GAA and .917 save percentage in that series, which St. John’s won in seven games.

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Andersen’s injury is not the only one concerning the Ducks and which could possibly have an impact on the IceCaps-Admirals series.

In Thursday’s game against the Kings, Anaheim forward Matt Beleskey was rattled on a big hit midway through the third period and did not return.

Emerson Etem, who had been the Admirals’ leading scorer (24-30-54 in 50 games) among the players who spent the majority of their AHL season in Norfolk, but who had been on recall to the Ducks for the last three weeks, was reassigned to Norfolk Thursday. 

However, if a replacement is needed — and the Ducks go by a first-out, first-back policy — Etem, who played the first two games of he series, might be returning to his native California.

Anaheim forward Mathieu Perreault was also said to have been injured Thursday.

Forward Richard Rakell, another recent call-up from Norfolk, was a healthy scratch for the Ducks in Game 3 against the Kings.

 

bmcc@thetelegram.com

 

 

Organizations: IceCaps, NHL, Finnish Elite League

Geographic location: Anaheim, Norfolk, Va., Wilkes-Barre

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