The Ducks Fly High in Gibson’s Hometown with a 4-2 Victory over the Penguins

3- Ducks vs Penguins Photo by NHL

The Anaheim Ducks take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is a special game for 2 Anaheim Ducks, John Gibson comes home and take on the Penguins in front of his family and friends. He wants to do a good job in net when he has family in the crowd and has said in the past that it’s always nice to win at home especially when you have friends and family there watching.

The Ducks acquired Daniel Sprong and he will play in his 6th game as an Anaheim Duck against his former teammates. This game lets him show his former team what they gave up to get Pettersson in the deal with the Penguins.

 Photo by Anaheim Ducks

There is no one player to shutdown player on the Ducks that the Penguins can stop from scoring because so far there are 12 different Ducks that have provided the scoring… so the Ducks are basically getting goals from almost every player in the lineup (defenders included).

The game is never over when it comes to the Ducks because they have comeback and won games in the third period. In the Capitals game they were down 5-3 going into the 3rd and came back and defeated the Stanley Cup Champions 6-5.

The Ducks defense continues to improve in the absence of Cam Fowler. Montour has stepped up his game by playing smart when joining the rush, creating more offense, and has kicked up his physical play. It seems he improves his game the more he plays. The Ducks defenders will need to be on top of their game when dealing with the Penguins 3-headed monster known as Malkin, Crosby, and Kessel they are dangerous especially when they are on the ice together and the Ducks need to shut them down and not giving a chance or a clear shot on net. If they see it clearly the puck will find the net unless you have a rock solid goaltender…

Speaking of defense… What time is it here to take on the Penguins and their 3-headed Monster? Only the starting goalie can answer that…

Gibson on GIBBY TIME- Anaheim DucksPhoto by Anaheim Ducks

Since we’re in his hometown it just makes perfect sense that IT’S GIBBY GIBBY GIBBY TIME!!! John Gibson is in net to take on the Penguins in front of his family. It’s always fun when Gibson gets the win when we take on the Penguins. He is going to be technically sound and very athletic to keep the Ducks in the game.

Game Highlights:

 Photo by Anaheim Ducks

The puck is dropped and the first period is underway…

An unusual start to a hockey game because both goaltenders didn’t touch the puck until it was 6-7 minutes into the period. There were a lot blocked shots and a big reason that the goalies didn’t touch a puck until there was 13:47 on the clock when Kesler fires a shot at DeSmith  but he couldn’t elevate the puck enough to get it in the net and it was an easy one for DeSmith to cover up.

It’s GIBBY TIME!!! John Gibson completely DENIES Zach Aston-Reese of a breakaway goal with a big blocker save. He DENIED his first shot on goal.

Click here to see: GIBBY TIME- Gibson shuts down breakaway bid

The Anaheim Ducks go on the penalty kill as Josh Mahura is off to the penalty box for slashing Garrett Wilson. This is a penalty that end up costing the Ducks… The Pittsburgh Penguins Goal. It’s a power play goal. It’s the dangerous Evgeni Malkin with the goal. Henrique couldn’t get the puck completely out of the zone to clear. Malkin gets the puck and because Gibson didn’t see the release Malkin was able to get it through the arm and body of John Gibson. The Penguins are on the board first, it’s 1-0 Penguins.

Click here to see: Penguins Goal #1

Letting Crosby play in the zone can be costly… The Pittsburgh Penguins Goal. It’s Bryan Rust with the goal. The dangerous Crosby makes a play and with a small space between Gibson and the short-side post Bryan Rust finds a way to get the puck into the back of the net. The Penguins extend their lead, it’s 2-0 Penguins.

Click here to see: Penguins Goal #2

The Ducks so close to getting one in when Andrew Cogliano gets a 2-on-1 break but with a diving Bryan Rust takes away the shooting angle and a chance for Silfverberg make a shot on the yawning net.

Click here to see: DENIED- Rust’s diving shot block

Ritchie forces Casey DeSmith to come up with a huge stop. The former Penguin Daniel Sprong gets the puck to Ritchie and he just hammers it at the net but DeSmith came up with a big pad save on Ritchie’s shot.

The Anaheim Ducks are off to the locker room trailing 2-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins after 1 period of play. The Ducks know Gibson is standing extra strong tonight playing in his hometown. The Ducks NEED to get Crosby to play in his own zone and not giving him chances to get set up and make plays to score on Gibson. The Ducks need to apply pressure and force them to defend in their own zone. The Ducks defense need to create more offense so that we can get on the board. They need to create chances when they get pucks in deep and attack the net, control the puck to make plays that they can get on the board and make things interesting for the Penguins in the rest of this game.

 Photo by Anaheim Ducks

The puck is dropped and the second period is underway…

The Ducks off to a good start because the Anaheim Ducks are on a JMG POWER PLAY!!! It’s Zach Aston-Reese off to the penalty box for hooking Ryan Kesler. The Ducks get going on the power play and made this one count… THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! A JMG POWER PLAY GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE #14 ADAM HENRIQUE!!! ASSISTED BY THE #37 NICK RITCHIE!!! ASSISTED BY THE #11 DANIEL SPRONG!!! Sprong at the goal line gets the puck to Ritchie who backhands the puck to open ice where Henrique happened to skate into the open ice and that one goes sailing into the back of the net. Such a beautiful play one that the former Penguin gets his first assist as a Duck.

img_20181218_0935482703801674221163036.jpg Photo by Anaheim Ducks

Click here to see: POWER PLAY GOAL- Henrique LIGHTS THE LAMP

The penalty has expired and it was all Ducks because the Penguins were only able to clear and Gibson only had to touch the puck twice from when they cleared the puck. The Penguins are back to full strength.

Shortly after the penalty to Aston-Reese expired the Anaheim Ducks go back on a JMG POWER PLAY!!! It’s the dangerous Sidney Crosby is off to the penalty box for tripping Ondrej Kase who was about to his wrap-around move behind the Penguins net. The Ducks had so many chances because they had good control of the puck they were attacking the net and making life difficult for DeSmith. The Ducks couldn’t get one past DeSmith but they created a lot of momentum… penalty killed and the Penguins are back to full strength.

The momentum continues off of the back-to-back power plays and the fourth line contributes in making things going and make this one interesting for the home team… THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE #64 KIEFER SHERWOOD!!! ASSISTED BY THE #24 CARTER ROWNEY!!! ASSISTED BY THE #42 JOSH MANSON!!! Rowney gets the puck to Sherwood who has open ice and Sherwood uses a Penguin player as a screen to get the puck through the arm and body of Casey DeSmith. The Ducks tie this one up with just a little over 5 minutes into the period, it’s tied 2-2.

Click here to see: GOAL- Sherwood’s wrister finds twine

Lindholm takes the shot but DeSmith read the play and was positioned perfectly to DENY the chance for the Ducks to take the lead as he covers up the puck.

The Anaheim Ducks go on the penalty kill as Carter Rowney is off to the penalty box for holding Riley Sheahan. It was an obvious call for the officials to make. The BEASTLY JOSH MANSON takes care of the dangerous Sidney Crosby by hitting him hard into the boards which took away his chance to shoot at Gibson. The hit also allowed the Ducks to clear the puck as the penalty to Rowney is expiring… penalty killed and the Ducks are back to full strength.

Never underestimate the skill and quick hands of the Ducks Energizer Bunny because he will make you pay and has extra energy since he was moved to the top line with Getzlaf… THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE #25 ONDREJ KASE!!! ASSISTED BY THE #15 RYAN GETZLAF!!! Getzlaf wins the face-off and its in the hands of Kase who takes the shot and it’s in the back of the net. Kase’s go-ahead goal gives the Ducks the lead, it’s 3-2 Ducks.

Click here to see: CZECH GOAL- Kase scores off the draw

The Anaheim Ducks are off to the locker room with the 3-2 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins after 2 periods of play. In a period where the Ducks are -12 came out and dominated and took control in the period that is usually the worst period for the Ducks but not tonight. The Ducks send the Penguins into their locker room frustrated, Crosby is the most frustrated out of them all because the Ducks were in attack mode and were playing on GIBBY TIME John Gibson kept showing off and stopping the pucks he saw. The Ducks need to keep it up, continue getting the puck in deep and pressure them to create more offense. The Ducks know that DeSmith leaves rebounds and they need to pounce on them to extend their lead and they know that they have a rock solid goalie in net and know he amps up his game when playing in his hometown. The Ducks ended the second period attacking and they will need to carry that into the final period.

 Photo by Anaheim Ducks

The puck is dropped and the third period is underway…

Jake Dotchin makes a hard hit on the dangerous Evgeni Malkin, he clips him under the visor as he hits him into the glass. That could’ve been a penalty but there was no call made on the play.

The Anaheim Ducks go on the penalty kill as it’s Ondrej Kase off to the penalty box for hooking Brian Dumoulin. The Ducks clear the puck several times and Gibson DENIED pucks that came his way… It’s 5-on-3 hockey for 17 seconds as Josh Manson is off to the penalty box for interference on Olli Maatta. He doesn’t like the call but he didn’t argue about it with the officials as he heads toward the penalty box. Gibson continues to stand strong and making big saves… penalty killed and the Ducks survive the 5-on-3… It’s still GIBBY TIME for the 1:52 remaining to the penalty to Manson. The Penguins shoot and every shot that was fired was DENIED by Gibson… penalty killed and the Ducks are back to full strength.

It’s GIBBY TIME!!! The former LA King knows the kind of goalie Gibson is tried to get one in but is DENIED by the glove of John Gibson.

Winding down to the final minutes Montour fires his one-timer but his snipe shot is smothered by Casey DeSmith.

Just 1:34 to go Casey DeSmith is off to the bench for the extra attacker, they got chances but Gibson not letting them force overtime.

Just half of a minute to go when the captain comes through with the assurance marker… THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE #15 RYAN GETZLAF!!! ASSISTED BY THE #14 ADAM HENRIQUE!!! ASSISTED BY THE #20 PONTUS ABERG!!! Henrique chips the puck to Getzlaf and that gives him a breakaway on an empty net with no one near to stop the captain. The captain gives Ducks assurance game winning marker, it’s 4-2 Ducks

Click here to see: GOAL- Getzlaf empty-net goal

The horn sounds and the hometown goaltender standing extra strong to get the victory in front of friends and family.


 Photo by Anaheim Ducks


With the win, the Ducks improved to an astonishing 9-1-0 in their last 10 games and 11-2-0 in their last 13. Furthermore, it gave the Ducks six consecutive victories on the road – the club’s longest since Feb. 13-March 5, 2016 (6-0-0). It also pushed their active win streak to four consecutive games.


25th anniversary logo- anaheim ducks Photo by Anaheim Ducks

Thoughts on the game from the Anaheim Ducks players and coaches

henrique game face- anaheim ducks Photo by Anaheim Ducks

Adam Henrique (on the game): We turned it around in the second half of the first [period] and carried it over into the second [period]. We got to our game and how we need to play. We got in on the forecheck, kept things simple and got pucks and bodies to the net. We drew some penalties. We got some opportunities. We kept pushing and kept building our game.

getz- forbes Photo by Forbes

Ryan Getzlaf (on the game): Sometimes when you get in other buildings, it’s tough when a couple bounces don’t go your way early. It’s a little bit of an uphill battle. I thought tonight, we did a good job of just staying with our plan, executing with the puck a little bit better, obviously in the second period. We got going as the game went on.

Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Elite Prospects

John Gibson (on the game): We were trying to keep it simple. We did a good job keeping the shots to the outside. We knew they were going to have a push in the third period with all the firepower they have. We did a good job shutting them down.

John Gibson (on the team’s game): I think we’re just getting more comfortable. … We didn’t have the best start, but I think we learned a lot from it. We learned the team that we can be. I think we’re starting to put it together here now. Maybe it wasn’t the best start, but I think we just we have the ability to stay composed and know that we have the ability to come back.

head coach randy carlyle-nhl nbc sports Photo by NHL NBC Sports

Head Coach Randy Carlyle (on the game): We were pretty soft with the puck in the first period. We allowed them, with their speed and their skill, to dictate the pace of the game. We didn’t really create any grind game. If you noticed, once we started to play more of a dump-and-chase, strong forecheck, we started to get some results.

1- pittsburgh penguins Photo by Pittsburgh Penguins

Thoughts on the game from the Pittsburgh Penguins players and coaches

evgeni malkin- nhl Photo by NHL

Evgeni Malkin (on the loss): We lead by a couple of goals and we try to play like casually. We need to understand we play against a good team, and they try to come back. Again, we play at home. We need to control the game. We just [take] a couple bad penalties. They change the game quick. It’s the NHL. We play against good players. Any team tries to come back. It doesn’t matter the score.

casey desmith- nhl Photo by NHL

Casey DeSmith (on the game): I think it was a push back from them [in the second period], obviously. It seems to happen every game. If we jump out early, the other team comes out hard in the second. It’s just the nature of the game and the nature of sports. If a team goes down a couple goals, they kind of snap out of it and push back. That’s what they did.


Head Coach Mike Sullivan (on the game): We have to sustain momentum when we get it. I thought we played 40 minutes tonight. We didn’t play 60. That second period, we didn’t play as well as we’re capable. We start off on the very first shift, we take a penalty. It snowballs from there.

Head Coach Mike Sullivan (on taking penalties): We take two penalties in the first six minutes of the second period, and we lose momentum. So we’ve got to have a little bit more push back in those situations.


Blog post coming up next…

This season marks the 25th Anniversary of the Anaheim Ducks franchise. It is going to be a season filled with many surprises and who knows maybe one of those many surprises might be going far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs!!!!

LET’S GO DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Sources: Anaheim Ducks Player News- Ducks Daily and Twitter @AnaheimDucks

Sources are all by The Anaheim Ducks/

Source: Kyle Shohara- Recap: Ducks Score Four Unanswered Goal in 4-2 Win Over Penguins

Source: Wes Crosby- Ducks score four straight after falling behind by two, defeat Penguins

Video source: YouTube posted by NHL

Photos by The Anaheim Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL, Forbes, Elite Prospects, NHL NBC Sports

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