John Gibson made quite the entrance in his first ever NHL playoff game. The Anaheim Ducks rookie was the third goalie used this series, and his 28 save performance against the Los Angeles Kings earned him his first postseason shutout as the Ducks made 2 first period goals stand up and they evened the series at 2 games apiece.
Devante Smith-Pelly scored with just under 4 minutes left in the first, taking a blind feed from Corey Perry from just behind the Kings’ net and beating Jonathan Quick to give the Ducks the lead. Smith-Pelly made an early impact on the first line, replacing Matt Beleskey who was injured in game 3.
Ryan Getzlaf doubled the lead with just 1:15 left in the frame as the banked a shot in off the face of Quick who was swimming in his crease while the Ducks were on a power play.
Quick was replaced for the start of the second by Martin Jones, as the Kings were looking for a spark after being outshot 11-9 on home ice in the first. They dominated the rest of the game, allowing no shots in the second period and only 3 in the third. However, Gibson stopped everyting the Kings could throw at him, and he became the first goalie since Andrew Raycroft in 2004. He also became just the second goalie ever to record shutouts in both his regular season and playoff debuts. The first was Tiny Thompson in 1928-29, 85 years ago.
For the Kings, their inability to protect home ice has taken away all of the hard work they did in taking a 2-0 series lead by winning both games in Anaheim. It is now a best of 3, and almost fortunately for the Kings, two of the games are on the road.
Game 5 goes at the Duck Pond on Monday night.