Gibson makes season-high 44 saves, Ducks beat Senators 2-1
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Troy Terry and Rickard Rakell each scored, John Gibson made a season-high 44 saves, and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Saturday.
“That’s what you need. Your best players have to be your best players, especially getting into the second half of the season and everyone is battling for spots and it’s as close as it is,” Ducks coach Geoff Ward said. “Obviously, (Gibson) gave us a chance to win tonight.”
The Senators (13-21-4) held a wide advantage in shots at 45-20 but only managed one goal, from Tyler Ennis. The Ducks (23-16-8) have won four of their past five games.
Anton Forsberg played a solid game, making 18 saves, but a third-period goal from Terry proved to be the difference. Terry took a pass from Ryan Getzlaf and from the top of the faceoff circle sent a quick shot on goal, beating Forsberg to the far side at 3:42.
The Senators pressed hard the rest of the way, but Gibson was impenetrable in the Anaheim goal, stopping all 34 shots he faced through the final 40 minutes. That included 18 in the second period, five during a late Senators power play.
“The first period was pretty even and the second period we were all over them and third period much of the same. They score on their one chance, I thought, in the third period,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said. “Their goalie put a clinic on. You can come up with reasons why you don’t score or come up with different excuses. We had 45 shots and plenty of good looks so he’s the difference.”
The teams opened the game with two goals in the first eight minutes. Rakell gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead after dragging the puck behind the Senators goal before coming out the other side, spinning and then beating Forsberg through the legs at 6:19.
Ennis one-upped Rakell with a spinning move of his own as he reached for the puck at the top of the faceoff circle, did a 360 to avoid Jamie Drysdale, then beat Gibson over his glove to tie the game at 7:56.
The game was played without fans, but the void was bigger for the Senators as they were without three of their top players. Drake Batherson, Josh Norris and Erik Brannstrom all remain out of the lineup with recent injuries.
“All we can do is focus on the guys we have and play games. Everybody has got to adjust to the new situation,” Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot said. “We don’t have Drake and we don’t Norris, which are two massive parts of our power play, but once we get going and get used to guys being in new roles we’ll get it going again.”
NOTES: F Mark Kastelic made his NHL debut Saturday for the Senators. … The win was the 163rd for Gibson, placing him alone in third place in Ducks’ franchise history. He was previously tied with Jonas Hiller. … Forwards Nicolas Deslauriers and Vinni Lettieri and defenseman Josh Mahura were scratches for the Ducks.
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