No surprise here, but head coach Bruce Boudreau announced that John Gibson will start Game 5 for the Anaheim Ducks after earning a shutout in his playoff debut in Game 4 against the Los Angeles Kings. The 20-year-old netminder will be stepping between the pipes for just his fifth NHL appearance of any kind Monday night.
After making 28 saves Saturday night against the Kings, Gibson became the youngest goalie in the history of the NHL to record a shutout in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut at 20 years, 330 days, besting Chris Osgood's mark set 20 years previously according to the Elias Sports Bureau (via NHL Communications).
Gibson will get the nod in what proves to be a rather interesting Game 5 back in Anaheim. The road team has won all four games of the series to date, putting some pressure on the young guy to break the trend.
The Anaheim goaltending situation has been volatile at best with Jonas Hiller and Frederik Andersen splitting time throughout the postseason. Though it's only been one game, could the Ducks have found their permanent postseason solution in Gibson?
The young netminder had been tearing up the AHL playoffs with the Norfolk Admirals prior to being called up to the Ducks. In six appearances, Gibson had posted a .955 save percentage and 1.45 goals against average to go along with a 4-2 record.
Additionally, Gibson has been a huge success in prior postseasons, leading the OHL playoffs in goaltending each of his two years in the league with the Kitchener Rangers. Gibson had a .938 save percentage in the 2013 OHL playoffs and a .946 mark in 2012.
On top of all of that, he has two IIHF gold medals, one from the World U18 Championship in 2011 and another from the 2013 World Junior Championship. He also helped the U.S. Men's National Team win bronze last spring, the country's first medal at the World Men's Championship in a decade.
Gibson seems to be used to pressure and has always risen to the occasion. Bruce Boudreau probably wasn't taking as big a risk as everyone thought when he tabbed Gibson as his Game 4 starter. Now we'll see just how for real this kid is and if he can help the Ducks take over the series.