After Ottawa Senators color holder Cam Talbot the day before, it was Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson's turn on Wednesday to deliver one of the most impressive performances in the National Hockey League (NHL) this season. .
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Author of 49 saves, this one allowed the Ducks to win 3 to 2 in a shootout against the Golden Knights of Vegas. Still, the duel looked uneven on paper, with the losers of the encounter sitting atop the Pacific Division with now 50 points on the clock, 26 more than last-placed Anaheim.
However, Gibson got up by fending off 35 pucks in the first 40 minutes of play. This is a great way to come back strong after a five-game absence related to an undisclosed injury.
"It's my job, I do it all the time," he told NHL.com. You only need to make plays and stop throws. The club did a good job of taking the return shots and helping me at the right time.
Despite all his modesty, the hero of the evening would have several reasons to express his pride. Two men have done better than him in an NHL game in 2022-23: Anton Forsberg (Senators) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning), who repelled 53 and 52 pucks respectively, but in losing causes.
The former lost 5-3 to the Florida Panthers on October 29, while the latter bit the dust 4-3 in a shootout against the Carolina Hurricanes on November 3.
Ilya Sorokin, in a 3-0 New York Islanders triumph over the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 23, and Talbot, who beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 in a shootout, also had 49 saves in a part.
The NHL's mark for most blocked shots in a regular season game remains Ron Tugnutt. At the time with the Quebec Nordiques, he had totaled 70 in a 3-3 tie against the Boston Bruins at the Old Garden on March 21, 1991. That evening, Raymond Bourque had challenged him 19 times .
Rounding out the all-time top 5 are Mario Lessard (65), Joe Daley (64), Gump Worsley (63) and Allan Bester (60).