Cincinnati.com
National Hockey League
Anaheim 4, Pittsburgh 0
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 23, 2017
Where: PPG PAINTS Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Referees: Brian Pochmara, Frederic L'Ecuyer
Linesmen: Derek Amell, Libor Suchanek
Attendance: 18622

PITTSBURGH -- Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson got to come home for Christmas a little early. While most of his teammates dispersed for the NHL's holiday break late Saturday night, Gibson didn't have far to go.

He made 29 saves for his 13th career shutout as he beat his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-0 at PPG Paints Arena.

"As long as we win I'm happy, but I mean, yeah, it's definitely extra special when your family and stuff is in town. So, it was fun," Gibson said.

Gibson had been 1-3-0 against the Penguins with a bloated 4.95 goals-against average, and got the start ahead of Ryan Miller, who is 8-17-3 all-time against Pittsburgh.

"We decided ... that if (Gibson) is going to be a No. 1, he's going to have to play in his hometown," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "He's going to have to exorcise those demons, and he did that tonight.

"He's still only 24 years old and here we are putting a lot more pressure on him, but these are the hurdles that he has to overcome to become a status No. 1 goaltender."

With his team up 3-0 in the second, Gibson made a huge save on Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, lunging back and to his left and getting his blocker above his head to stop a sharp-angle shot to help preserve his first shutout this season.

"Just throw something over there and hope it hits it," Gibson said.

Ondrej Kase, Rickard Rakell, Andrew Cogliano and Cam Fowler staked the Ducks to a 4-0 lead through two periods and then went into get-Gibson-the-shutout mode.

"It might sound silly, but for us, it was important," Fowler said. "Mainly because of what John's done for us all season. I mean, he's stood on his head multiple times and given us opportunities to win hockey games. I know it was important for him playing in front of his friends and family. So, very happy for him."

Anaheim (16-13-8) finished a six-game road trip 3-2-1.

Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray gave up three goals on 13 shots before he was pulled for rookie Tristan Jarry, who stopped nine of 10 shots.

The Penguins (18-16-3) lost for the fifth time in seven games and failed to build on an emotionally charged 3-2 shootout victory Thursday against Columbus.

Anaheim pounced on a couple giveaways to build a 2-0 lead in the first.

A turnover by Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang in the neutral zone led to a breakaway for Kase. With Letang in pursuit, Kase moved down the slot and beat Murray with a backhand shot at 3:10.

"I don't know what to make of it. It's a (defenseman-to-defenseman) pass that didn't connect," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Letang's mistake. "We'd obviously like to make that one tape-to-tape. It makes the game a little easier, but it didn't happen. ... We've got to be more focused making sure we're sharp at the drop of the puck."

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf picked up an assist to extend his point streak to six games.

Rakell made it 2-0 at 10:35 with his 10th goal after the Penguins' Carter Rowney lost the puck in his own end. Rakell's backhander squirted through Murray's pads.

That gave the Ducks two goals on five shots.

"It's just a mental readiness, I think," Murray said. "If you give a team like that those opportunities early in the game, or at any point, they're going to make you pay. We can't give teams free ones like that if we expect to win consistently.

"Sure, mistakes happen, but we've got to cut them down. And I've got to come up with a save there as well. That's my job as a goalie, is to bail out somebody if they make a mistake and make a save."

Anaheim boosted its lead to 3-0 and chased Murray when Cogliano scored on a short-handed breakaway at 3:42 of the second. It was the first short-hander giving up by the Penguins.

"It's huge to go up 3-0," Cogliano said. "We talked about getting that next goal. We knew they were going to make a push and if they would've got the one to make it 2-1, the game could've changed."

Fowler added a power-play goal when he flipped the puck past Jarry's blocker to make it 4-0 with 3.4 seconds left in the second. Jakob Silfverberg got an assist for his 100th NHL point.

NOTES: Pittsburgh RW Carter Rowney played after missing Friday's practice because of illness. ... Pittsburgh D Ian Cole played after being healthy scratch the previous game, with D Matt Hunwick scratched. ... Anaheim C Ryan Kesler (hip surgery) is practicing in a non-contact capacity. ... Pittsburgh D Brian Dumoulin played his 200th NHL game.
Top Game Performances
 
Anaheim   Pittsburgh
Rickard Rakell 2 Points N/A
Rickard Rakell 1 Goals N/A
Rickard Rakell 1 Assists N/A
Cam Fowler 1 Power Play Goals N/A
Andrew Cogliano 1 Short Handed Goals N/A
John Gibson 1.000 Save Percentage Tristan Jarry .900
John Gibson 29 Saves Matt Murray 10
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Anaheim 23 4 1-2 2-2 6 21
Pittsburgh 29 0 0-2 1-2 6 36
Upcoming Games
  • Pittsburgh will play their next game at home against Columbus. The Penguins have a W/L % of .444 after a win and .526 after a loss.
  • Anaheim will play their next game at home against Vegas. The Ducks have a W/L % of .400 after a win and .455 after a loss.