CHICAGO (AP) — John Gibson made 37 saves and Devante Smith-Pelly scored on a short-handed breakaway, leading the surging Anaheim Ducks to a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
Smith-Pelly grabbed a loose puck when Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook fell while retrieving a pass at the Anaheim blue line, and he beat rookie goaltender Scott Darling between the legs on a backhand after skating the length of the ice.
Smith-Pelly’s third goal came with 8:28 left in regulation, and with 2 seconds remaining on Chicago’s power play.
Gibson got his first shutout of the season as Anaheim won for the eighth time in nine games.
It was the first regulation home loss for Chicago, which has dropped three of four overall.
Gibson and Darling dominated the first two periods. The Blackhawks had better opportunities against Gibson, who made a pair of big saves midway through the second on Brandon Saad, who roared in on a breakaway, and a follow-up shot by Andrew Shaw seconds later.
Gibson also made a sprawling save on Jonathan Toews early in the third period.
The 25-year-old Darling, who made his second start since being called up from the minors because of an injury to starter Corey Crawford, made a big body save on Jakob Silfverberg 5:16 into the third period. Otherwise, Darling’s poise and positioning made every save look routine until Smith-Pelly scored on the 23rd of 25 Anaheim shots.
The tight-checking style of the game included Anaheim’s Mark Fistric depositing Chicago defenseman Michal Rozsival into the Ducks’ bench with a hip check 14 minutes into the first period. It took Rozsival about 10 seconds to climb off the floor and back onto the ice.
NOTES: Crawford is close to returning, coach Joel Quenneville said before the game. Crawford, out five games with an upper-body injury, will travel with the team to Ottawa for Thursday’s game. F Dan Carcillo (right knee) was also sidelined. … Anaheim was without D Ben Lovejoy, who broke his right hand in a fight with San Jose’s Joe Pavelski on Sunday. Lovejoy is expected to miss at least six weeks. He joins Dana Heatley, Sheldon Souray, Kyle Palmeri, Patrick Maroon and Bryan Allen on the Ducks’ injury list. Josh Manson took Lovejoy’s place in the lineup.
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