John Gibson was placed on injured reserve by the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old goalie has injuries to his head, back and neck, sustained in a collision with teammate Jaycob Megna during the second period of a 4-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Feb. 7.
“You saw the hit,” Ducks coach and general manager Bob Murray said. “He got whacked a whole bunch of times on one play. He’s just not right anywhere up there. He’s a little better today. He’s been in. He has a little bit of an appetite now.”
Gibson is 17-19-8 in 46 games (45 starts) this season, with a 2.93 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage and two shutouts. He has lost his past four decisions.
Kevin Boyle will make his first NHL start for the Ducks against the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN1, FS-W, NHL.TV). The 26-year-old made 24 saves in his NHL debut, a 6-2 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 9, entering the game after starter Chad Johnson was lifted following the first period.
“He’s earned this,” Murray said of Boyle, who was 19-7-1 with a 2.72 GAA and .909 save percentage in 30 games with San Diego of the American Hockey League. “He’s worked hard. Hockey goalie is the hardest position in sports.
“He’s done a great job. He saved the season a few years ago in San Diego. He’s been [San Diego coach] Dallas’ [Eakins] go-to guy. He’s always been a bit of a slow starter, even in school (UMass-Lowell). But once he gets rolling he’s pretty calm in there. Good test for him tonight. It’ll be emotional for him, for sure.”
Ryan Miller, who hasn’t played since Dec. 9 because of an MCL sprain, will back up Boyle. Johnson was hit by a puck in practice Tuesday and will be placed on IR.
“He got a good one yesterday,” Murray said. “Couldn’t sleep. He had a headache.”
The Ducks (21-26-9) have lost seven consecutive games (0-7-0) while being outscored 37-8. They are 2-15-4 in their past 21 games, including a team-record 12-game losing streak (0-8-4) from Dec. 18-Jan. 15. Coach Randy Carlyle was fired Sunday and replaced by Murray.
Anaheim is last in the Western Conference, eight points behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.