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Ducks turn to Anthony Stolarz against Stars, play it cautious with John Gibson

DALLAS — The inclination would be to go right back to goaltender John Gibson after his 39-save performance in the Ducks’ 2-1 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators earlier in the week.

But Coach Dallas Eakins explained why he went with Anthony Stolarz against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

“We’ve got to get Stolie some starts,” Eakins said after Thursday’s morning skate. “Gibby’s been – well, at one point, as sick as a dog. He’s kind of coming out of it. Had a great game the other night. It was one of those games where you’d like to run him again, but I feel like we might be digging a hole just in his recovery and how sick he’s been.

“He’s been an absolute warrior.”

Gibson was suffering from a virus during Thanksgiving week, an illness making its way through the Gibson household.

“He never took any time off – got in the net and practiced and just kept battling away,” Eakins said. “You’ve got to be cautious. That’s what is hard. He plays so well and it’s like, ‘Let’s go again.’ We’ve got another guy and Gibby’s been sick. I want him to get totally healthy.”


And so, the Stars’ tribute video to defenseman John Klingberg will have to wait. Klingberg, who had played his entire NHL career with the Stars (eight seasons, 552 games) before signing with the Ducks as a free agent in July, remains out of action with a lower-body injury.

There is a chance he could join the Ducks later on this trip, which wraps up Saturday in Minnesota and Sunday in Winnipeg. In 20 games, Klingberg has eight points (one goal, seven assists) and is a minus-12.

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