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With John Gibson’s status unclear, Ducks’ Ryan Miller could see more work

By in Press Enterprise on February 2, 2018

By Eric Stephens

OTTAWA, Ontario — Ryan Miller has yet to start in consecutive games for the Ducks but there is a good chance that could change this weekend.

Work for the 37-year-old has mostly been limited to games on the second half of back-to-back nights, against his former team (Vancouver, twice) and relief efforts when usual starter John Gibson was either pulled or had to leave the game.

But with Gibson nursing a lower-body injury, Miller got the start in Thursday’s overtime loss to Ottawa and could draw the assignment Saturday in Montreal if Gibson is still ailing. Miller made 30 saves but Erik Karlsson’s overtime goal dropped his record to an odd-looking 6-2-5 in 16 games.

Playing time hasn’t been plentiful as Gibson has largely stayed healthy until now. His strong play as the Ducks’ clear-cut No. 1 goalie has given Ducks coach Randy Carlyle no reason to turn away from him other than the occasional rest.

And Miller knows that. He understood when he signed a two-year contract with the Ducks over the summer, his days as a regular starter would be a thing of the past. But with Gibson listed as day-to-day and his status in doubt, Miller could see more work right away.

“You always find things within your game and when you don’t have a lot of rhythm going, (things) that you want to do better,” Miller said afterward Thursday night. “There were a few plays I was good on. I was happy to battle early.

“But there’s other plays. I thought I drifted off a little bit on the (Zack Smith shot) that hit the crossbar. A few other little plays where I’d like to be a little more set on the play. They didn’t really work out to anything. That’s just me getting inside and trying to work through what […]    

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