Gibson brilliant as Ducks down Jets in season opener

The Winnipeg Jets’ first trip to the US in nearly 20 months did not go well Wednesday night.

John Gibson stopped 33 of 34 shots and Mason McTavish scored in his NHL debut as the Anaheim Ducks downed Winnipeg 4-1 in the opening game of the 2021-22 season for both clubs.

The Jets carried the bulk of the play early on thanks to a pair of early power plays but were unable to get one past Gibson.

At the other end, Gibson’s main competition for the starting netminder gig on the US Olympic team was beaten on Anaheim’s first shot of the game. Kevin Shattenkirk’s seeing-eye shot from the boards found its way past Connor Hellebuyck just over six minutes into the first.

Seven minutes later it was McTavish, one of the many young players in the lineup for the rebuilding Ducks, who notched his first career tally.

Kyle Connor got the Jets on the board early in the second, burying a nice feed from captain Blake Wheeler past Gibson.

But then the Ducks power play, which last season was the worst the NHL had ever seen since they started keeping track of power play percentage in 1977, scored a pair of goals to put the game out of reach.

First, it was Adam Henrique deflecting one past Hellebuyck late in the second. That was followed by Rickard Rakell beating the Jets goalie with a deflection in the third.

It was a penalty-filled contest in which the Jets wound up going 0/5 with the man advantage while the Ducks went 2/5.

The two sides will meet again October 21st in Winnipeg for the Jets’ home opener.

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