An unheralded, second-year goalie is not letting the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner back on the ice.
“Jiggy is the guy, but Gerb’s on a roll,” Ducks coach Mike Babcock said. “And when Jiggy is on a roll, he plays.”
Gerber has been too good lately to take out of the lineup. The 29-year-old Swiss native has stopped 120 of 124 shots in his last four starts, going 3-0-1 in that span.
Anaheim will start Gerber in net for the fourth straight game Saturday.
“I just assume when a guy plays and he wins, you’ve got to play him,” Babcock said.
Giguere, who led Anaheim to its first Stanley Cup finals last June and was named playoff MVP, is off to a miserable start this season. He’s lost five of his six outings, giving up three goals or more four times. Giguere had a 3.91 goals-against average in his last three starts before Gerber took over.
Fedorov, the long-time Detroit Red Wing who was acquired in the offseason, has three goals and six assists in the last seven games after managing only one point in his first four games with Anaheim.
Mariusz Czerkawski has been outstanding all season for the Islanders, and is tied for second in the league with eight goals.
He scored with 8:47 left in regulation Wednesday as New York rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period to tie Pittsburgh 4-4.
“It’s bad the way we played in (Pittsburgh’s two-goal) second period,” Isles goalie Garth Snow said. “But in the hole two goals in the third period and to come back and salvage a point, it’s good.”
Snow allowed four goals on 24 shots, and it seems likely New York will put Rick DiPietro back in net Saturday. DiPietro stopped 41 of 48 shots in his last two starts, suffering consecutive shutout losses to New Jersey and Montreal, respectively.
STANDINGS (through Oct. 30): Mighty Ducks - 10 points, 2nd place, 2 PB, Pacific Division. Islanders - 10 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Rob Niedermayer, 4 goals; Fedorov, 7 assists and 10 points; Todd Simpson, 35 PIM. Islanders - Czerkawski, 8 goals and 10 points; Alexei Yashin and Oleg Kvasha, 6 assists; Eric Godard, 29 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 30): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 16.7 percent (8 for 48), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.3 percent (35 for 42), 16th (tied). Islanders - Power play: 13.6 percent (6 for 44), 22nd. Penalty killing: 93.0 percent (40 for 43), 1st.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Gerber (3-1-1, 1 SO, 1.38 GAA); Giguere (1-5-0, 0, 3.14). Islanders - DiPietro (2-2-1, 1, 1.78); Snow (2-1-1, 0, 3.98).
SEASON SERIES: 0-0-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 17; 2-2 tie. At Anaheim, Calif., Yashin scored the tying goal for the Islanders with 7:14 to play.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 3-2-0-0 on the road; Islanders - 3-1-0-0 at home.