Despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Nick Bonino and Mathieu Perreault, the Ducks wound up on the losing end of a 4-2 game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The loss ended the Ducks' franchise-tying seven-game winning streak in the first stop of an eight-game road trip.
The Ducks (7-2-0) outshot the Maple Leafs 25-to-23.
“We started collectively turning pucks over, and that’s a fast hockey team,” said Ben Lovejoy. “We gave them too many easy pucks, easy turnovers, and they were able to hit it back at us with speed. We certainly lost our composure and didn’t play how we wanted to play. That’s one of the fastest teams we’ve played, and they made us pay.”
Perhaps the turning point in the game was Anaheim’s inability to score on a 5-on-3 power play that lasted 1:33 in the second period of a 2-2 game. Just six minutes later, Phil Kessel made the Ducks pay with his second of three goals on the night.
Jonas Hiller, who was pulled after the first period in Anaheim’s 6-3 win over Dallas two nights ago, recorded his first loss of the season tonight (4-1-0).
“We really stunk for him last game,” said Lovejoy. “Freddy [Frederik Andersen] came in and bailed us out. That was a turning point for us in that game. Tonight, we got some great goaltending again, but we weren’t able to be there for Jonas.”
Anaheim got on the board first, at 17:38 of the opening frame on a 2-on-1 created by Patrick Maroon, who made a nifty backhand pass across the crease to Bonino, who chipped it by Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier. It was Bonino’s fourth goal (and fifth point) of the season.
The Ducks would increase their lead to two goals early in the second period, when Perreault walked out from behind the net to roof one over Bernier’s shoulder just 1:59 into the period.
Toronto cut Anaheim’s lead in half on Kessel’s first of the night, then would tie the game less than two minutes later on Dion Phaneuf’s slap shot from the high slot off a rebound by Hiller.
Toronto’s third goal of the second period came at 16:09 when Kessel beat Hiller up high on a 2-on-1 attempt. Kessel completed the hat trick at the 8:11 mark of the third period on another 2-on-1, this time with James van Riemsdyk.
The Ducks will practice tomorrow at the Air Canada Centre before taking off for an afternoon flight to Montreal.