By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANAHEIM – Something had to give in a matchup between the winless Toronto Maple Leafs and a Ducks team mired in a three-game losing skid. Unfortunately for the Ducks, the longer streak took the fall.
The Leafs, who entered tonight having lost each of their first eight games, got a hat trick from Niklas Hagman and five power play goals to overwhelm the Ducks on their own ice, 6-3.
"It’s terrible," said Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller
, who gave up all six Toronto scores. "We wish we knew what the problem is. Right now, we’re struggling and we can’t find a way to get out. I don’t know what it is. We have to go back to the basics. Everybody can play better, me included. I know I can play better. I hope everybody does. That is the only way we can go from here."
|The Ducks took 14 minor penalties and Toronto capitalized with five power play goals in the way to its first win.
The Ducks dropped their fourth in a row and fifth in the last six, while Toronto’s first victory (1-7-1) came on the heels of its worst start in the franchise’s 92-year history. But the Ducks made it easier on the Leafs by taking 14 minor penalties, several of which came on the heels of numerous brawls after whistles.
"We shouldn’t have taken the penalties if we were focused on our game and what we needed to do to win," Niedermayer said. "We did it to ourselves and that is the result. Momentum works both ways. You see breaks that happen and when you’re on this side of it, they go one way."
Anaheim hardly looked its best in starting the third period down a goal, but things got much worse as Toronto potted three unanswered to take a four-goal lead. Entering tonight, the Leafs hadn’t taken so much as a two-goal lead all season.
"Once we feel like we’re going, we take the next goal against and we’re back in the hole again," Hiller said. "I wish I had the solution. Hockey is a game of confidence and trusting each other. I don’t think that’s what we’re doing right now."
Hagman got his third of the night halfway through the third period, following his own rebound on a 5-on-3 power play to put Toronto up by a surprising 6-2 count.
The Leafs had built that lead on a goal by Lee Stempniak 3:58 into the period, as he shot it from the circle under Hiller, and a power play strike by Tomas Kaberle, who slammed a one-timer during a delayed penalty on the Ducks.
managed to get his fifth of the year on a redirect from the slot with 6:33 left, a goal that had little impact on the final result.
The Ducks actually jumped out in front 1-0, for the second straight game, as Petteri Nokelainen scored his first of the year halfway through the first period. Scott Niedermayer skated away from the net near the right wing circle before sending the puck across the ice to Nokelainen, who drilled a one-timer. Nokelainen got an official assist from Todd Marchant
, who effectively screened Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson to impede his vision of the shot.
But the Leafs quickly wiped out that lead and took one of their own, taking advantage of the penalties handed out during a melee at the 12:08 mark in the period, among which were four minutes for roughing handed out to Perry. The brawl was sparked by a shoving match between former teammates Ryan Getzlaf
and the Leafs’ Francois Beauchemin, during which Bobby Ryan
came in to defend Getzlaf and every skater on the ice got involved.
took a slashing penalty a minute and a half after the rumble to set Toronto up on a 5 on 3 and they cashed in courtesy of a Mikhail Grabovski goal. Matt Stajan’s feed in front went under the stick of Alexei Ponikarovsky, but Grabovski was right behind him to punch it in.
A little more than a minute later, the Leafs again got a power play strike, as Hagman had no one near him while firing a shot from the right wing circle top shelf.
Toronto got its third unanswered on the man advantage, and the second straight from Hagman, 8:40 into the second. Seconds after missing a shot from right around the net, Hagman got the puck back and came from behind the cage uncontested before sending a wrist shot over Jonas Hiller
The Ducks clawed back with 4:44 left in the session on a long-overdue by Ryan, just his second of the year after scoring 31 in 64 games last year as a rookie. Just after whiffing on a one-timer, Ryan got a second chance as Perry made a nice pass across the crease that Ryan caught and fired under the crossbar. Ryan celebrated like a guy dying for a goal, throwing his arms into the air before jumping into the glass and giving Perry an aggressive embrace.
But it was a goal long forgotten in this one.
"Frustration is a key word in tonight’s hockey game," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "Obviously, when you take the number of penalties that we took, whether we felt they were warranted or not, really changed the whole flow of the hockey game against us. You can’t do that. When things aren’t going your way, those are the times when you mentally have to bite your lip and forge ahead."
Carlyle noted that so many of the Anaheim penalties were roughing calls during post-whistle altercations, possibly a reaction by the team to its struggles the last few games. "The frustration level goes with the lack of success we’ve been having," he said. "When you start to see players like Koivu, Scott Niedermayer – those players in reaction mode, then you start to question if we putting ourselves in a can’t win situation. Was our attitude and frustration getting the better part of us? I’d have to say yes in some of those instances."
The game marked the first return to Honda Center for Beauchemin, GM Brian Burke and goalie coach Francois Allaire after each left the Ducks for Toronto (Burke last November and Beauchemin and Allaire over the summer). Each were honored on the video board during the game’s first timeout, acknowledging the applauding crowd with waves.
The Ducks have three days of practice before playing the sixth and final game of their homestand Friday night against Vancouver.
20:00 - END OF GAME - This one mercifully comes to an end as the Ducks drop their fourth straight and Toronto gets its first win of the year, 6-3.
16:06 - Somehow the Ducks are denied a goal after Ryan dekes around Gustavsson and loses the puck. Getlaf is right there to pick it up at a bad angle with almost the whole net open, but can only manage to put it on a seated Gustavsson. That's pretty much the way it's going for Anaheim.
14:50 - Ryan with a nice redirect off a Getzlaf pass, but saved.
14:34 - TOR Penalty - John Mitchell, 2 min. hooking.
14:03 - Selanne gets the crowd going by getting in front of the defense down the right wing, but with pressure from a diving Garnet Exelby, his shot goes over everything.
13:27 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Signs of life from the Ducks as Brendan Mikkelson fires a pass from the point into the slot, where Perry redirects it through for his fifth of the season. Unfortunately, it only makes it 6-3 Toronto.
10:10 - TORONTO GOAL (POWER PLAY) - NIKLAS HAGMAN - Hagman gets his hat trick on a 5 on 3, shooting the puck on the rush from the right wing circle that hits Hiller high, but Hagman doesn't give up. He tries to poke it through Hiller and it's saved again, but he sends it through on the rebound to make it, shockingly, 6-2 Toronto.
9:09 - ANA Penalty - Saku Koivu
, 2 min. slashing. Here we go again as players get testy after the Ducks converge on Gustavsson as he tries to sit on the puck. Koivu runs into the goalie and gets pushed back, and Koivu takes a penalty for the retribution.
8:51 - ANA Penalties - Corey Perry
and James Wisniewski
2 min. each roughing and George Parros
, 2 min. roughing and 10 min. misconduct and TOR Penalties - Mike Komisarek and Nikolai Kulemin, 2 min. each roughing. Ducks clearly showing their frustration in a brawl behind the Toronto net after the whistle.
6:11 - ANA Penalty - Scott Niedermayer, 2 min. interference. After some discussion with players and officials after the goal, somehow Niedermayer is in the box for 2, which you would think meant there were two Ducks delayed penalties before that goal.
6:11 - TORONTO GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TOMAS KABERLE - During a delayed penalty after what looked like was going to be a Scott Niedermayer boarding call, Kaberle gets the puck from Stempniak at the point and slams a one-timer past Hiller, who didn't have much traffic in front of him. It's 5-2 Toronto.
4:53 - ANA Penalty - James Wisniewski
, 2 min. slashing. Not sure of that one, as Wisniewski swings at the puck to knock it away from Hagman and doesn't get a piece of Hagman at all.
4:26 - ANA Penalty - Mike Brown and TOR Penalty - Alexei Ponikarovsky, 2 min. each roughing. A bit of the rough stuff after the whistle, and Brown is more than happy to get involved.
3:58 - TORONTO GOAL - LEE STEMPNIAK - After a battle for the puck in the corner, it squirts out to Stempniak, who takes a quick shot from the left wing circle with Wisniewski in front of him and it somehow sneaks under a disgusted Hiller. It's 4-2 Toronto.
0:00 - Here we go in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks give up a Hagman tally to go two down, but get one back from Ryan on the power play. It's 3-2 Toronto.
15:30 - Seconds after the faceoff, Lupul jumps on a turnover in the Toronto zone and gets on a mini-breakaway, but his shot goes well over the cage.
15:16 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BOBBY RYAN - Seconds after he whiffs on a shot with a bit of an open net, Ryan gets a pass sent across the crease by Perry and whips it top shelf. Big-time celebration by Ryan, who raises his arms to the air, gives a double fist-pump, jumps into the glass and gives Perry a hard bear hug. Definitely a long time coming for the kid with only one goal coming into this one. And the Ducks now trail it 3-2.
14:48 - TOR Penalty - Colton Orr, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks nearly punch one in while the puck is bouncing around in front, but at least draw the minor. That's 17 minutes worth of penalties for Orr tonight.
It's trivia time and Lynn (a guy) from Dana Point is asked which player Bobby Ryan tied with for the Ducks rookie assist record. He's given the choice of Penner, Beauchemin, Kariya and Getzlaf. He guesses Penner and he's ... wrong. It's a guy in the building -- Beauchemin.
12:05 - Gustavsson robs Perry after being way out of position and somehow reaching back to glove a Perry try from the slot.
8:40 - TORONTO GOAL (POWER PLAY) - NIKLAS HAGMAN - After missing the net from point blank, Stempniak gets the puck back on his stick behind the Anaheim net. He walks in front with no one challenging him and fires a wrist shot past Hiller's glove. Big boos from the crowd, who don't think Toronto should have been on a power play in the first place. It's 3-1 Leafs.
8:10 - ANA Penalty - Scott Niedermayer, 2 min. roughing. Very scary moment as Todd Marchant
is shoulder checked into the wall by Lee Stempniak and hits the glass hard with the back of his head. Niedermayer comes into defend and somehow is the only one to get a penalty.
So the Ducks do this thing at the first timeout of every second period that's sponsored by Dr. Ghosheh lasik surgery center where they show a blurry image of a Duck and you try and guess who it is as it becomes more in focus. It's usually pretty easy to tell who it is, but every time they do it they give Todd Marchant and Saku Koivu as two of the four choices. I guess they think those two look alike.
6:48 - ANA Penalty - Matt Beleskey
, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks will be on the penalty kill when we come back from the timeout.
6:10 - Bad reaction from the home crowd following a Getzlaf turnover.
0:55 - Ryan makes a nifty move to tap the puck to himself and race down the left wing, but his wrist shot is stopped by Gustavsson. You know who could use a goal right about now? Bobby Ryan
0:00 - Puck drops for the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - What starts off promising becomes a rough period for the Ducks, who break the ice with the Nokelainen strike, but give up two on the power play. They're outshot 19-10 and trail 2-1 after one.
19:45 - Ducks barely escape as Hiller desperately kicks out his leg and the puck sits in the painted area for an eternity but no one pokes it in. It's a sigh of relief penalty kill for the Ducks, who hardly wanted to go down 3-1 to the Leafs after 1.
17:45 - ANA Penalty - Petteri Nokelainen, 2 min. hooking. Nokie gets tagged for hooking Stajan.
15:50 - TORONTO GOAL (POWER PLAY) - NIKLAS HAGMAN - The Leafs score again before Perry's double-minor can run out. Hagman has no Duck come to him as he controls the puck in the right wing circle, so he fires an uncontested wrist shot top shelf. It's 2-1 Leafs.
14:34 - TORONTO GOAL (POWER PLAY) - MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI - Not much the Ducks could do, with such a long 5 on 3, and the Leafs make it pay off. Stajan chases the puck to the wall behind the goal and feeds in front to Alexei Ponikarovsky, but the puck slides under Ponikarovsky's stick. Fortunately for the Leafs, Grabovski is behind him to one-time it past Hiller. We're tied 1-1.
13:44 - ANA Penalty - James Wisniewski
, 2 min. slashing.
12:08 - ANA Penalty - Bobby Ryan
, 2 min. slashing and Corey Perry
, 4 min. roughing and TOR Niklas Hagman, 2 min. roughing. The Ducks commit a penalty during their 5 on 4, so Toronto empties their net for an extra attacker and hold the puck for a good minute before the next whistle. The play is finally blown dead after Getzlaf and Beauchemin, of all people, start pushing and shoving away from the puck. Ryan jumps in to defend Getzlaf and that sets off a major rumble involving everyone, including Perry (whose swinging away despite getting his helmet knocked off a half-minute earlier) and Niedermayer. It's a yard sale of hockey equipment all over the ice as we finally clean this one up and end up 4 on 4. Perry gets the worst of it with a 4-minute minor for roughing. Replays show it was all started when Getzlaf put a glove in Beauchemin's face and Beauch fought back with a left cross.
10:35 - TOR Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. abuse of official.
10:28 - ANAHEIM GOAL - PETTERI NOKELAINEN - Niedermayer gets the puck from Ryan in the circle and begins heading away from the net toward the blue line. But he sees Nokelainen across the ice and sends the puck to him. Nokelainen lays into a one-timer that travels through a Todd Marchant screen and under Gustavsson. Great job by Marchant, who was inches from the goalie, and fell into him just after the puck crossed the stripe. It's 1-0 on Nokelainen's first of the year.
9:40 - Christensen nearly sneaks one through, poking at a loose puck that Gustavsson kick saves. He freezes the puck and the Leafs begin pushing and shoving again. They seem to enjoy that.
8:30 - Niedermayer makes a nice pass from the slot to Selanne on the doorstep, who has an open net as the puck somehow skids by his stick.
8:04 - ANA Todd Marchant
, 2 min. roughing and TOR Matt Stajan, 2 min. cross checking. Marchant throws Stajan into the wall, sparking a mini melee that starts when Stajan cross-checks Marchant in the back. There's a pileup among several players, but only those two get the gate.
During the timeout, Brian Burke and Francois Allaire are shown on the video board sitting in their box, with a WELCOME BACK, BRIAN AND FRANCOIS message. They both wave courteously. That's followed by a quick highlight video showing Francois Beauchemin's huge slap shot goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final and a shot of Beauch hoisting the Cup. Then a live shot of Beauchemin on the bench with a THANK YOU, FRANCOIS message. He waves to the crowd as well.
6:05 - Selanne gets a fortuitous bounce off the wall and gets on a partial breakaway down the left wing that Gustavsson bounces out to deny. Seconds later, Boynton makes a nice pass off the back wall to a waiting Christensen, and Gustavsson slides over and stacks the pads to make a huge stop.
2:54 - Away from the play, George Parros
and Colton Orr drop the gloves and undergo a marathon session that lasts longer than both anthems combined. They slug away for an eternity, with Parros taking a couple of shots to the head and giving back a couple as well. Just as it looks like the two are running out of gas, the officials converge. But Orr isn't ready to quit and reaches out with his right hand to push away linesman Brian Murphy, knocking him on his rear to the delight of the crowd. If you missed it, watch Sportscenter tonight. Orr gets the 10-minute misconduct in addition to the five for fighting.
0:52 - Wisniewski with a gorgeous blind touch pass behind to Perry on the rush, but it's just out of Perry's reach.
0:05 - Ducks ice it right off the draw.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:07 p.m. - Nice rendition of both anthems by Lindsey Ridgeway. That's followed by cast members of the show "Cold Case" taking part in the ceremonial puck drop, honored for their work with Hockey Fights Cancer.
Starting Goaltneders - ANA Jonas Hiller
; TOR Jonas Gustavsson
Starting Skaters - ANA Ryan Whitney, James Wisniewski
, Corey Perry
, Joffrey Lupul
, Ryan Getzlaf
; TOR Ian White, Francois Beauchemin, Niklas Hagman, John Mitchell,, Rickard Wallin
Scratches - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Luca Sbisa, Sheldon Brookbank
, Evgeny Artyukhin
(Add Justin Pogge to the Anaheim lineup)
Full Lineups/Game Notes