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Leafs Win Third Straight

Monday, 28.11.2011 / 12:00 AM / News
Associated Press
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Leafs Win Third Straight
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Tyler Bozak scored two goals, Joffrey Lupul had two assists against his former Anaheim teammates, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Ducks 5-2 Sunday night for their fourth victory in five games.

Bozak and Clarke MacArthur scored 19 seconds apart in the first period for Toronto, which reclaimed first place in the Northeast Division and sent the spiralling Ducks to their seventh consecutive loss.

Joey Crabb also scored, Luke Schenn added an empty-netter from in front of his own goal with 12 seconds left, and Jonas Gustavsson made 26 saves in his fourth straight victory for the Maple Leafs during starter James Reimer's injury absence.

Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin scored for the Ducks, who have won just twice in 18 games since Oct. 17.

Jonas Hiller made 23 saves for the Ducks, who have only 16 points _ the NHL's second-lowest total _ despite the presence of a reigning league MVP, an all-star goalie and a wealth of elite talent.

Bozak's third two-goal game of his career was his second in three games. Such are the rewards of skating on the Leafs' top line with NHL scoring leader Phil Kessel, who had an assist for his 31st point, and Lupul, who's second in the league with 29 points in his own breakout offensive season.

Lupul was impressive in his return to Anaheim, which surprisingly dealt him to Toronto nine months ago shortly after he returned from a full year's absence due to back injuries. Rookie defenceman Jake Gardiner also played more than 25 minutes for the Leafs, who acquired him in the same trade with Anaheim for Beauchemin.

With former Ducks general manager Brian Burke watching from the visiting executives' suite and original Ducks coach Ron Wilson behind the Maple Leafs' bench, Toronto wrapped up a four-game road trip with another strong offensive effort in their only Southern California appearance of the season. The Leafs have scored 25 goals in their last five games, getting an early jump in the race for their first playoff spot since 2004.

After Beauchemin's opening goal on a pass from Teemu Selanne behind the net, Toronto evened it late in the first period when Bozak scored in front on a slick back-pass from John-Michael Liles.

Just 19 seconds later, MacArthur capitalized on Toni Lydman's turnover and fired a shot that deflected off Ducks defenceman Luca Sbisa's stick and found a sliver of net over Hiller's shoulder. MacArthur has scored a goal in three straight games after a three-game injury absence.

Crabb also scored in his third straight game, connecting in the second period to provoke scattered boos from the Anaheim crowd. Bozak then added his second goal in the opening minute of the second period, ending up in perfect position to score on the rebound of Kessel's shot.

Perry, a 50-goal scorer last season while winning the Hart Trophy, scored his 10th goal in 23 games while in traffic 5:38 into the third period.

Notes: Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf's goal drought reached a career-worst 14 games. ... Kessel had scored against every NHL team except Anaheim. ... Wilson says Gardiner, the Ducks' top draft pick in 2008, is the most impressive young defenceman he can remember coaching. ... Before the game, Anaheim recalled G Jeff Deslauriers from its AHL affiliate in Syracuse. Dan Ellis, Hiller's backup, was scratched with a groin strain.
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