Anaheim Ducks Win Streak Ends with 6-2 Loss to Toronto Maple Leafs

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Dec 16, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Anaheim Ducks left wing Patrick Maroon (19) goes into the corner after the puck against Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Stephane Robidas (12) at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Ducks 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks had their seven game winning streak snapped in a 6-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was their first loss in the month of December and first since a 6-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks on November 29th. The Ducks’ record dropped to 21-7-5, but the team still leads the NHL with 47 points in the standings.

The Ducks received the first power play of the game after Peter Holland was called for closing his hand on the puck in the faceoff circle at the 11:16 mark. Anaheim was unable to generate anything from the man advantage and struggled to move the puck efficiently. The Maple Leafs then opened the scoring after a scramble in front of the Ducks net allowed Tyler Bozak to get to a loose puck and shovel a backhander past Frederik Andersen at the 15:12 mark of the opening period. It was Bozak’s 12th goal of the year, and James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel each picked up an assist on the goal as well.

59 seconds later, the Ducks were given a second power play on a very marginal penalty called against van Riemsdyk for goaltender interference. The Ducks looked much better on their second chance with the power play, but were once again unable to find a way to beat Jonathan Bernier. The opening 20 minutes concluded with the Ducks trailing the Maple Leafs 1-0, but with the Ducks leading in shots on goal by a count of 17-11.

The Maple Leafs would add to their lead early in the 2nd period as Joffrey Lupul was able to fire a one-timer past Andersen just 1:31 into the second frame.  Andrew Cogliano had an excellent chance a couple minutes after the Lupul goal, as he got to a rebound and put it underneath Bernier, but the puck just slid past the far post, and the Maple Leafs dodged another bullet.

The Maple Leafs would get the first power play of the second period, and their first of the game, as Jakob Silfverberg was called for interference at the 7:58 mark. Andersen robbed Phil Kessel early in the power play, but the Maple Leafs couldn’t generate anything else and the Ducks were able to escape that power play without any further damage. The Maple Leafs would get yet another power play in the second period as Tim Jackman was called for hooking. However, it would be the Ducks that would capitalize on Toronto’s man advantage, as Sami Vatanen joined Ryan Kesler on a shorthanded 2-on-1 breakaway and beat Bernier with a wrist shot. Kesler and Ryan Getzlaf were given the assists on Vatanen’s shorthanded goal, his ninth goal of the year and the team’s fifth shorthanded goal of the year. The second period would end 2-1 in favor of the Maple Leafs, with the Ducks still dominating the shot count 31-16.

The third period began with the Ducks needing one goal to tie. Dion Phaneuf and Getzlaf would take coincidental minors 2:10 into the period, but nothing would come of those. However, the game would quickly change and favor the Maple Leafs after David Booth was able to capitalize on a wraparound attempt at the 4:37 mark, just sneaking it between Andersen’s pad and the post.

With the Ducks now trailing by two in the final 20 minutes, they began to push forward and leave the back end a bit more open, and it didn’t take long for that strategy to cost them yet another goal. Nazem Kadri fired a quick wrist shot past Andersen, and within 51 seconds, the deficit had gone from one to three for the Ducks. At this point, Bruce Boudreau had seen enough from Andersen and decided to pull the goalie, putting Ilya Bryzgalov in the game.

Kesler would answer the Kadri goal at 8:35 of the third period, tipping the puck past Bernier on a shot from Kyle Palmieri. Matt Beleskey was given the other assist on the goal, and the deficit was cut back down to two. Patrick Maroon was called for an unsportmanlike conduct penalty after arguing an offsides call, and the Leafs were quick to capitalize on the power play, with Kessel burying his 16th goal of the season, extending Toronto’s lead to 5-2. After a quick scuffle between Phaneuf and Jackman, Kessel got a breakaway and that was where the game, and the seven game winning streak for Anaheim, would end.

The three stars for the Ducks are up next.