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Season Long Road Trip Starts with 4-2 Loss to Toronto

After an intensely boring first period, the Ducks looked like they were in good shape to keep their winning streak alive, but four unanswered goals from the Leafs (including a Phil Kessel hat trick) put the kibosh on that.


Final Score: Ducks 2, Leafs 4

First Period Recap: The opening period was uneventful but it worked out in the Ducks' favor.  Each team had a fruitless and shot less power play.

The Leafs ended up with only two shots on the period and went over 17 minutes between them.  Still, the Ducks weren't able to produce much.  Nobody seemed sharp, in fact Teemu Selanne collided with his own teammates twice in the period.

With two and a half minutes remaining in the period, Patrick Maroon laid a perfect backhand pass across the crease for Nick Bonino to tap in for a 1-0 lead.

Second Period Recap: The second period was as explosive as the first was boring.  Mathieu Perreault kicked it off with a hell of a shift that started with him winning the puck on the forecheck and ended with his Corey Perry impression, pulling the puck from behind the goal, waiting, waiting and waiting to get it to his fore hand and roofing it over Jonathan Bernier's glove hand shoulder.  2-0 Ducks, but it was down hill from there.

Immediately after the goal Jonas Hiller made two huge saves, one with a flash of the glove on Jay McClement and the second a nice butterfly save on a 2-on-1 between Joffrey Lupul and Mason Raymond.  Shortly thereafter, Corey Perry took a boarding penalty that he and the broadcasters thought was marginal, but was pretty obvious to me.

The Leafs got on the board with the second best power play percentage in the league.  They worked the puck down to Cody Franson, who's shot was saved and the rebound kicked out past James van Riemsdyk.  With all four Ducks penalty killers searching for the puck, on his second pass at the it, JVR found Phil Kessel wide open on the far post.

About a minute later Teemu turned the puck over at the offensive blueline that sprung the Leafs on a semi-3-on-2 break.  Dave Bolland's shot deflected off of Josh Leivo's shin pad and onto the tape of the trailing Dion Phaneuf's stick who wasted no time in snapping it past Hiller to tie the game.

The Ducks got their chance to get right back in the game when Sami Vatanen drew a hooking call on one of his many rushes up ice, and 33 seconds later Ryan Getzlaf was tripped on an entry into the zone to give Anaheim an extended 5-on-3 opportunity.  They possessed the puck for a loooooooong time in the Toronto zone, but were only able to produce one chance with the two man advantage.  Teemu couldn't handle a rebound off of the end boards with a wide open net, and by the time the puck settled for Perry, Bernier was just in position enough for the puck to hit him as he tried to get back to his skates.

A couple minutes later, Ben Lovejoy got stuck up ice and the Leafs went on another 2-on-1, this time it was Kessel with JVR.  Cam Fowler and Hiller played the 2-on-1 exactly by the book, giving Kessel the shot and boy did he take ever it.  Kessel showed exactly why the Leafs just signed him to an eight year $64M contract extension with his speed and sniper wrist shot over Hiller's blocker.

The period ended with Perry and Carl Gunnarsson dropping the gloves behind the play but only receiving two minutes each for roughing, so that the third would begin with two minutes of 4-on-4.

Third Period Recap: The 4-on-4 to start the period was wide open, with some decent chances on both sides of the ice.  The Ducks' best chance to get back even, however was several minutes later, when Perreault (who by my estimation was the best Duck throughout the game) drilled a pass onto the stick of Selanne, driving to the far post, but once again Teemu was unable to handle the puck and failed to get the shot on net.

The game was effectively put out of reach only two minutes after that when Hampus Lindholm fell down in the offensive zone sending JVR and Kessel off to the races once again.  Van Riemsdyk made a backhand pass similar to the one Maroon made to Bonino in the first to the same result.

The Ducks were able to put on some pressure as the game wound down, but it also exposed them to the Leafs' counter attack.  Most notably a JVR breakaway, where Jakob Silfverberg had no choice but to wrap him up and take the penalty shot.  Clearly winded from the first trip down the ice, van Riemsdyk attempted to flip a backhander high blocker side, but it was steered aside easily by Hiller.

Bruce Boudreau pulled Hiller for the extra attacker with 2:22 remaining in regulation, but to no avail, and the Ducks' franchise record seven game win streak went by the wayside.


The Good: Mathieu Perreault was great, even in being split from Silfverberg (who was moved to the fourth line in favor of Emerson Etem).  Sami Vatanen's ability to rush the puck up the ice was on full display.  The Ducks' fourth line outplayed that of the Leafs, until as Randy Carlyle is known to do, they stopped seeing the ice midway through the game.

The Bad: Nobody had an answer for Phil Kessel and JVR.  It wasn't so much a fault of the Ducks though, because those guys were on fire, once the first period ended.

The Ugly: Watching the Ducks completely shut down by four Leafs stacked across the blueline brought back some fond memories of the good early days of Randy Carlyle's regime, in the worst possible way since the Leafs have neither Scott Niedermayer nor Chris Pronger.


3rd MVD: Teemu Selanne, like most of the team, didn't look sharp tonight and had several golden opportunities that he wasn't able to capitalize on.

2nd MVD: Corey Perry wasn't able to establish his game and seemed frustrated by it.  Again, he wasn't the only one.  For the most part the Ducks forwards were all unable to gain the offensive zone effectively in the final 40 minutes.

1st MVD: Phillip Tiberius* Kessel was simply the best player on the ice all night.

Next Game: Thursday, October 24nd 4:30pm PT @ Montreal.

*probably not his real middle name