Maple Leafs 6 Ducks 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Niklas Hagman scored three of Toronto’s five power-play goals, and the Maple Leafs finally earned their first victory of the season, 6-3 over the struggling Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.
Tomas Kaberle scored a career-high five points and Lee Stempniak added a career-best four as the Maple Leafs (1-7-1) finally slowed the worst start in the Original Six franchise’s history.
Jonas Gustavsson made 25 saves in his first start in nearly three weeks as Toronto repeatedly capitalized on Anaheim’s 17 penalties and all-around sloppy play. The Maple Leafs scored four goals while Anaheim had just three skaters on the ice, including three two-man advantage goals.
Petteri Nokelainen, Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry scored for the slumping Ducks, whose penalty-killers struggled even more than the Maple Leafs’ league-worst unit. Jonas Hiller stopped 33 shots, but couldn’t keep up with the Maple Leafs’ lengthy advantages during Anaheim’s fourth straight loss.
The Ducks have given up 21 goals during their skid.
Mikhail Grabovski scored a two-man advantage goal for Toronto in the first period, and Hagman converted another two-man advantage midway through the second. Kaberle added a 4-on-3 goal with 13:49 to play during yet another delayed penalty by the Ducks, and Hagman completed his hat trick with 9:50 left on yet another 5-on-3 goal.
Kaberle had a goal and four assists, while Stempniak contributed a goal and three assists. Matt Stajan added three assists.
Toronto general manager Brian Burke watched from the press box in his new team’s first visit to the franchise he led to its lone Stanley Cup title in 2007. Burke left the Ducks last November, saying he wanted to work closer to his family, and swiftly took over the Maple Leafs.
Former teammates Ryan Getzlaf and Francois Beauchemin exchanged shoves and nearly fought in the first period after Getzlaf hit the former Anaheim defenceman with a high check. Perry ended up with a double minor for roughing after the 10-man scrum.
Toronto got a two-man advantage moments later, and Grabovski capitalized on a slick behind-the-net pass from Stajan. Hagman scored 1:16 later on the same power play.
The rough play continued in the second period when Stempniak nearly left his skates to send Todd Marchant into the boards, hitting the back of his head on the glass. Stempniak wasn’t penalized, but Anaheim captain Scott Niedermayer got a roughing penalty in the ensuing shoving match, giving Toronto another two-man advantage — and Hagman capitalized again.
Ryan added a power-play goal late in the second, ending a six-game goal drought with just his second goal and fourth point of an unimpressive season for the top-line wing.
NOTES: Gustavsson hadn’t played since Oct. 6 after injuring his groin. Toronto activated him from injured reserve Sunday. … Expatriate Canadians didn’t come close to filling the Honda Center for just the Leafs’ third visit in more than 11 years. Toronto’s last two visits to Anaheim were in November 2003 and January 2008. … Toronto won’t match the longest skid in team history, when the Leafs lost 10 straight from Jan. 15-Feb. 8, 1967 before winning the Stanley Cup later that year.