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Ducks beat Maple Leafs 5-0

Thursday, 01.10.2008 / 1:41 AM / Game of the Night

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Doug Weight became the fifth U.S.-born player to get 700 career assists by setting up Chris Kunitz’s goal at the 10-minute mark. Watch the goal 
Todd Bertuzzi is healthy again. That’s good news for the Anaheim Ducks — and it was bad news for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bertuzzi scored an early goal and set up two others as the Ducks rolled over Toronto 5-0 on Wednesday night in the Leafs’ first visit to Anaheim in more than four years. Bertuzzi had his first three-point game as a Duck, and the line of Bertuzzi, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf combined for eight points.

“We were warned before the game of that line,” Toronto defenseman Andy Wozniewski said. “They came through.”

Jean-Sebastien Giguere wasn’t severely tested as he stopped 28 shots for his 27th career shutout and second of the season.

The Ducks, who won their fifth straight home game, host Pacific Division rivals San Jose and Dallas before beginning a stretch in which they play 12 of 13 games away from home, including a nine-game road trip. That made the win against Toronto a big one.

“Winning at home is huge,” Bertuzzi said. “We have a couple more games to go, and it’s important to get these points.”

Anaheim got off to a fast start. Just 2:11 into the game, Bertuzzi took a breakaway pass in his skates, got the puck onto his forehand and went in alone, deking Vesa Toskala to the ice before beating him for his seventh goal of the season ( 700K ).

The Leafs carried the play for most of the rest of the period and were outshooting the Ducks 10-4 in the final seconds. But with time winding down, Toronto defenseman Hal Gill fell down at the Ducks’ blue line. Getzlaf poked the puck to Perry, who led a three-on-one rush. With the Leafs scrambling to get back, Perry fed Bertuzzi, then took a return pass and beat Toskala from the right circle with 5.7 seconds remaining for a 2-0 lead ( 700K ).

“We’re keeping it simple and trying to do the right things,” Bertuzzi said. “We didn’t play a great first period. We were fortunate to have a 2-0 lead.”

The Leafs spent much of the second period on the power play — Anaheim took three straight minors, giving Toronto six minutes with the man advantage in the first 16:13. But the Leafs’ 27th-ranked power play did very little with all the extra-man time. Anaheim defenseman Scott Niedermayer made the best play with about four minutes left in the period when he got his stick out to break up a pass that was headed for an unchecked Leaf.

“We need to put the puck in the net on the power play,” Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. “We had enough opportunities. We just didn’t do it.”

The Ducks put the game away early in the third. Getzlaf kept the puck in the zone by fending off Nik Antropov near the blue line and fed Bertuzzi along the right boards. Bertuzzi skated into the right circle and fed the puck into the slot, where newcomer Brandon Bochenski one-timed it through Toskala’s pads at 4:16 for a 3-0 lead ( 700K ).

“Getz made a great play to keep the puck in,” said Bochenski, who joined the Ducks in a trade from Boston on Jan. 2. “It was a kind of tic-tac-toe play. I put it on net and it went in.”

Doug Weight added a power-play goal at 6:46 when Perry’s pass from the left point deflected into the net off his skate as he drove to the right of the crease. The play was originally ruled no goal, but was changed after a video review ( 700K ).

Weight became the fifth U.S.-born player to get 700 career assists by setting up Chris Kunitz’s goal at the 10-minute mark. Weight fed a hard pass from the right circle to Kunitz in front of the net. Toskala stopped one shot but Kunitz poked in the rebound for the Ducks’ second power-play goal ( 700K ).

Toronto, playing its first game at the Honda Center since Nov. 12, 2003, was shut out for the first time this season. The Leafs have lost six of their last seven games and haven’t scored more than three goals in a game since a 4-0 win at Atlanta on Dec. 14.

“It’s discouraging,” Maurice said of his team’s offensive troubles. “We’ve got to find some ways to get some guys going.”

The Leafs continue their swing through California with a game in Los Angeles on Thursday, and captain Mats Sundin feels the quick turnaround might be the best thing for his team.

“We’re going through some tough times now,” he said. “It’s nice to play a game tomorrow. It gives us a good chance to bounce back.”

Material from wire services and team online and broadcast media was used in this report.

Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets