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Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak lead Leafs past Ducks 3-1 in coach Randy Carlyle's return to Anaheim

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 12:55 AM / News

The Canadian Press

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Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak lead Leafs past Ducks 3-1 in coach Randy Carlyle's return to Anaheim

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak each had a goal and two assists, and the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrated coach Randy Carlyle's return to Anaheim with a 3-1 victory over the Ducks on Monday night.

Paul Ranger scored and Jonathan Bernier made 43 saves as the Maple Leafs opened a five-game trip with their third consecutive victory, leapfrogging Montreal into second place in the Atlantic Division.

Carlyle was back at Honda Center for the first time since the Ducks fired the only coach to lead the franchise to a Stanley Cup title. He got a standing ovation in the first period during a video tribute on the scoreboard.

Corey Perry scored his 35th goal and Frederik Andersen stopped 20 shots in the Ducks' third straight loss to playoff-bound Eastern Conference teams.

Before this loss to end a five-game homestand, Anaheim fell one point behind streaking St. Louis in the overall NHL standings with consecutive shootout losses to Montreal and Pittsburgh. The Ducks hadn't lost in regulation since Feb. 5, before the Olympic break.

Bernier didn't have to make many tough saves despite his gaudy stats for the Leafs, who are ramping up for their second trip to the post-season under Carlyle, earning points in 10 of their past 12 games.

Carlyle won a club-record 273 games with the Ducks and made the playoffs five times in his six full seasons, but was fired in November 2011 with Anaheim off to a miserable start.

The Ducks have done exceptionally well since the change to Bruce Boudreau, who won 100 games faster than any coach in franchise history and led Anaheim to last season's Pacific Division title.

Carlyle acknowledged his ovation with a wave of his hand — and then the Ducks performed almost as poorly as they were playing when Carlyle got fired.

Toronto took the lead during 4-on-3 play late in the first period when Bozak redirected a pass from captain Dion Phaneuf for his 15th goal.

Kessel then roared up the middle past two Ducks defencemen and got a fortunate bounce off Andersen's stick for his 34th goal, breaking his second-place tie with Ryan Getzlaf in the overall NHL scoring race. Kessel also snapped his first three-game goal drought since early January.

Early in the second period, Anaheim's atrocious defensive breakdown led to a 2-on-1 goal for Ranger, who has scored two goals on each side of the Olympic break.

The Ducks broke through at the end of a dominant shift by their top line, with Perry banging home a puck on the doorstep for his fifth goal in five games since the break.

Anaheim went scoreless on four power plays, dropping into an 0-for-19 slump since the break.

NOTES: Carlyle isn't the only former Anaheim resident who returned with the Leafs: Joffrey Lupul, Peter Holland and Troy Bodie all played for the Ducks, while defenceman Jake Gardiner was a top Anaheim prospect before the club traded him along with Lupul for Francois Beauchemin in February 2011. ... Anaheim C Mathieu Perreault missed his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury. Boudreau expects him to return Wednesday in Calgary. ... The Ducks are 4-6-2 at home since their 20-0-2 start to the season.

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I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

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