ANAHEIM - With the Ducks looking for their first three-game winning streak of a topsy-turvy season, a former mate squashed those hopes.
Former Ducks netminder Frederik Andersen, in his second year in Toronto, stopped 28 of 29 Anaheim shots in a 3-1 Maple Leafs victory at Honda Center.
Trailing by a goal late, Anaheim appeared to tie it with just 1:38 left off the skate of Jakob Silfverberg, with Andersen vehemently waving it off as soon as it got past him. It turned out he was right, as officials determined Silfverberg distinctively had his skate moving forward in kicking the puck over the stripe. The call on the ice of no goal was upheld after a relatively brief replay review.
"As soon as it happened, it was kind of 50/50," Silfverberg said. "I wasn't really sure if I lifted my foot off the ice. As I saw the replay, it kind of leaned toward disallowing it, but you never know. They watched the video, so I'm sure they made the right call. In a situation like that, it's in tight, so you never really know what happens. I guess it could've gone either way."
The Ducks never again threatened, instead giving up a late empty-netter in dropping to 6-5-1 on what so far has been a an injury-plagued season.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf missed the first of at least three games with a facial injury suffered Sunday in Carolina and has played just six of Anaheim's first 12. Tonight he joined a litany of Ducks still on the shelf with various ailments, including Cam Fowler, Kevin Bieksa, Patrick Eaves and Ryan Kesler.
In addition to Andersen, the Ducks were rebuffed by a number of shots off the post. "We can't be satisfied with scoring one goal," Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm said. "We need to go out and work to make sure those post-out (shots) go post-in."
A Ducks turnover led to the night's first goal, as Connor Brown tapped in a James van Riemsdyk feed eight minutes into the game.
"We were a little sloppy on some plays that got their momentum going," Lindholm said. "You kill your momentum when you get pucks turned over and feed the rush for those quick forwards on Toronto. We kind of got it back in the second period after the goal. We started battling and playing hard, but in the third we came out flat-footed."
Anaheim countered quickly though, as Ondrej Kase tossed the puck on net from near the left wing wall and it deflected in off defenseman Andreas Borgman.
Video: TOR@ANA: Kase whips puck in off opponent
Neither team found the net for the next 30-plus minutes until Toronto struck early in the third on a backhand punch-in by longtime San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau. It was the 31st goal in 109 career games vs. Anaheim for the 38-year-old Marleau.
Not long after the apparent tying goal was denied, Toronto essentially put the game away when John Gibson headed to the bench for an extra attacker, then tried to circle back as Toronto gained the puck. He just missed making a diving stop on Leo Komarov's shot from the left wing.
"They kept us to the outside," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We didn't really establish that much of a grind period. We had a really good period in the second to get ourselves going with some momentum. We found ways to get the puck in deep, we started to cycle, and that's the type of game we're going to have to play with where we're at with our group."
The Ducks will look to get back on track Friday night vs. Nashville on Country Night at Honda Center.