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Leafs Defeated in the Desert

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs



GLENDALE
, Ariz. _ Shane Doan joked about the timing of his big night, but maybe there's something to it: Right around Christmas, he said, is when he begins to raise his game every season.

The 39-year-old captain of the Coyotes has spent a lot of Christmases in the NHL, and he'll go into this one with a happy memory.

Doan scored twice in a 14-second span of the first period and assisted on the go-ahead goal in the third, leading Arizona to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

"I have had five or six goals going into Christmas quite a few years in a row and I end up getting better in the second half,'' Doan said. ``Hopefully it can continue.''

Connor Murphy's shot zipped through traffic and into the net with 13:54 to play, giving the Coyotes a lead they held the rest of the way. Arizona improved to 10-1-1 in its last 12 against Toronto dating to the 2005-06 season and has four straight wins versus the Maple Leafs.

The Coyotes withstood Toronto's pressure with an extra skater over the final 2 minutes, ending the Maple Leafs' streak of six games with at least one point.

Louis Domingue stopped 37 shots, including back-to-back tries on a first-period breakaway, for his second win in three appearances in net this season. Brad Richardson assisted on one of Doan's goals and on Murphy's, which broke a 2-all tie.

"Louis was real big in goal. Gave us a great game,'' Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.

"Doaner took care of the offence for us. It's a win. We'll move on, get a couple of days off and get ready for a pretty heavy schedule coming out of Christmas.''

It took just more than 15 minutes for the first goal of the game to come, but after the Maple Leafs' James van Riemsdyk scored on a power play at 15:09 of the first period, Doan's two goals came seconds later. Doan flagged down a fortuitous bounce of a pass off the boards and backhanded the puck past Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier at 15:16, tying the score.

Doan shrugged his shoulders and smiled in celebration.

He scored again 14 seconds later, his eighth of the season coming when he gathered in a loose puck and shot off the far post, then followed the miss and beat Bernier with a quick wrister to give the Coyotes the lead.

The three goals in 21 seconds marked the fastest three-goal sequence in Maple Leafs history.

"A couple of bad bounces in the first, but we stuck with it as a team,'' Bernier said. "A lot of good things out there.''

Doan has 376 career goals, all with the Arizona franchise, and is four short of passing Dale Hawerchuk's franchise record.

The Maple Leafs had an opportunity to draw even just before the end of the first when the Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larsson was called for hooking on a breakaway, giving Michael Grabner a penalty shot. But Domingue stopped the attempt with 5 seconds to play.

"It was a save we needed at the time,'' Domingue said. "It's always easier when you are just alone with a guy and you can read him a little better.''

Toronto had a goal waved off for goalie interference in the second period, but with 6 minutes to play tied the score at 2. Nazem Kadri got his stick on Tyler Bozak's pass from behind the net that glanced off Murphy's skate, and put the puck in.

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock challenged the goalie interference call but lost.

"I didn't think we were as competitive as we could have been in the first. There was not a lot going on,'' Babcock said. "After that I thought we were pretty good.''

Kadri has seven points in his last seven games and Bozak eight in his last six.

Bernier finished with 23 saves.

NOTES: van Riemsdyk has 13 points in his past 12 games. ... The Maple Leafs' Peter Holland and the Coyotes' Max Domi were given 5-minute penalties for fighting in the second period. . Kadri said he missed the first-period flurry of goals when he had to go into the locker room to be examined after taking a hit to the head. He was cleared to continue playing. ... Doan moved into 29th place on the NHL's career games played list. ... Doan's six first-period goals lead the Coyotes this season. ... Arizona D Nicklas Grossman left in the second period with an upper-body injury after taking a couple of hits and didn't return. Tippett said Grossman is day to day.

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