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Five power-play goals lead Leafs to first win

NHL.com @NHL

The Anaheim Ducks couldn't stay out of the box on Monday. By the end of the night, all those penalty minutes had equated into the Toronto Maple Leafs' first win of the season.

Niklas Hagman scored three of the Leafs' five power-play goals and Tomas Kaberle tallied a goal and four assists with the extra man in a 6-3 victory at the Honda Center. Jonas Gustavsson returned from a groin injury to make 25 saves as Toronto ended an 0-7-1 skid that represented the worst start in franchise history.

"Obviously it's huge," Hagman said. "The start of the year was really tough. We didn't play well. The last two games we played pretty well, we just haven't gotten the results. We knew that if we stick with the game plan, get our team to play the way that we can, that we're going to eventually win. It was big, there's no denying that."

Mikhail Grabovski also had a power-play goal and Lee Stempniak had the Leafs' only goal at even strength. About the only thing that didn't go right was when Petteri Nokelainen opened the scoring for Anaheim midway through the first, continuing a streak in which Toronto's opponent has gotten the first goal in every game this season.

Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry had the other goals for the Ducks, who finished with a total of 17 penalties for 45 minutes. They gave the Leafs 11 power-play opportunities, including several lengthy 5-on-3 advantages.

"I think we took some untimely penalties and give Toronto credit, they took advantage of them," Anaheim defenseman Brendan Mikkelson said.

Grabovski answered Nokelainen's goal by scoring on a two-man advantage for a 1-1 tie with 5:26 left in the first. Hagman put Toronto ahead to stay 1:16 later and extended the Leafs' lead to 3-1 at 8:40 of the second.

Ryan scored a power-play goal for Anaheim, bringing the Ducks within 3-2 heading to the third. But Stempniak restored Toronto's two-goal advantage at the 3:58 mark and when the Ducks' parade to the penalty box resumed, the Leafs continued to make them pay.

"The start of the year was really tough. We didn't play well. The last two games we played pretty well, we just haven't gotten the results. We knew that if we stick with the game plan, get our team to play the way that we can, that we're going to eventually win. It was big, there's no denying that."
-- Niklas Hagman

Kaberle, who leads the team with 10 points, picked up his first goal of the season at 6:11 and Hagman finished off his second career hat trick at 10:10 before Perry closed out the scoring with 6:33 remaining.

"We've been trying to improve it," Hagman said of the Leafs' power play. "Obviously today we got a lot of chances to work on it. We managed to find the spots that we needed to get the pucks there and shoot at the net, and we did a pretty good job today."

Jonas Hiller stopped 33 shots for Anaheim, which lost its fourth straight at home and fell to 1-5-0 at the Honda Center.

"It was pretty desperate times for us as well," Mikkelson said. "We had dropped three in a row before this one … we weren't concerned with their record, we just wanted to turn our ship around and we didn't do that, so we're going to have to get back to the drawing board here."

Toronto's win came in the return of GM Brian Burke to Anaheim, where he engineered a Stanley Cup team in 2007.

-- Brian Hunter, NHL.com

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



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