All good things must come to an end and that includes a franchise record seven game winning streak for the Ducks.
On Tuesday, the Toronto Maple Leafs got a decisive 4-2 victory over Anaheim, including a hat trick from Phil Kessel. And things started off so nicely, too.
Patrick Maroon, who was back in the line up after Dustin Penner suffered a nasty hit to the head, had a great shot at the Toronto net that Nick Bonino tapped in at 17:38 of the first period. Mathieu Perreault extended the lead to 2-0 at 1:59 of the second period, but that was all the Ducks could muster against Jonathan Bernier.
A questionable boarding call against Corey Perry gave Toronto a power play and Phil Kessel got his first of the evening at 7:44 with the man advantage. Dion Phaneuf scored just over a minute later to tie up the game and coach Bruce Boudreau wisely took his time out.
Talk about momentum shifting!
Getting a 5 on 3 power play of their own was a great opportunity to take the lead back from Toronto. The Ducks could barely muster one shot on goal and they seemed deflated after that.
“We started collectively turning pucks over, and that’s a fast hockey team,” said defenseman Ben Lovejoy. “We gave them too many easy pucks, easy turnovers, and they were able to hit it back at us with speed. We certainly lost our composure and didn’t play how we wanted to play. That’s one of the fastest teams we’ve played, and they made us pay.”
Kessel got goal number two at 16:09 of the middle frame and made sure the hats rained down at 8:11 of the third period.
“We really stunk for (Jonas Hiller) last game,” Lovejoy said. “(Frederik Andersen) came in and bailed us out. That was a turning point for us in that game. Tonight, we got some great goaltending again, but we weren’t able to be there for Jonas.”
Hiller stopped a penalty shot from James Van Riemsdyk in the third period to keep the Ducks in the game, but his teammates were unable to score at the other end.
Not the way the Ducks wanted to start their eight game road trip, but they get a chance to start a new winning streak on Thursday in Montreal. The crowd won't be any easier on them there. Rediscovering the power play will certainly go a long way to helping them get another notch in the win column, though.