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TORONTO 6, DUCKS 3

Anaheim is on losing end of Maple Leafs' first win

The 6-3 loss is the Ducks' fourth in a row, as they drop to 3-6-1 with a solid grip on last place in the Pacific Division and a load of frustration. Toronto gets five power-play goals.

October 27, 2009|Robyn Norwood

A Ducks team that was struggling to stay afloat scraped bottom and then ran aground Monday, losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who had been the last winless team in the NHL.

The 6-3 loss -- the Ducks' fourth in a row on their home ice -- dropped them to 3-6-1 with a solid grip on last place in the Pacific Division and a load of frustration.

The Maple Leafs entered the Honda Center looking like a team that wanted to take out its own frustration on somebody, and the Ducks were too willing to tangle.

They came out on the short end, taking a slew of bad penalties that gave the Maple Leafs five power-play goals -- including three while skating five-on-three against the Ducks.

"It's terrible," goaltender Jonas Hiller said.

"It was probably the two teams playing the worst in the league right now. We never thought we would be in that situation, but we are there, and we have to recognize that."

By the end, even the Ducks' statesmenlike players -- captain Scott Niedermayer and assistant captain Saku Koivu -- were sent to the penalty box.

"When you start to see players like Koivu and Scott Niedermayer in reaction mode, then you start to question whether we put ourselves in a can't-win situation and if our attitude and frustration is getting the best of us," Coach Randy Carlyle said. "And I would have to say yes in some of those instances."

Toronto's Niklas Hagman contributed a hat trick, scoring a power-play goal in every period.

The Ducks led early on Petteri Nokelainen's first goal of the season, but things soon fell apart. With the Ducks on a power play after Toronto Coach Ron Wilson was assessed a bench minor for "abuse of an official," an everybody-in tussle broke out. When it was sorted out, Bobby Ryan went off for slashing and Toronto's Hagman for roughing.

However, the blow for the Ducks was Corey Perry's double-minor for roughing, which gave Toronto a 3:32 power-play opportunity.

It got worse when the Ducks' James Wisniewski was called for slashing, giving the Maple Leafs a five-on-three for two minutes, and Mikhail Grabovski cashed in for a 1-1 tie.

With Toronto still holding a one-man advantage and Perry in the box for 19 more seconds, Hagman scored the first of his three goals.

Hagman's second goal, once again on a power play, came 8:40 into the second, with the Leafs holding a two-man advantage again.

A hooking call against Matt Beleskey put Toronto on a power play, but when the Leafs' Lee Stempniak drove Todd Marchant into the boards without a penalty call, Niedermayer took exception to it and was sent off for roughing, his first penalty of the season.

With Toronto skating five-on-three for 38 seconds, Hagman missed from close range and then tried again and succeeded for a 3-1 lead.

The Ducks' Ryan cut the lead to 3-2 before the end of the second, but Toronto scored three more in the third.

"Not making the other team look bad, we skated a little harder tonight, and we drew some penalties, and they made some bad decisions when we were on the power play," Wilson said.

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Etc.

Goaltender Justin Pogge, called up from minor league Bakersfield on Monday for the second time in a week, dressed as the backup, with Jean-Sebastien Giguere sitting out because of the groin injury he aggravated against Columbus on Saturday. . . . Luca Sbisa, the 19-year-old defenseman acquired in the trade that sent Chris Pronger to Philadelphia, was reassigned to his Canadian junior team, the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League, and will remain there the rest of the team's season.

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robynnorwood@verizon.net

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