For all the spells the Ducks go through when the puck eludes them like an affliction, Rickard Rakell seems to right them like tonic.
Friday was the latest example of the puck finding the wing, especially when the Ducks needed it the most: Coming off a bye week and matched up against the Toronto Maple Leafs eager for a win on their California trip.
Rakell's 25th and 26th goals drove the Ducks to a 5-2 win at Honda Center, backed by goalie Jonathan Bernier's 37 saves in his first career game against his former team.
Rakell tends to score in bunches, and this batch felt good.
"I had a time there where I didn't feel like a lot was happening when I was on the ice," Rakell said. "I'm just trying look at previous games, just to see what was working for me. So I'm just trying to put myself in those positions."
There was legitimate concern for the Ducks in their first game out of the bye week because NHL teams initially went 4-12-4 in their first games following the required hiatus.
But Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg scored 16 seconds apart in the second period. Sami Vatanen later scored off a threaded cross-ice pass from Ryan Getzlaf, and Patrick Eaves scored on an empty net in his Ducks home debut as Anaheim moved to second place in the Pacific Division.
"We still feel like we have a lot to prove and improve, too," Rakell said. "We want to make sure we keep building."
Bernier was traded from Toronto to the Ducks last July, and he wanted to prove his former team wrong.
"I think the guys knew in the room, too, as well," Bernier said. "Anytime you get traded you want to have a good performance, but I just wanted to focus on the process and doing my job."
Former Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen did not play for Toronto following a shootout loss Thursday. But perhaps Andersen wouldn't have fared much better during a second-period charge.
Silfverberg lifted a steep-angle backhand shot, his 18th goal, at 9:41 of the second period to tie it, 1-1.
Rakell followed with a rebound tap-in after Hampus Lindholm's keep-in play on net forced Toronto goalie Curtis McElhinney to make a save.
Rakell's first goal was the result of hard work by Logan Shaw and Chris Wagner. Shaw started the rush along the boards and Wagner fought off Toronto's Alexey Marchenko on the right side to set up Rakell for a one-timer into an open net at 10:40 of the first period.
The Ducks could have built momentum from there if not for three minor penalties by Corey Perry. Nazem Kadri converted the final one for a 2-1 Maple Leafs lead.
Shaw signed a one-year contract extension, the team announced. The fourth-line wing has a one-way contract worth $650,000 and some stability after he was acquired from the Florida Panthers in November.
Antoine Vermette will not further appeal his 10-game suspension to an arbitrator, according to multiple reports. Vermette's suspension for abuse of an official was upheld Feb. 25 by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. He served the sixth game of his suspension Friday and will be eligible to return March 12.