Ducks' woes continue, lose to Toronto, 3-1

Shots aren't going in. There's great frustration with the power-play failures. The Western Conference lead has slipped away.

And their old coach beat them.


The Ducks are sitting squarely in what Coach Bruce Boudreau classified Monday as a funk after their 3-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Coach Randy Carlyle at Honda Center.

After two shootout losses to Montreal and Pittsburgh, the Ducks were done in by the very enemies they'd practiced for.

Toronto forward Phil Kessel, who torched them for a hat trick in October, returned to score a goal and contribute two assists.

The power-play rut worsened to one for 19 after they finished a demoralizing 0 for 4.

"We need to keep shooting," center Ryan Getzlaf said. "We can't let not scoring bring us down all the time. We get down every time we don't score on the power play and instead of using momentum we create during the power, we feel if we don't score, we kill it all. And that can't be the case."

Ex-Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier capped the frustration by stopping 43 of 44 shots on goal, although the Ducks were chafed they didn't make Bernier's life more difficult.

"We made it easy on him," defenseman Francois Beauchemin said. "He saw pretty much all the shots. We should've had more guys in front, getting some screens and tips, just to get in the dirty areas. We're struggling to score because we're not."

After a late first-period goal, Kessel distracted Ducks rookie goalie Frederik Andersen by charging forward, then slid a pass across the ice to defenseman Paul Ranger, who beat Andersen on his opposite side for a 3-0 Toronto lead 3:44 into the second period.

"A lot of things went our way early in the hockey game, and frustration set in on their part," Carlyle said.

Reaching in the deep hole, the Ducks found their game and out-shot the Maple Leafs, 17-9, in the second, breaking through for a goal when Corey Perry closed a barrage by following a Patrick Maroon shot that bounced off Bernier.

Perry has 35 goals, second in the NHL with Kessel third with 34.

Bernier rallied from that moment, especially on the penalty kill, and the Ducks had all 16 shots in the third period denied.

"We know where we stand," defenseman Ben Lovejoy said, referring to trailing St. Louis in the Western Conference and now peeking back at closing San Jose in the Pacific Division. "We need to play better. Our goal is to be the No. 1 team in the NHL."


Instead, they were haunted by Kessel again, his goal coming when he rushed down the ice with a turnover, sprinting ahead of defenders Hampus Lindholm and Beauchemin to force a shot on Andersen that deflected off the knob of Andersen's stick into the goal with 39 seconds remaining in the first period.

"We went over everything," Boudreau said. "Everything they do, we went over. Then, we still make the same mistakes."

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