Maple Leafs win 6-1 over struggling Ducks
William Nylander and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist, and Connor Brown also scored for Toronto, which has won three in a row at Scotiabank Arena after dropping six of their previous seven home games.
The Ducks, who trailed 6-0 after the first period of Saturday’s 9-3 loss in Winnipeg, lost their fourth straight game and have two victories in their last 18 games (2-12-4).
Locked in a scoreless tie after the opening 20 minutes, the Leafs moved ahead at 3:02 of the second when Tavares snapped his 31st goal of the season, beating Gibson high on the short side while Toronto was in the midst of a line change.
Andersen, who shared the Anaheim crease with Gibson from 2013-16 before the trade that made him the Leafs’ No. 1 goalie, stopped Nick Ritchie on a breakaway later in the period, prompting the home crowd to belt out chants of “Freddie! Freddie!”
Gibson then robbed Auston Matthews on a Toronto power play, but Johnsson made it 2-0 just 10 seconds after the penalty expired when he backhanded his 11th goal of the season at 13:40. It came off a rebound of s shot by Muzzin through traffic.
Acquired from Los Angeles for two prospects and Toronto’s first-round pick in June last Monday, the Leafs defenseman then rocked Corey Perry near the Ducks bench to once again energize the building.
Ritchie took a cross-checking penalty on Muzzin in retaliation moments later.
Muzzin made the Ducks pay on the ensuing power play, blasting his fifth goal of the season past Gibson with 2.2 seconds left on the clock, snapping a 2-for-33 skid with the man advantage.
Anaheim got on the board at 2:45 of the third when Rakell scored his ninth goal of the season past Andersen’s blocker at 2:45.
But the Leafs got that one back 31 seconds later, when Brown beat Brandon Montour to the front of the net on a 2-on-2 to rush and chipped his fifth past Gibson.
Nylander, who came in with just one goal and six assists since ending his contract impasse in early December, then picked the far corner on Gibson for his second goal of the campaign.
That ended the night for Gibson, who has been pulled in three straight games. He went to the locker room and didn’t return to the bench.
Johnsson then cut into the slot and fired his 12th past Johnson at 14:51 to make it 6-1.
Wearing the team’s road whites, Toronto came out fast against Anaheim — which was sporting its throwback Mighty Ducks uniforms — in the game’s opening minutes.
Gibson, who entered play having faced 106 more shots than the next-closest NHL goalie, was swimming in the blue paint early as Zach Hyman had a chance at a wide-open net that somehow stayed out.
The Ducks responded by taking the body — Montour laid a nice check on Johnsson along the boards — while Ryan Kesler, who returned to the lineup after missing five games with a hamstring injury, tried to get under the skin of a few different Leafs.
NOTES: Gibson entered play having faced 106 more shots than the next-closest NHL goalie.
Ducks: At Montreal on Tuesday.
Maple Leafs: Host Ottawa on Wednesday.
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