Toronto Maple Leafs players Dion Phaneuf, left; Cody Franson, Tyler Bozak, and Phil Kessel, celebrate Kessel's goal in the second period Tuesday. Kessel's hat trick lifted the Leafs over the Anaheim Ducks, 4-2. (Nathan Denette / Associated Press)
Toronto — Leafs sniper Phil Kessel found his scoring touch and the Ducks lost their composure.
Riding Kessel’s three-goal performance, Toronto recovered from a poor start to defeat Anaheim, 4-2, Tuesday night and deny Anaheim a club-record eighth straight win.
It was a Jekyll and Hyde performance for the Leafs, who were booed off the ice after a woeful first period that saw them outplayed, outshot, 6-2 and outscored, 1-0. Kessel struck twice and Toronto scored three unanswered goals in the second period to climb out of a 2-0 deficit.
“The first period we were awful tight,” Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. “We couldn’t execute a 20-foot pass if the guy was wide open. … We were tripping over one another the first period.”
Toronto got its forecheck going and Kessel started the comeback with a power-play goal at 7:44 of the second period. The Ducks began to unwind and the Leafs led 3-2 going into the third.
Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau was left lamenting the rapid turnaround.
“We played really good for the first 30 minutes of the game. I mean, as good as we can play,” he said. “But I think the big thing is we just lost our composure for 10 minutes. And we’ve got to get it back. We’ll get it back in practice (Wednesday).”
Captain Dion Phaneuf also scored for the Leafs.
Nick Bonino and Mathieu Perreault scored for Anaheim.
The win ended a two-game losing streak for the Leafs and Carlyle, who led the Ducks to the Stanley Cup in 2007 before being fired in 2011.
Vancouver 5, (at) N.Y. Islanders 4 (OT): Brad Richardson banked in a shot off goalie Evgeni Nabokov 2:16 into overtime to win it for the Canucks.
Chicago 3, (at) Florida 2 (SO): Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp each scored in the shootout to lead Chicago. Toews also scored in regulation,
(At) Columbus 4, New Jersey 1: Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 24 shots and James Wisniewski (Canton) had a goal and two assists to lead Columbus.
Edmonton 4, (at) Montreal 3: Jeff Petry (Michigan State) and Ryan Jones scored in the third period for the Oilers.
(At) Minnesota 2, Nashville 0: Josh Harding stopped 16 shots for the Wild. Justin Fontaine scored late in the second period and Jason Pominville added an empty-net goal.
Washington 5, (at) Winnipeg 4 (SO): Martin Erat’s shootout goal won it for the Capitals.
Oilers forward Hall injured
Oilers forward Taylor Hallis expected to miss four weeks after injuring his left knee in a game last Saturday.
Hall, the No. 1 pick in 2010, has three goals and five assists in nine games. He was hurt in Edmonton’s 3-1 victory at Ottawa.