NHL: Phil Kessel's hat trick rallies Leafs to 4-2 win over Ducks
Toronto • Leafs sniper Phil Kessel found his scoring touch and the Anaheim 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 the Ducks 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. â¦ 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."