Maple Leafs end trip with loss to Ducks, third in row
The Toronto Maple Leafs missed an opportunity to pad their third-place lead in the Atlantic Division, losing to the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 at Honda Center on Friday.
William Nylander scored, and Jack Campbell made 26 saves for the Maple Leafs (35-25-9), who remained five points ahead of the Florida Panthers after their third straight loss.
“We’re all in this together,” Toronto forward Auston Matthews said. “You play through the good and the bad and the adversity. Obviously, in the position that we’re in, there are lots of critics and lots of stuff that comes with it, but I think in this room we’re headstrong.”
John Gibson made 26 saves before leaving with an injury with 9:40 remaining in the third period and the Ducks leading 2-0. Ryan Miller made four saves in relief.
“They’re both world-class goaltenders, so it’s nice to have them in our corner,” Ducks forward Carter Rowney said.
Rowney and Adam Henrique scored for Anaheim (28-32-8), which is 4-2-1 in the past seven games.
Nylander scored his 30th goal of the season at 17:00 of the third period to make it 2-1. He took the puck from Anaheim forward Sonny Milano just inside the Ducks blue line, skated into the right circle and scored on a wrist shot to the far side.
The Maple Leafs scored three goals in three games on their California trip.
“We know it’s going to come,” forward Mitchell Marner said. “There’s no need to rush or put pressure on ourselves. We’re a team that can score. I mean, this road trip we showed that we can play in low-scoring games, it’s just our scoring wasn’t there, but it will come.”