What's Buzzing:
1 -
Team 1 2 3
VAN 1 0 0
TOR 0 0 3

Maple Leafs score 3 in third period, beat Canucks

AP - Sports
Maple Leafs score 3 in third period, beat Canucks

View gallery

TORONTO (AP) -- Phil Kessel had the winning goal after nearly fighting a familiar foe.

Kessel scored the second of three straight goals for Toronto in the third period and the Maple Leafs rallied to beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Saturday night.

The U.S. Olympian assisted on the Maple Leafs' third goal and almost had his first Gordie Howe hat trick - a goal, an assist and a fight - when he and pesky Alexandre Burrows scuffled and just about dropped the gloves late in the second period. Kessel and Burrows did fight Nov. 2 in Vancouver.

The two each got roughing minors Saturday, with Burrows getting an additional minor for high-sticking.

''(Kessel) wasn't too thrilled about all that and neither was anyone on the bench,'' linemate James van Riemsdyk said. ''Maybe you can look at that as something that got Phil a little bit excited.''

At the time of the fracas, the Canucks were clinging to a 1-0 lead on Ryan Kesler's late in the first.

That all changed in the third period, when the Leafs broke out with three goals in a 4:42 span.

''It was a one-goal hockey game and here we had an opportunity to pull a hockey game out of the fire by scoring one goal and giving ourselves a chance,'' Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. ''We have a break coming, and it would make everybody feel a lot better about themselves with a win here versus a loss.''

The win was Toronto's 11th in the past 14 games and its seventh straight at home.

''About six games ago, we really focused in on playing well going into the break,'' captain Dion Phaneuf said. ''We feel we've done that. We've gotten some big wins. We wanted to get as many points as we could going into the break and we did that.''

The Canucks lost their seventh straight game and their 16th in their past 20.

''We've dug ourselves a pretty big hole here, but we need to look at it as a challenge when we get back,'' Canucks coach John Tortorella said. ''I do believe we'll be healthier to fight our way through it. We're not dead and gone. We've allowed a lot of teams to get back in and pass us, as far the playoffs are concerned. But we still have enough games to crawl back in.''

Kessel has 31 goals this season. Mason Raymond and van Riemsdyk also scored for Toronto, and Jonathan Bernier made 23 saves.

Roberto Luongo stopped 30 shots for Vancouver.

NOTES: Leafs center Jay McClement didn't return after sustaining an upper-body injury when he fell awkwardly into the end boards early in the second period. ... The game was a rare 6 p.m. start for a Toronto home game on Saturday.

View Comments (22)
  • Blues score 3 in 1st, hold off Panthers

    Blues score 3 in 1st, hold off Panthers

    Jaden Schwartz's return to St. Louis' lineup may be just what the Blues offense needs. Schwartz, David Backes and Robby Fabbri scored in the first period and St. Louis rolled to a 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday night. After missing 49 … More »

    AP - Sports - 11 minutes ago
  • Varlamov's 43 saves lead Avs past Wings

    Varlamov's 43 saves lead Avs past Wings

    Semyon Varlamov lifted his team to a win on a night when the rest of the Colorado Avalanche were outplayed thoroughly. Varlamov made 43 saves and Blake Comeau scored in both the third period and the shootout to help the Avalanche to a 3-2 victory … More »

    AP - Sports - 13 minutes ago
  • Kopitar nets 3, Kings top Rangers in OT

    Kopitar nets 3, Kings top Rangers in OT

    The Los Angeles Kings often work overtime. Tanner Pearson's goal with 1:50 left in the extra period powered the Kings to a 5-4 win over the New York Rangers on Friday night. Anze Kopitar recorded a hat trick and Marian Gaborik added a goal for … More »

    AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago
  • Foligno, Kane score twice in Sabres' 6-4 win over Canadiens

    Foligno, Kane score twice in Sabres' 6-4 win over Canadiens

    With little time to think, Sabres forward Marcus Foligno picked his spot just as he lined up to take his penalty shot. "You don't want to stickhandle, so I was just trying to get a shot off," Foligno said. Foligno was on target. … More »

    The Canadian Press - 19 minutes ago
  • OHL Roundup: Maple Leafs prospect Mitchell Marner leads Knights past IceDogs

    LONDON, Ont. - Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mitchell Marner scored twice in the first five minutes of the third period and added an assist as the London Knights got past the Niagara IceDogs 3-1 on Friday night in Ontario Hockey League action. … More »

    The Canadian Press - 30 minutes ago