ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Toronto Maple Leafs made a rare appearance at Honda Center, and they probably won’t want a return trip to face the Anaheim Ducks any time soon.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere earned his 27th career shutout to tie Guy Hebert’s franchise record, Todd Bertuzzi and Corey Perry each had a goal and two assists, and the Ducks beat Toronto 5-0 on Wednesday night for their season-high fifth straight home victory.
The Leafs, who took 56 shots against Philadelphia’s Antero Nittymaki in Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Toronto before heading west, played their first game in Anaheim since Nov. 13, 2003 – and only their second since March 11, 1998.
“You prepare pretty much the same way you would against any other team,” Giguere said. “You try to focus on your game and make sure that your part of the game is as good as it can be. And tonight we did that.”
Giguere made 28 saves, handing the Leafs their first shutout loss and thwarting all six of their power plays. His only other shutout this season was Dec. 18, when he stopped 20 shots in a 2-0 win at San Jose.
“The power play has been struggling for us all year for some reason,” Mats Sundin said. “I really can’t put my finger on it, other than the fact that we are making it complicated out there. We’ve got to simplify it – shoot the puck and get it through to the net.”
It was the ninth time in 11 games that Toronto has been held to fewer than three goals.
“It’s discouraging,” coach Paul Maurice said. “You’ve got to find a way to get these guys going. They are struggling with the puck, and it’s affecting the routes they are taking and the decisions they are making.”
Doug Weight and Chris Kunitz scored power-play goals in the third period, and Brandon Bochenski recorded his first goal in his third game with the defending Stanley Cup champions after joining them in a trade from Boston on Jan. 2. Ryan Getzlaf had two assists, extending his point streak to a career-best nine games.
The Ducks have scored five goals in consecutive games after getting no more than two in five of their previous six wins.
“It does feel good having back-to-back games with five goals and have guys contributing throughout the lineup” Weight said. “We’ve played a lot of close games that have been good defensive battles, and Jiggy’s been great. But we definitely want to help make some of these games a little easier for him.”
Vesa Toskala made 19 saves for Toronto after missing the previous six games because of a groin injury. The Leafs won only once while he was sidelined.
Anaheim opened up a 2-0 lead by scoring on its first and last shots of the opening period. Bertuzzi got a two-line pass from Mathieu Schneider while cutting across the Toronto blue line, went in alone on net after defenceman Tomas Kaberle fell, then deked Toskala to his left before getting his seventh goal at the 2:11 mark.
The Ducks got only one more shot over the next 10 1/2 minutes, but increased their lead just 5.7 seconds before intermission – and 32 seconds after killing off Kunitz’s penalty for goaltender interference.
Toronto defenceman Hal Gill got his feet tangled up preparing to take a slap shot, fell down and slapped the puck ahead a few feet with his hand before Perry took off the other way with it. The Ducks’ leading goal-scorer then got a drop pass from Bertuzzi in the Toronto zone and beat Toskala to the stick side with a wrist shot from the middle of the right circle for his 23rd of the season.
“It’s a tribute to our back-side pressure,” Bertuzzi said. “The more we did that, the more turnovers we created and the more chances on the rush we got. So I think that’s what led to a couple of the goals.”
Bochenski made it 3-0, beating Toskala between the pads with a 15-foot wrist shot from the slot after he was set up by Bertuzzi. The three-point game was Bertuzzi’s first since signing with the Ducks last June.
Nik Antropov was sent off for high-sticking, and Weight capitalized on the ensuing power play when he directed the puck into the net with his skate from a few feet away and had to wait until it was ruled legal by video replay.
Kunitz ended the scoring midway through the third while Andy Wozniewski was off for interference. Weight’s assist on the play made him the fifth American-born player with 700 in the NHL.
“It’s pretty cool. That’s a feat I’m definitely proud of,” Weight said. “That’s my game, and it’s been the bulk of what I do in the league. I think I’ve benefited from a lot of great players around me and great teammates, and it’s a two-way street.”
Notes: Anaheim is a combined 4-for-51 on the power play against Toronto in 12 meetings since the start of the 1997-98 season. … Anaheim enforcer George Parros injured his right knee during a fight with Wade Belak at 3:04 of the second period and didn’t return.