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game recap

Maple Leafs End Coyotes' Winning Streak

Monday, 01.20.2014 / 11:17 PM

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

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Maple Leafs End Coyotes' Winning Streak
Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Phoenix Coyotes 2
Three Stars of the Game
Jonathan Bernier
1st
Jonathan Bernier
SA: 41TOI: 60:00
GA: 2EV: 29-29
PIM: 0PP: 4-5
SV%: .951SH: 6-7
Phil Kessel
2nd
Phil Kessel
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 19:16
Jake Gardiner
3rd
Jake Gardiner
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 18:33

GLENDALE -- Phil Kessel scored for the third straight game, and goalie Jonathan Bernier made 39 saves to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs past the Phoenix Coyotes 4-2 on Monday night at Jobing.com for the team's fifth straight win.

Kessel, Nazem Kadri and defenseman Jake Gardiner each had a goal and an assist in the win, which snapped Phoenix's modest winning streak at two games.

Kessel scored his 24th goal and extended his scoring streak to six games in helping the Maple Leafs build their first five-game winning streak since the 2006-07 season.

"We did a lot of good things early in the game and then we reverted back to some of the old habits," Toronto Head Coach Randy Carlyle said. "We seem to want to make life more difficult for ourselves. But we've won five in a row now and it's a positive step for this club, especially getting the first one on a (four-game) road trip."

Mike Ribeiro scored a power-play goal at 5:35 of the third to draw the Coyotes to within 3-1. Phoenix has now scored on the man advantage in eight straight games, matching the longest such streak since the team moved to Phoenix in 1996-97.

Antoine Vermette scored Phoenix's first shorthanded goal of the season with 5:01 left, finishing off a 2-on-1 with Lauri Korpikoski for his 14th goal, to make it 4-2.

Mike Smith made 25 saves, but he didn't get much help early as Toronto turned the Coyotes' sloppy play into scoring chances and goals.

"When you give the opposition those opportunities on turnovers and they capitalize, you're going to be chasing the game, and that's exactly what happened," Phoenix Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "There are little things that come back to haunt us off and on all year, and those continue to be areas of concern and areas we have to improve in."

The Coyotes outshot Toronto 41-29 in the game. Korpikoski and Oliver Ekman-Larsson hit the cross bar with shots, and Bernier added several keys saves, robbing Ekman-Larsson on a 2-on-1 with a sprawling stop in the second period.

"Bernier played well for them and we had chances we didn't bury. That was the difference," Phoenix captain Shane Doan said. "They have a good offensive team, and they made the most of their chances."

Bernier was under pressure all night, especially during the second period when he made 15 saves, but notched his fourth straight win. The Maple Leafs swept the two-game season series from Phoenix, also beating them 2-1 in a shootout in Toronto on Dec. 19.

"Our compete level is way higher. Our starts have been great lately, and we all know in this league that if you have the lead, it's much easier," said Bernier, who is 3-0-0 in his career against the Coyotes.

Carl Gunnarsson snapped an 82-game scoring drought with a goal for the Maple Leafs, who hadn't won in Arizona since Oct. 23, 2003. Toronto had been outscored 16-5 in three previous trips to Jobing.com Arena, but offense wasn't a problem this time.

With center Martin Hanzal out with a lower-body injury, Tippett was forced to juggle his lines; all the new combinations struggled with turnovers.

Ribeiro's giveaway in the Phoenix corner late in the first put the Coyotes in an early hole. Kadri centered the puck to Gardiner, who put a wrist shot by Smith at 16:17 for his fourth goal.

A little more than a minute later, Zbynek Michalek lifted a puck into the crowd, drawing a delay of game penalty. With James van Riemsdyk providing a screen on Smith, Kessel put a nifty deke on Coyotes forward Jeff Halpern before picking out the far corner with a low wrist shot for a power-play goal at 18:19.

Hanzal's status is considered day-to-day.

"He was close to playing tonight," Tippett said. "(It's) just one of those things we’re better keeping him off for a day."

Kessel has four goals and 12 points during his six-game scoring streak.

"He doesn't need very many chances to score goals, and when he gets hot, he's one of those guys where everything he shoots has a chance to go in," Carlyle said.

The Coyotes outshot Toronto 15-6 in the second period, but Toronto scored the only goal.

On a delayed penalty to Phoenix's Michael Stone, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf's shot from the point was knocked down by Gunnarsson in the slot. With the puck at his feet, Gunnarsson swept the puck in for his first goal in almost a calendar year; he last scored Jan. 24, 2013, against the New York Islanders.

The Coyotes finally got on the board when Riberio tapped home Keith Yandle's pass for his 12th goal. Phoenix kept up the pressure but couldn't score, with Bernier making a big pad save on Radim Vrbata at the end of a shorthanded 2-on-1 with 10 minutes left.

Kadri scored his 12th goal on the power play when his shot deflected off the stick of Phoenix's David Schlemko and by Smith at 14:10 to make it 4-1.

scoring summary
1st Period
16:17
TOR
Jake Gardiner (4) ASST: Nazem Kadri (19), Phil Kessel (26)
1 - 0 TOR
18:19
TOR
PPG - Phil Kessel (24) ASST: Cody Franson (20)
2 - 0 TOR
2nd Period
05:10
TOR
Carl Gunnarsson (1) ASST: Dion Phaneuf (15), Carter Ashton (2)
3 - 0 TOR
3rd Period
05:35
PHX
PPG - Mike Ribeiro (12) ASST: Keith Yandle (27), Lauri Korpikoski (8)
3 - 1 TOR
14:10
TOR
PPG - Nazem Kadri (12) ASST: Jake Gardiner (12), Morgan Rielly (13)
4 - 1 TOR
14:59
PHX
SHG - Antoine Vermette (14) ASST: Lauri Korpikoski (9)
4 - 2 TOR
penalty summary
1st Period
17:36
PHX
Zbynek Michalek  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
2nd Period
01:31
TOR
Dion Phaneuf  Interference against  Rob Klinkhammer
02:40
PHX
Mike Ribeiro  Hi-sticking against  Carl Gunnarsson
09:15
TOR
Morgan Rielly  Hi-sticking against  Rob Klinkhammer
3rd Period
04:11
TOR
Dion Phaneuf  Tripping against  Mike Ribeiro
05:53
PHX
Jeff Halpern  Hi-sticking against  Mason Raymond
09:11
PHX
Antoine Vermette  Interference on goalkeeper against  Jonathan Bernier
10:13
TOR
James van Riemsdyk  Interference against  David Schlemko
13:12
PHX
Zbynek Michalek  Holding against  Tyler Bozak
14:23
PHX
Oliver Ekman-Larsson  Holding against  Cody Franson
goalie stats
Jonathan Bernier
Jonathan Bernier
17-14-4
SA: 41TOI: 60:00
Saves: 39EV: 29 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .951SH: 6 - 7
Mike Smith
Mike Smith
17-14-8
SA: 29TOI: 58:28
Saves: 25EV: 22 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 5
SV%: .862SH: 0 - 0
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