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Maple Leafs score 3 in third period, beat Canucks

  • Associated Press
  • February 8, 2014 - 8:30 PM

TORONTO — Phil Kessel scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and the Toronto Maple Leafs handed the Vancouver Canucks their seventh straight loss, 3-1 Saturday night.

Mason Raymond and James van Riemsdyk also scored in the third for Toronto and Jonathan Bernier made 23 saves.

Toronto won for the 11th time in 14 games and seventh straight at home, while the Canucks lost the 16th time in 20 games. They've scored just 37 goals in that span.

Ryan Kesler scored for Vancouver and Roberto Luongo stopped 30 shots.

Vancouver is now 8-23-5 when scoring less than three goals in game (excluding the shootout), but a near perfect 19-1-4 when scoring three or more.

Kesler scored in the last minute of the first period to give Vancouver a 1-o lead. He took a pass in the high slot from Chris Higgins and flicked a weak wrist shot at the goal. Bernier tried to stop it with his blocker, but it deflected downward and into the net.

The Leafs broke out in the third with three goals in the span of 4:42.

Raymond got Toronto on the board at 7:23 when he circled the Canucks net and sneaked a wrist shot past Luongo for his 16th goal of the season.

The Leafs then took their first lead of the game at 10:03. On a delayed penalty call, with a sixth attacker on the ice for Bernier, Kessel snapped a shot near the Canucks blue line that found its way past a screened Luongo.

It was Kessel's 31st of the season. Tyler Bozak's assist on the goal was the 100th of his NHL career.

Two minutes, 2 seconds after the Leafs took the lead, van Riemsdyk made it 3-1 when his shot at the side of the goal bounced off Alexander Edler and into the Canucks goal.

NOTES: Canucks center Henrik Sedin sat out his second-straight game due to injury. ... 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. It was the final game for both teams before the NHL shuts down for the Winter Olympics.

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