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Kessel scores twice as Toronto edges Calgary

Oct 16, 2011 - 5:06 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Phil Kessel netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner early in the third period, leading the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames at Air Canada Centre.

Kessel also had an assist and Joffrey Lupul scored the other goal for the Leafs, while James Reimer was solid in net, stoppping 30-of-32 shots.

Curtis Glencross and Scott Hannan found the back of the net for Calgary, which had its four-game winning streak against the Leafs snapped.

Miikka Kiprusoff made 22 saves on 25 shots for the Flames.

Kessel gave the Leafs the lead for good just 41 seconds in the the final period when he brought the puck up the right wing, got a nice feed from Cody Franson on a give-and-go and backhanded the puck past Kiprusoff.

"They're just going in," Kessel said. "I am playing with some great linemates and they're giving me the puck and we're clicking."

Calgary opened the scoring early in the first period on its first shot of the game when Lee Stempniak out-worked two Maple Leaf defenders in the right corner, brought the puck around behind the net and found Glencross on the doorstep to the right of the net and the winger made no mistake, slamming it home at the 4:18 mark for a 1-0 lead.

The Flames made it 2-0 at the 5:40 mark of the opening period when Niklas Hagman brought the puck into the offensive zone on the right wing, turned back and found Hannan drifting in from his left point positon and the veteran defenseman wristed a shot from the left circle past Reimer.

The Leafs got within one just 1:15 into the second period thanks to some good passing off the rush. Kessel picked up the puck in his defensive zone and raced up the left wing. He stopped and found Lupul wide open in the slot, who fired it under the glove of Kipprusoff to make it 2-1.

"It's nice to get off to a good start at home," Lupul said. "It was a big comeback character win for us."

Toronto knotted the game at two at the 16:38 mark of the second stanza when Kessel accepted a pass in the neutral zone from Carl Gunnarsson, raced in on goal and crossed the puck to his backhand and snapped it past Kiprosoff from his knees.

"We lost, it isn't something that we're proud of as a team," Flames coach Brent Sutter said. "When you have a lot of turnovers and play a chance-to- chance game, your team isn't going to win many of those. It just wasn't smart hockey."

Game Notes

Toronto leads the all-time series between the teams, 59-51-12-1...Former Maple Leafs Hagman and Matt Stajan made their second appearance at Air Canada Centre since being traded to Calgary on January, 31 2010...The Leafs begin the season 3-0-0 for the second consecutive season...The Flames went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Toronto was 0-for-4.