Ducks coach Carlyle craves win in return to Toronto

TORONTO -- Randy Carlyle returns to the Air Canada Centre on Monday night to lead the Anaheim Ducks against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team he coached for 188 games over four seasons.

The Ducks need a win after losing 6-4 to the Detroit Red Wings Saturday to drop to 1-2 -- with 15 goals allowed -- halfway through a six-game road trip.

"I'd be a fool to say it wouldn't mean something special," Carlyle said of the possibility of winning against the Maple Leafs on their home ice.

Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs are coming off the high of defeating the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Saturday on an overtime goal by Jake Gardiner.

"We played about as good as we could (Saturday), but it also shows we can play with everybody." Gardiner said. "When the Pittsburgh Penguins come in here, it's not like we're nervous or anything. We expect to win and that's every single night. Whatever team it is, we expect to win."

Carlyle, who was 91-78-19 with the Leafs before being replaced 40 games into the 2014-2015 season, also brings with him goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who played three season with Toronto through last season.

This is Carlyle's second stint with the Ducks, having led them from 2005-2011, winning a Stanley Cup championship in 2007.

The Ducks (16-11-5) had a team meeting Sunday and an optional practice. No doubt, defense was the main topic.

"You can't give up six goals and win in this league, or in any league," Carlyle said after Saturday's game. "We scored enough to win, but you can't give up more than two if you want to consistently win games."

The Ducks led 3-1 in the second period against the Red Wings.

After allowing four goals on 21 shots in the first two periods, Bernier was replaced by John Gibson in the third.

"I can't really say much," Bernier said. "I think (Carlyle) wanted to obviously turn things around. Kind of spark the team. Obviously, you want to stay in there and battle all night. But he tried something where he tried to get the guys going and get momentum on our side."

Said Rickard Rakell, who scored two goals on Saturday: "We have to be better, stronger, around our own net, and better slowing down teams in the neutral zone."

The Maple Leafs (12-11-7) wrap up a five-game homestand Monday. They are 1-1-2 during the stand, with two of the losses coming in shootouts and the win in overtime.

The win Saturday was only their second in eight games.

"Obviously, we've been in a lot of games leading in the third," said Mitch Marner, who had two assists against the Penguins. "To pull this one out against a good team is pretty important for us. Now we've got to make sure we're ready for the next one. I think (the win means) a lot."

The Maple Leafs had 49 shots on the Penguins' goal on Saturday and have had 40 or more shots in two games in a row for the first time this season. They have had 40 or more shots in three of their past five games.

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock likes to look at five-game segments with six points the goal for each segment.

The win on Saturday allowed the Leafs to reach that goal for only the second time this season with two wins and a point each for the two shootout losses. They were 2-1-2 during the segment.

"Obviously, it's a good win," Babcock said. "We got six points in the segment, that's what we're trying to do. Even though we suffered some shootout losses we were still able to get our six points."

Babcock explained why he uses five-game segments as his measuring stick.

"When the wheels are off and the standings don't look as good as they should, it gives you a focus," he said. "When the standings look too good, it still gives you a focus. It works both ways. It works when you're on the wrong side of things and it works when you're on the right side of things."
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