Kessel scores 3, Leafs win 6th straight at home

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 1, 2014 at 11:04 pm •  Published: February 1, 2014

TORONTO (AP) — Phil Kessel left most of his talking on the ice, but saved a little more for the dressing room.

Kessel scored three goals, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Ottawa Senators 6-3 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win at home.

He was his usual subdued self in a rare postgame scrum following a four point night.

"It was a big win for us, obviously, and the fans were good and we found a way," said Kessel, who last had four points at Edmonton on Oct. 29. "I've had chances in a couple games before. They went in tonight."

With 5:59 left, Tyler Bozak fed a pass to Kessel, who scored his 30th goal of the season to complete his hat trick and give Toronto a 4-3 lead.

As for celebrating his second hat trick of the season, Kessel said his plans were to "go home and hang out."

Bozak, who shares an apartment in Toronto with Kessel, was shocked to see the forward talking to reporters.

"It's pretty funny, surprised he talked to you guys. Must've had a good night, I guess," Bozak said. "He's always played well since he's been here. He's always put up points and done great things for our team, but I've been starting to get some points now with him, and that's been fun."

Kessel is second in the NHL in goals this season. Toronto's (30-21-6) streak is its longest since the Maple Leafs concluded the 2006-07 season with 10 straight home victories. They have won five straight over Ottawa.

Kessel's first hat trick of the season came Oct. 22 against the Anaheim Ducks.

"His skating always stands out," forward Joffrey Lupul said. "But you know when he's really playing well because of how he's competing on pucks down low in the offensive end, turning his back, protecting the puck. He's been doing that for a while."

Bozak stretched the lead to two goals with 1:33 remaining, one-timing a pass from Kessel past Craig Anderson for his 11th goal. Nazem Kadri added an empty-netter with 28 seconds to go. Lupul also scored for Toronto.

Chris Neil scored two goals, and Colin Greening added one for Ottawa (24-21-10).

Kessel gave Toronto its first lead at 7:34 of the third period on a power play. He beat Anderson to the top corner with a wrist shot from the top of the circle.

Cody Franson earned his 100th career assist on the goal.

"I think with Phil, he's been classified as this one type of player, and we think that he's got more of an all-around ability too," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "He can distribute the puck, he can pass the puck and he can find people. He can do a lot more things than just shoot."

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