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Maple Leafs beat Coyotes 4-2 to extend win streak

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 20, 2014 at 10:38 pm •  Published: January 20, 2014
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Coming off a four-game losing streak, the Toronto Maple Leafs put an emphasis on getting off to better starts.

They've been doing just that and it's led to their longest win streak in seven years.

Jonathan Bernier stopped 39 shots and the Maple Leafs used a fast start to kick off another big scoring night, beating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-2 Monday for their first five-game winning streak since 2007.

"It feel great and feels great for a goalie too," Bernier said of getting off to fast starts. "That's our main focus; we know if we score the first goal in this league, you have a good chance to win."

With Bernier making some tough saves early, Toronto jumped out to a 3-0 lead by early in the second period.

The Maple Leafs withstood a flurry of shots by Phoenix, thanks to some tough saves by Bernier and some near-misses by the Coyotes, and pulled away to win five straight games for the first time since Jan. 27-Feb. 6, 2007.

Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist to extend his points streak to six games. Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri also had a goal and an assist, and Carl Gunnarsson scored his first goal in nearly a year.

Buoyed by their fast starts, the Maple Leafs have scored 20 goals during their winning streak.

"We feel this group can continue to grow and play to a higher level — enough talking about it," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. "Action speaks louder than words and we have to continue to challenge this group to play better and become a playoff team."

The Coyotes had plenty of chances.

Most of them were turned away by Bernier, a few by the goal posts and numerous others just missed the mark, leading to a frustrating loss.

Phoenix matched a team record by scoring a power-play goal in eight straight games when Mike Ribeiro scored early in the third period and Antoine Vermette added a short-handed goal.

"It's disappointing," Vermette said. "We felt out there we had a lot of great scoring chances and we had a good night, but it went to them."

The Maple Leafs followed their four-game losing streak by pouring in goals during a four-game winning streak.

Toronto kept it rolling against the Coyotes, scoring two goals in 2:02 late in the first period.

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