TORONTO The earliest foundations of the partnership that would rally the Leafs to victory on Tuesday night began almost 10 years earlier in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Aaron Lynch Jersey . Then an 18-year-old, Phil Kessel had just completed his second season with the U.S. National Development Team Program and was headed to the University of Minnesota. Nearly two years younger, James van Riemsdyk was just arriving. We got to watch their highlight film the first day at the program, van Riemsdyk recalled of a team that featured Kessel and Patrick Kane. They were just showing us what the two years of work will get you. You see a lot of highlights of his goals. Hes definitely a special player to watch. Running and gunning with van Riemsdyk after a three-game slowdown of just one point, Kessel would net his fourth career hat trick second in Toronto lifting the Leafs from a two-game losing skid and beyond a Ducks squad that had won seven straight. JVR made two great passes to me and was fortunate to bury both of them, Kessel said succinctly afterward. His team desperately needed the lift. Full of tension in the first 20 minutes against Anaheim, the Leafs would muster just two shots on Jonas Hiller down 1-0 the third time in a week they had managed fewer than three shots in a period. The first period we were awful tight, said Randy Carlyle of the early effort, imploring his team to relax in the first intermission. Though Hiller would rob Jay McClement with a theatrical glove save on the first shot of the frame that followed Mathieu Perrault had upped the lead to two the Leafs would lose some tension and find some energy. A man advantage fewer than two minutes later Corey Perry whistled for boarding would swing the door open for the teams top duo, quiet three nights earlier in a one-sided loss to Chicago. Snatching a rebound from just beyond the blue paint, van Riemsdyk, falling to the ice, would twirl around and find an open Kessel on the door-step for the Leafs first goal. Dion Phaneuf would even the proceedings at two just over a minute later. The Leafs would go on to erase a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage later in the period before Kessel and van Riemsdyk would connect once more. Bursting down the right side, Kessel would employ his towering linemate as a decoy, firing a laser under the bar and beyond the blocker of Hiller. I was just trying to drive and hopefully get the goalie distracted a little bit, van Riemsdyk said of Kessels go-ahead goal. I dont think he really needed me to do that because he put it right under the bar, right in the elbow. No goalies going to stop that. He and the 26-year-old would put a wrap on the evening in the third. Charging with speed on yet another odd-man rush, van Riemsdyk would feather a backhand pass beyond the last defence of a sprawling Francois Beauchemin, Kessel tapping it in for his second Leaf hat trick. He made some great shots tonight and showed why he has that world-class finishing ability, van Riemsdyk concluded. Five Points 1. Kessel Recollections JVR first learned of his future teammate when he watched the 2005 World Junior Championships. There in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Kessel scored four goals and six points in seven games. I see this guy, what was he? 16? 17-years old, and he was just flying down the wing, toe-dragging guys and putting it low-blocker, van Riemsdyk recalled. Playing alongside younger brother Blake Kessel at the University of New Hampshire, van Riemsdyk met the elder Kessel on occasion, even attending the odd Bruins game with his Wildcats teammate. 2. Searching for Identity Randy Carlyle requested an increase in work ethic before facing his former Ducks squad for the first time since being fired in the winter of 2011. We havent looked back on many games this year and said weve outworked the opposition, he said before the game. Our work ethic has to be elevated to a point where we can create more of an identity for ourselves. I dont know if we can say what type of hockey club we are yet. That identity began to establish itself in the opening minutes of the second frame, the Leafs creating havoc with improved pressure on the Ducks defence. Our hockey club is based upon our ability to get in on the puck, Carlyle would note of the forecheck after the game. Speaking prior to the victory, Carlyle suggested that underlying elements such as the forecheck would improve with greater intensity. And once we start to establish more of that dogged work ethic then I think the other things will fall into place, he explained. And its not that we havent worked hard, its just that we havent worked hard enough in the small areas of the ice and havent won enough one-on-one battles to establish any momentum and keep the momentum going. 3. Shots vs. Scoring Chances The Leafs allowed a season-low 25 shots against Anaheim, the first time all year they yielded fewer than 30. Never in Los Angeles did Jonathan Bernier face the nightly quantity of shots that have come his way early as a Leaf, but as he explained to the Leaf Report, shot totals form only one half of the picture. Its more the scoring chances, said Bernier. You can look at having 40 shots and five scoring chances its going to be a pretty easy night. But if you get 20 shots and 16 scoring chances thats going to be a really tough night. Its all about where you get your shots from, he continued. If you get them from the outside and you control your rebounds all night thats going to be a pretty easy night. All that being said, In a 40-shot [night] usually youll get more scoring chances against than on a 20-shot night. Bernier stopped all but two of 25 Anaheim shots. He made his best stop to preserve the Leafs lead early in the third. Sprawling with both pads flaring outward, his left pad would keep a Teemu Selanne shot on the outside. 4. Draft Day Jake Gardiner was picked 17th overall by the Ducks in 2008. It was one of my most memorable days Id say, he recalled in conversation with the Leaf Report. I remember my Dad just being so excited for me; I think he was a little bit more excited than I was. All the speculation that day in Ottawa had Gardiner either going to the Ducks at 17 or the Senators at 15. Ottawa sprung for Erik Karlsson with their first pick, the Ducks landing Gardiner two spots later. Youre surprised, he said of hearing your name called. You never think youre going to go in the first round of the NHL Draft when youre a kid. Obviously everybody wants to, but its never that realistic. And then when it actually happens its a crazy feeling. That day, being said, its special, but at the same time youre not in the NHL yet; some guys think you are but theres a lot of work to be done. Gardiner logged 21 and a half minutes on Tuesday night. 5. Bozak on the Draw Tyler Bozak entered Tuesday in midst of a year-long struggle on the draw 47.2 per cent, 65th among qualifying centres but he got the job done against the Ducks. Bozak finished 12-24, including 4-5 in the defensive zone opposite Ryan Getzlaf. You get bounces, he said before the game. Ill go on a 10-game stretch where Ill get all the 50/50 bounces and my wingers will get the bounces and theyll come back to our D and Ill win them. Theyre not all clean and they never will be all clean wins and losses; a lot of it is other things. Just havent maybe been getting the bounces, obviously havent been winning as many as I want, but hopefully just key in on the defensive zone ones, win those most importantly and go from there. Stat-Pack 4 Career hat tricks for Phil Kessel, including his second as a Leaf against Anaheim. 25 Shots for the Ducks, the fewest the Leafs have allowed all season. 2 Number of shots for the Leafs in the first frame against Anaheim. 3 Number of periods this season that the Leafs have registered three or fewer shots. 11 Points for Phil Kessel this season, leading the team. Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-3 PK: 4-4 Quote of the Night You can tell when your group cant make a 20-foot pass to somebody whos wide open. -Randy Carlyle on how he knew his group was pressing early against the Ducks. Up Next David Clarkson makes his debut when the Leafs visit the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Friday. Jerry Azumah Jersey .J. -- Rampage Jackson scowled, howled, then bellowed to the crowd: "Im back! Im back!" With rebuilt knees and a new promotion, Jackson might have one more act left in MMA. Stan Jones Jersey . He will play 10th-seeded Feliciano Lopez in Sundays final, after the Spanish left-hander defeated Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7), 6-4. http://www.custombearsjersey.com/custom-beattie-feathers-jersey-large-156t.html . Torres scored the first goal by an English team in the knockout phase of the Champions League this season when he met Cezar Azpilicuetas cutback in the ninth minute of their first leg match in the last 16. But Chelsea failed to make the most of its counterattacks and the Turkish champions equalized in the second half after gaining in confidence and cutting out their defensive mistakes.DENVER -- Reflecting on his game during a monthlong recovery from a broken left rib has helped Ty Lawson come back strong. Kenneth Faried scored a career-high 32 points, Lawson had 30 in his third game back from the injury and the Denver Nuggets beat the skidding Los Angeles Lakers 134-126 on Friday night. "When you sit out, you watch a lot of tape from a lot of games and I could see things opening up or things I wasnt taking," said Lawson, averaging 27 points and 11.6 assists since his return. "Its been helping me shooting the 3s, and making them, and its opened up the rest of my game, the mid-range shots, getting to the basket and getting more assists." Lawson shot 5 of 7 on 3-pointers and had 17 assists, matching his career high. Faried grabbed 13 rebounds and Wilson Chandler scored 19 points. Timofey Mozgov and Evan Fournier added 13 points apiece for the Nuggets, who swept the three-game season series. Fournier said its evident by Lawsons recent play that he put his time away from the game to good use. "When youre injured, you have the time to relax and think of what you can do better," Fournier said. "Hes so fast. Hes so good. Im just glad hes back on the team because he brings so much for us." Certainly more than the Lakers could deal with on this night. "He is fast, he can shoot, he can do everything," Lakers swingman Xavier Henry said. "He had a good game and you take your hat off to him." Los Angeles got 27 points from Pau Gasol but could not avoid its third straight defeat and sixth in eight games. This one ensured the clubs first losing season since going 34-48 in 2004-05. Jordan Farmar and Robert Sacre had 24 points apiece for the Lakers, who were coming off a 142-94 loss to the Los Angeles Clippeers on Thursday. Willie Galimore Jersey. The 48-point defeat was the biggest in franchise history for the Lakers, who have given up an average of 136 points in their last three losses. "You cant win that way," coach Mike DAntoni said. "We are trying everything we can do. ... I dont know if the air has gone out or we are tired or what the problem is." Trailing by 19 heading into the fourth quarter, the Lakers put together a 9-2 spurt to pull to 117-104 with 7:40 remaining. But they couldnt cut the lead below double digits until the final 1:30, and Faried responded with a layup on the other end before Gasol put in a final basket that still left the Lakers well short. "I know Im tired of it and our team is tired of it, but our defence needs to get better," Sacre said. "Thats the key, our defence. If we get guys (opponents) averaging 140 points each night, its not good enough." Faried hit a reverse layup in the final moments of the second quarter to push Denvers lead at halftime to 77-66 in what was its highest-scoring opening half of the season. The Lakers had pulled into a 55-all tie when Farmar and Ryan Kelly hit 3-pointers sandwiched around a 3 by Randy Foye, but the Nuggets gained some separation with a 10-0 burst that began and ended on baskets by Lawson. Denver led 42-35 after the first quarter, surpassing its previous high for points in the first by a point. NOTES: Gasol played in his 898th career game, ranking 29th among active players. ... The Nuggets previous high in the first half was 69 points against Orlando on Jan. 11. ... Faried had his 58th career double-double. Denver is 47-11 in those games. ... The Lakers had 47 rebounds to 43 for Denver, snapping a string of 11 consecutive games in which they were outrebounded. ' ' '