Lupul, Leafs Return to Anaheim; Get the “W”

Many Anaheim Ducks fans can recall Joffrey Lupul playing for the team. In fact, he’s done not one, but two stints with the Ducks. He was originally drafted by Ducks (at the time known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim) in the first round of the 2002 draft and played with the team from 2003-2006 and in the ’06 offseason was part of a trade with the Edmonton Oilers for Chris Pronger. Fast-forward three years to June 26, 2009, Lupul was traded back to Anaheim from the Philadelphia Flyers for Pronger.

The Ducks had high expectations for Lupul, but unfortunately, he was plagued by injuries.  Lupul suffered a herniated disc in early December of 2009 and due to recurring blood infections was sidelined for nearly a year and a couple months after his return to the ice, was once again traded away by the Ducks, this time to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Francois Beauchemin.

Between the Ducks and Leafs in the 2010-2011 season, Lupul scored 14 goals in 54 games. However, in entering his 24th game of this current season, Lupul already had already racked up 11 goals and 16 assists, and is tied for 12th in goals so far this season.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little surprised,” Lupul told the Orange County Register prior to the game. “Where I’m sitting right now as far as numbers, I don’t think I could have predicted that.”

Lupul returned to Anaheim, with the Maple Leafs, for the first time since was traded last season on Sunday, glad to see his former teammates, but also ready to make a statement.

“It’s fun to be able to compete against those guys,” Lupul mentioned, referring to players like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, who he came up through the Ducks’ organization with.

The Ducks were first to strike in the game. About halfway through the first period, Beauchemin, who was acquired by the most recent Lupul trade, scored a power play goal and gave the Ducks an early lead.

The lead did not last long however, as Tyler Bozak retaliated with a power play goal of his own, getting an assist from Lupul. Less than twenty seconds later, the Maple Leafs took the lead with a tally from Clarke MacArthur.

Joey Crabb added to the Leafs’ lead a couple of minutes into the second, making it 3-1 entering the third period.

To make things worse for the Ducks, a mere forty-seven seconds into the third, Bozak netted his second of the night, and Lupul earned yet another assist, giving Toronto a three goal lead. However, about five minutes later, Perry scored for the Ducks’, bringing the Leafs’ lead back to down to two.

Towards the end of the period though, Luke Schenn added an empty-netter for Toronto and the Maple Leafs came away with a 5-2 victory in Anaheim.

“It’s just nice to get the win,” Lupul stated. “We came in here to get the win and it feels good.”

On the other hand, the Ducks, who have now suffered seven straight losses and are now 2-12-4 in their last eighteen contests, are now desperate for a win.

“This is not something that is going to be accepted,” coach Randy Carlyle declared. “That will never happen.”

The Ducks will face off against the Montreal Canadiens at the Honda Center on Wednesday.

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