If Randy Carlyle came to Anaheim looking for closure against the team that fired him his new team — the Maple Leafs — did their best to give it to him.

Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak each had a goal and two assists and Jonathan Bernier stopped 43 shots as the Leafs beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 Monday night to make Carlyle’s first game back in Anaheim a successful one.

“There’s satisfaction when you beat your former hockey club” said Carlyle. “I’m not going to hide that fact. Feel good about it.
“Now our focus is not what we did tonight but what we have (ahead).”
The win moved the Leafs into second place in the Eastern Conference a point up on the Montreal Canadiens. It also marked a successful start to a five-game road — California. The Leafs play Tuesday night in San Jose.

“It’s nice to start off the trip with a win” said Bozak. “We know it’s going to be a really tough trip. Whenever you’re playing back-to-backs in buildings like here and San Jose if you lose the first game it’s going to be a tough night the second night.

“It’s huge to get the first one. Just relieve a little stress. If we ended up losing the first two it would be a tough last three.”
The Ducks gave Carlyle a rather understated in-game nod early in the game: A simple picture of him and assistant coach Dave Farrish (fired at the same time as Carlyle and now also a Leaf assistant) holding the Stanley Cup with a simple “Thank you Randy and Dave” posted with it.

The fans gave them both a round of applause.

Niceties exchanged, the Leafs played enough Carlyle-type hockey to keep the coach happy. They dominated at times with a decent forecheck. There were a couple of fights — Tim Gleason and David Clarkson got the better of their opponents.

And there were spectacular goals: Bozak on the power play Kessel on a breakaway and Kessel setting up Paul Ranger.

There were plenty of very Leaf-like flaws — including a complete breakdown in the latter half of the second period and silly penalties in the third — that show Carlyle and the Leafs still have some work to do.