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Five-goal outburst helps Leafs put down Panthers
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Mason Raymond and James van Riemsdyk scored 31 seconds apart early in the second period to give the Toronto Maple Leafs the lead for good in a 6-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday.
Toronto scored five straight goals after going down 2-0 in the first period and picked up its eighth win in 10 games. Jonathan Bernier had 35 saves in the victory, including 15 in the second period.
Cody Franson, Nikolai Kulemin, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak also scored for the Maple Leafs, who pushed their home winning streak to five games.
Lupul and van Riemsdyk both added an assist and Nazem Kadri had three helpers.
Nick Bjugstad, Sean Bergenheim and Dmitry Kulikov scored for the Panthers, who have lost three of their last four. Scott Clemmensen gave up all six goals on 32 shots.
The Maple Leafs took a 3-2 lead with three goals in a span of 4:09 between the first and second periods, including Raymond and van Riemsdyk's.
Franson got them on the board with a wrist shot from the point that made it through van Riemsdyk's screen at 16:49 of the first, and Raymond scored 27 ticks into the second period on a wrister from the left circle that beat Clemmensen's glove on the far side.
Van Riemsdyk gave Toronto a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal after Scott Gomez went off for high-sticking. Phil Kessel took the shot from the high left side and van Riemsdyk tipped it in at the 58-second mark.
"We didn't have the start we wanted but to score three goals back-to-back like that was huge," said Bernier.
Panthers coach Peter Horachek said the two quick goals in the second period put some of his players "back on their heels."
"From that point on I think it was pretty even for the rest of the second period but the two quick goals really put the momentum back on their side," he said.
Kulemin and Lupul (on a power play) both scored from the left circle in the first 6:22 of the third period to make it 5-2. Kulikov's goal for Florida came after a won faceoff and Bozak capped the scoring for Toronto with 83 seconds left.
Bjugstad scored 99 seconds into the game, skating ahead of Kadri and deking to his backhand to beat Bernier. Bergenheim made it 2-0 at 13:50 of the first period when he finished a 2-on-1 with Brad Boyes with a wrist shot from the low left side.
The Maple Leafs finish a three-game homestand Saturday against Ottawa ... The Panthers are 1-2 on a four-game road trip that ends Saturday at Columbus. That will finish an eight-game stretch where they played seven times on the road ... The Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak to the Maple Leafs on Dec. 17 in Toronto. The teams will play two more times this season, including Tuesday in Florida.
01/31 00:48:35 ET