Kadri helps Maple Leafs beat Panthers 6-3
- Associated Press
- January 30, 2014 - 9:20 PM
TORONTO — Nazem Kadri had three assists, including his 100th career point, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Florida Panthers 6-3 on Thursday night for their fifth consecutive home victory.
James van Riemsdyk set a career high with his 22nd goal for Toronto, which scored five straight goals after falling behind 2-0 in the first. Joffrey Lupul, Nikolai Kulemin and Tyler Bozak each had a third-period score.
Toronto (28-21-6) has won eight of 10 overall. It was coming off a 3-2 win against Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.
Nick Bjugstad and Sean Bergenheim scored in the first for Florida (21-25-7), and Dmitry Kulikov had a third-period goal. Scott Clemmensen made 26 saves.
Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 35 saves, shaking off a slow start.
Florida scored twice on its first seven shots to open a 2-0 lead in the first period.
Bjugstad beat Bernier with a backhand for his 12th goal just 1:39 into the first. Bergenheim then finished off a 2-on-1 feed from Brad Boyes at 13:50. It was Boyes' 250th assist.
Toronto's impressive response started in the first. Cody Franson cut Florida's lead in half at 16:49, beating a screened Clemmensen, and the Leafs scored twice in the first minute of the second.
Mason Raymond got his 14th goal on a wrist shot 27 seconds into the second. Van Riemsdyk then tipped a Phil Kessel shot past Clemmensen for a power-play tally at 57 seconds.
With the goal, van Riemsdyk surpassed his previous single-season high of 21 set during the 2010-11 season while he was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Kadri helped set up Kulemin and Lupul in the third, lifting Toronto to a 5-2 lead. Bozak finished off a 2-on-1 feed from Kessel at 18:37 of the third.
NOTES: Leafs coach Randy Carlyle expects David Clarkson (elbow) to return during the team's two-game road trip in Florida. ... Toronto forward David Bolland (ankle) is 50-50 to return to the lineup prior to the Olympic break, according to Carlyle. ... Florida forward Shawn Matthias (illness) returned to the lineup.
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