Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – James van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul tallied a goal and an assist apiece while Nazem Kadri issued three assists as the Toronto Maple Leafs recorded a come-from-behind 6-3 victory over the Florida Panthers Thursday at Air Canada Center.
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 35 shots as the Maple Leafs improved to 29-21-6 after winning their second straight game.
Scott Clemmensen made 26 saves for the Panthers, who dropped to 21-26-7 despite taking a 2-0 lead after goals by Nick Bjugstad and Sean Bergenheim in the game’s first 13:50.
The Panthers got on the board first when Bjugstad deked and put a backhander over Bernier’s blocker at 1:39 of the first period for his 12th goal of the season. Bjugstad broke in alone after a quick pass from the boards by Scottie Upshall.
Bergenheim made it 2-0 at 13:50 when he scored on a give-and-go with Brad Boyes for his 13th of the season.
Kadri and van Riemsdyk assisted on Cody Franson’s goal at 16:49 that cut the deficit to 2-1 before
Mason Raymond and van Riemsdyk scored 31 seconds apart in the opening minute of the middle period to put Toronto ahead to stay.
Raymond’s goal came 27 seconds into the period and van Riemsdyk followed with a power-play goal by tipping Phil Kessel’s shot past Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen.
Then, Toronto blew the game open by scoring three times in the third period.
Nikolai Kulemin gave the Maple Leafs a 4-2 at 4:00 when he one-timed a pass from Lupul past Clemmensen for his eighth goal of the season.
Lupul made it 5-2 at 6:22 on the power play by taking a pass from Kadri in the left circle and firing a shot over Clemmensen’s shoulder for his 16th goal of the season. Kadri earned his second assist of the game and the 100th point of his career.
Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov cut the lead to 5-3 with 5:31 remaining when his point shot went through traffic in front of the net to beat Bernier, but Tyler Bozak’s 10th goal of the season with 1:23 to play put the game away.