TORONTO - The Toronto Marlies ended a pair of cold streaks Wednesday night.
Bates Battaglia scored twice and Jiri Tlusty added the game winner in the seventh round of the shootout as the Marlies earned a 5-4 victory over the Lake Erie Monsters in AHL action.
The win was the Marlies' first in five games this season against their divisional rivals, and the first at home in December. Toronto entered Wednesday's action with an 0-3 mark at Ricoh Colisum for the month, including a 3-1 loss to the Monsters on Dec. 12.
Toronto head coach Greg Gilbert said his team was doubly relieved.
"It feels great," said Gilbert. "It's a monkey off our back."
The Marlies appeared to have the game won in regulation, but Chris Durno forced extra time with his second goal of the game with 58 seconds left in regulation.
His goal came just 13 seconds after Battaglia had given the Marlies a 4-3 advantage.
Justin Pogge needed to stop just 19 shots for the victory, and Gilbert pointed to his lack of work as a sign the Marlies put together a solid game.
"You're giving up 20-to-23 shots per night, that's a good sign you're playing a good game at both ends of the ice," said Gilbert.
Lake Erie netminder Tyler Weiman made 26 saves in the loss.
Cody Burki and Kyle Cumiskey added singles for the Monsters (10-13-1-2).
Ben Ondrus and Stefano Giliati had the other goals for the Marlies (13-12-0-2), while Tlusty added three assists in front of 1,346 fans at Ricoh Coliseum.
The teams played to a scoreless first period, with the Marlies carrying the play and outshooting the Monsters 10-6 through 20 minutes.
The Monsters broke a scoreless tie halfway through the second period where Chris Mueller found Burki with a cross-crease pass for the easy tap-in.
Toronto replied when Ondrus scored his sixth goal in six games. Less than one minute later, Giliati cut across the left face-off circle and the top of the crease to chip in his second of the season.
Things looked good for Toronto, which boasted a record of 10-0 when leading after 40 minutes. But two penalties late in the period - including a delay-of-game infraction for clearing the puck over the glass - led to Durno's first goal of the game with 13 seconds left in the period, sending the teams to the break tied 2-2.
Gilbert wasn't pleased about the penalty, but accepted it.
"I think they should put glass all the way around the rink to be honest," Gilbert said. "It happens, it's a mental mistake and we paid the price for it."
Cumiskey gave the Monsters a 3-2 lead early in the third, converting their second power-play chance of the game. Battaglia scored at the nine-minute mark to tie it 3-3 and then put the Marlies ahead with just over a minute left in the third period.
The Marlies travel to Providence to take on the Bruins on Friday.
Notes: Toronto scored once on three power-play opportunities, while Lake Erie converted two of five chances. ... Toronto hosted the Monsters for the second time in six days. ... Marlies winger Robbie Earl entered the game with a three game point streak (one goal, two assists).