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Blake, five-goal third period lift Maple Leafs past Penguins

TORONTO (Ticker) -- Jason Blake's quick strikes ignited a powder

keg for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Blake scored twice in a 19-second span in the third period as

the Maple Leafs scored six unanswered goals en route to a 6-2

triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Matt Stajan and Nik Antropov recorded a tally and two assists

apiece and Alexei Ponikarovsky also scored and set up a goal for

Toronto, which scored five times in the third.

Rookie John Mitchell also tallied, Dominic Moore notched a pair

of assists and Vesa Toskala turned aside 25 shots for the Maple

Leafs, who improved to 4-2-2 in their last eight contests.

Matt Cooke scored, Bill Thomas added a shorthanded tally and

Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves for Pittsburgh, which fell to

3-4-1 in its last eight.

With the Penguins nursing a 2-1 lead, Blake leveled the contest

just 55 seconds into the third period. After grabbing a rebound

on the doorstep, he backhanded the puck past outstretched pad of


After pressing the Penguins into a turnover in their own end,

Moore alertly fed Blake in the slot. The veteran quickly spun

around a would-be check, shifted the puck to his forehand and

beat Fleury for his 21st goal of the season and 13th in 2009.

Nearly six minutes later, Mitchell snapped a 17-game goalless

drought by wristing a shot from the slot past Fleury, staking

Toronto to a 4-2 lead.

Blake's bid for his seventh career hat trick was denied mere

moments later, as his backhander was denied by Fleury, who made

a sprawling glove save.

Ponikarovsky and Stajan added insurance tallies just over 2 1/2

minutes apart later in the session to seal the win.

The Penguins claimed a quick 2-0 advantage as Cooke scored 83

seconds into the first period and Thomas netted a shorthander

just over seven minutes later.

Antropov halved the deficit with 7:07 remaining in the second,

deflecting defenseman Jeff Finger's shot from the point past

Fleury for his 18th goal.


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