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HOCKEY

Maple Leafs crush Thrashers 9-3

Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur each scored two goals in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 9-3 rout of the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday night.

Kris Versteeg, Colby Armstrong and Phil Kessel each added a goal for the Maple Leafs, who scored nine straight — including six goals in the second period — for their second straight win overall and third consecutive on the road.

James Reimer made 41 saves for the Maple Leafs, who had six goals in a span of 7:43 of the second period. Toronto had a 2-1 lead before the offensive barrage started with Armstrong's goal at 12:06.

Tobias Enstrom gave the Thrashers a 1-0 lead early in the first period before their defense collapsed.

Ben Eager didn't help matters for Atlanta. The defenseman's four penalty minutes for roughing and cross-checking led to a power-play goal by Grabovski, his 16th overall this season, that gave Toronto a 2-1 lead.

Late in the second period, Eager was ejected and given a match penalty for intent to injure Armstrong, a former Thrashers forward. That led to power-play goals by Kulemin, two by MacArthur and another by Kessel.

Eager appeared to be retaliating for Armstrong's hit on Bryan Little a few seconds earlier, but he might have been trying to avenge Armstrong's clean hit against Rich Peverley's knee in the first.

Less than three minutes in, Atlanta's Eric Boulton and Toronto's Colton Orr had the first fight of the game.

Maple Leafs forward Joey Crabb served a double high-sticking penalty after he drew blood from Dustin Byfuglien's face. The Thrashers defenseman returned to the game.

Patrice Cormier and Andrew Ladd added third-period goals for Atlanta to cut the deficit to 9-3.

Grabovski's 17th goal made it 5-1 at 15:15 of the second. He has scored 12 times in 14 games and has recorded a point in five of six.

Toronto was trying for its first 10-goal game since Jan. 4, 2007, when they won 10-2 at Boston. The Maple Leafs have scored at least 10 goals 35 times.

Versteeg started the onslaught when his 12th goal, a wrister from the right circle, lifted the Maple Leafs into a 1-1 tie 9:43 in.

Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec played into the second before being replaced by Chris Mason, who was pulled out later in the period. Mason played the entire third period and finished the game with six saves on 10 shots.

Pavelec (15-9-4), began the game ranked second in the NHL in save percentage, but he had a rough night — stopping 19 of 24 shots.

NOTES: Toronto D Tomas Kaberle had four assists. ... The Maple Leafs improved to 13-5-2 at Philips Arena. ... Atlanta LW Evander Kane missed the game because of a lower body injury.