Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala (35) of Finland makes a first period save on a shot by the Pittsburgh Penguins in a NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Gene J. Puskar
PITTSBURGH - Two days after one of his worst efforts of the season, Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala got back in the nets and had a much smoother outing.
Nik Antropov had a goal and two assists, and six other Toronto players scored in the Maple Leafs' 7-3 rout of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
"I think this was one of the easiest games I've had with the Leafs," said Toskala, who made 20 saves after allowing four goals on 11 shots in an 8-5 loss to Boston on Thursday. "It was lots of fun to play."
Pavel Kubina and Alexei Ponikarovsky each had a goal and an assist, Jonas Frogren scored his first NHL goal, and Tomas Kaberle had three assists as the Maple Leafs netted a season-best seven goals.
Dominic Moore, Jeremy Williams and Niklas Hagman also scored for Toronto, which won for the fourth time in five games.
"We just worked hard," said Antropov, who has scored in three straight games and has six points in that stretch. "We wanted to bounce back from what happened in Boston, and we did it. I thought everybody played excellent tonight, and we got two points."
Petr Sykora scored twice and Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, which allowed a season high for goals and lost for the fifth time in seven games.
"It was a bad game by everyone involved," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said. "We didn't show up."
Toronto got two goals from players in action for the first time after injuries (Frogren, Hagman) and another from Williams, in his fifth game of the season.
Moore opened the scoring during a power play 7:45 into the game with a tap-in off the rebound of Pavel Kubina's shot.
That was the first of four goals scored in a span of 5:11.
Malkin briefly tied it two minutes later by swooping in from the left side and cutting across Toskala for his 15th goal and NHL-best 54th point.
Williams gave Toronto the lead for good 74 seconds later, and defenceman Frogren scored 1:53 after that to make it 3-1.
"I thought overall this was easily our best game of the season," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "We dominated in all areas of the game."
Williams has four goals in five games since being recalled from the AHL on Dec. 7. Frogren played his first game since Nov. 22, after sitting out with an elbow injury.
Hagman hadn't played in four games after sustaining a concussion Dec. 6 against Washington, but he scored his ninth goal with 11:29 to play in the second after a giveaway by Malkin.
Malkin skated directly in front of his net and attempted a pass to Rob Scuderi that was picked off by Hagman, who beat Marc-Andre Fleury to make it 4-1.
"We played a good first period, and we kept it going," Hagman said.
When Kubina scored while on the power play with 3:40 left in the second, the rout appeared on. Sykora got the Penguins closer with his 11th and 12th goals of the season in the third period, but they bookended goals by Ponikarovsky and Antropov against Penguins backup goalie Dany Sabourin.
In his second game after missing more than a month with a groin injury, starter Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after allowing five goals on 33 shots in two periods.
Therrien was agitated after the game, and when asked about the leadership on the team, he replied simply, "It's Sidney's team" - a reference to captain Sidney Crosby.
"There's nothing good to say. Nothing good came out of that," Crosby said. "Hopefully this makes us realize we can't get away with not working hard."
Notes: The Maple Leafs hadn't scored seven in a game since an 8-2 win against Boston on March 6. The last time Pittsburgh allowed as many as seven was an 8-2 loss at Philadelphia Dec. 11, 2007. ... The Penguins had won four of five home games against the Maple Leafs. ... Toronto outshot Pittsburgh 40-23, including 33-13 during the first two periods.
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