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Bondra scores 500th career goal to lead Blackhawks past Leafs 3-1

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Bondra scores 500th career goal to lead Blackhawks past Leafs 3-1

The Canadian Press
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Bondra, signed by Chicago as a free agent Dec. 10, drove to the net and rammed a rebound of Jassen Cullimore's shot from the left point past Jean-Sebastien Aubin 6:37 into the third. Bondra became the 37th player in league history to reach the 500-goal plateau.

Bryan Smolinski, who had a short-handed goal, and Brent Seabrook scored for Chicago, which improved to 8-2-3 under head coach Denis Savard.

John Pohl scored a power-play goal for Toronto.

Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin blocked 25 shots. He twice stopped Toronto's leading goal scorer, Darcy Tucker, point-blank - including on a first-period breakaway.

Aubin made 22 saves.

Maple Leafs centre Michael Peca suffered a right knee injury late in the first and had to be helped from the ice. He didn't return, and team officials had no further update before the end of the game.

Peca collided with Chicago defenceman Jim Vandermeer at full speed in the Toronto zone with 5:17 left in the first. Vandermeer received a five-minute penalty for kneeing and game misconduct on the play.

Toronto took a 1-0 lead when Pohl scored on a power play with 4:01 left in the first.

After taking a cross-ice pass from Tomas Kaberle, Pohl fired a shot from the left that beat Khabibulin between the pads.

Smolinski's short-handed goal with 8:57 left in the second tied it 1-1.

After taking a pass from Denis Arkhipov, Smolinski beat Aubin on the stick side with a shot from the left circle.

After Bondra gave Chicago a 2-1 lead, Seabrook made it 3-1 with 2:44 left. He scored on a shot from the right point that deflected off the stick of Toronto's Chad Kilger.

Notes: The Maple Leafs and Blackhawks, both Original Six NHL franchises, faced each other for the first time in Chicago since Feb. 12, 2003 . . . Toronto D Wade Belak was accidentally cut above the nose by the stick of Chicago's Patrick Sharp with 6:48 left in the first. He skated off the ice and no penalty was assessed on the play . . . Chicago LW Karl Stewart suffered a leg injury in the first and didn't return . . . Blackhawks C Jeff Hamilton sat out with the flu . . . Maple Leafs LW Alexei Ponikarovsky missed the game with a separated shoulder and C Kyle Wellwood sat out with a hip flexor injury.

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Bondra scores 500th career goal to lead Blackhawks past Leafs 3-1