Toronto's trio of Martin Sagat, Alex Foster and Robbie Earl was the most dangerous line on the ice Saturday, combining for two goals and four points in the Marlies' 4-1 win over Rochester at the Ricoh Coliseum.
"Me, Robbie and Alex, we've (recently) started playing together and something clicked," said Sagat, who scored twice in the win. "It feels great, the confidence is building up, and it's much more enjoyable to play."
"They've been working hard in practice together and they've been executing everything really well," Marlies coach Greg Gilbert said of Sagat's line. "I thought they were outstanding (Friday) in our win against Houston, and tonight they were doing what we've been trying to teach everybody this year.
"They're reaping the rewards for executing it."
Brett Engelhardt and Domenic D'Amour also scored for Toronto (26-34-2-4), which has won three of its last four games.
Stefan Meyer replied for the Americans (38-26-1-0), who have dropped two in a row.
Despite the win, the Marlies remain 16 points out of the final playoff berth in the North division. However, Engelhardt said it is important for the team to continue to work hard.
"As much as you're here to play in the AHL, you're also here to develop," said Engelhardt, who also had an assist. "There are a lot of guys who can benefit from this last part of the schedule."
Engelhardt also was pleased to see the Sagat-Foster-Earl line excel.
"Those are three guys who really know they have something to prove," he said. "They're three hardworking guys, and it's good to see things happening for them."
Playing before an announced crowd of 3,830, the Marlies opened the scoring when Engelhardt potted his 20th goal of the season at the 6:39 mark of the first period.
But Meyer struck back with a power-play goal at 15:36 of the first, and the two teams went into the first intermission tied 1-1.
Toronto regained the lead with a power-play goal of its own after
D'Amour's shot from the point eluded Rochester goalie Adam Berkhoel at 12:46 of the second.
The Marlies extended their advantage 27 seconds into the third period on Sagat's second goal of the year. Sagat then added his second of the game at 14:46 to put a Rochester comeback out of reach.
Both teams were 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Marlies goalie Justin Pogge made 31 saves to improve to 14-21-1 on the season.
Berkhoel (1-3-0) stopped 23 Marlies shots in the loss.