VANCOUVER (CP) – Derek Dorsett admitted to costing his team with some undisciplined play last time out.
He more than made up for it on Saturday.
The bruising forward scored his first goal in 24 games and also chipped in with two assists as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1.
Dorsett was sitting in the penalty box for a retaliatory slash when the Los Angeles Kings opened the scoring on Thursday and the visitors never really looked back after that in skating away with a 4-0 victory.
"I felt bad about the penalty I took," Dorsett said Saturday after the first three-point game of his NHL career. "I apologized to the guys in the locker-room. That's what good teams do, they stick with you. The guys supported me and I wanted to make sure I came with a good effort."
The six-foot, 192-pound winger hadn't scored since Jan. 16, but is a valued member of the Canucks for his grit and tenacity.
"He's just played hard for us," said Vancouver head coach Willie Desjardins. "Lots of nights he doesn't get rewarded on the scoresheet, but he does get rewarded in the dressing room."
Chris Higgins, Jannik Hansen and Shawn Matthias, into an empty net, had the other goals for Vancouver (39-25-4), while Eddie Lack made 28 saves.
"We weren't really happy with the L.A. game," said Lack. "I felt like we came out hard from the start today and we showed that we wanted this one."
Phil Kessel replied for Toronto (27-37-6), which finished 0 for 6 on the power play.
Jonathan Bernier made 31 stops for the Leafs, who were coming off a 6-3 loss against the Calgary Flames on Friday and have just five wins over their last 32 games.
"We talked about how unacceptable our effort was last night and the compete level was not there," said Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf. "Tonight it was a lot better, but it's disappointing to not come out of here with a point or two points."
Higgins scored his ninth of the season in the first to give Vancouver the lead before the hosts blew the game open in the middle period with goals 32 seconds apart.
The Leafs had a number of chances on a power play, but the Canucks broke back on a 2-on-1 the other way, with Dorsett burying his sixth at 6:09 just as the penalty expired.
Hansen then made it 3-0 moments later into a gaping net after Ronalds Kenins was pushed into Bernier.
The Leafs had a 5-on-3 man advantage for 25 seconds as part of its four straight power plays in the period, but were unable to get anything past Lack despite some lengthy stretches of sustained pressure.
"You need your power play to get us going and get us back into that game," said Toronto interim head coach Peter Horachek, whose team has a solitary victory over its last 20 road games. "The power play instead of scoring gives up one, whether it's a second after or not it's still a short-handed goal to me."
Phaneuf and Canucks forward Zack Kassian were then involved in an altercation after the whistle with 3:27 left on the clock. One of the linesmen tumbled to the ice under Kassian, who was given two minutes for roughing, a ten-minute misconduct and a game misconduct, while Phaneuf escaped with a minor.
Lack, who continues to carry the workload in the Vancouver crease with No. 1 goalie Ryan Miller still out with a knee injury, made a nice save on a Trevor Smith short-handed breakaway with under nine minutes to go in the third, but lost his shutout bid when Kessel beat him with a nice backhand on a penalty shot with 7:22 left for his 24th.
But Matthias put any thoughts of a comeback to rest with his 17th into an empty net with under three minutes to go.
"It's an important time of year," said Dorsett. "We all know how important every point is from here on out."
NOTES: Higgins suited up for the Canucks after missing three games with a lower-body injury. ... Canucks forward Brad Richardson was back in the lineup after missing 24 games with a foot injury. ... Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa was back in the lineup after sitting out 22 games with a broken hand.