TORONTO - Joffrey Lupul
scored twice, Phil Kessel
ended a five-game goal drought and the Toronto Maple Leafs kept rolling by beating the Dallas Stars 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri also scored for the Leafs (13-8-3), who won for the fourth time in the past five games and haven't lost at home since getting thrashed by the Nashville Predators on Nov. 18. Since back-to-back losses by a combined score of 15-4, they've outscored opponents 23-12.
In that time, the Leafs have picked up nine of a possible 10 points.
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier, making his sixth-straight start, stopped 35-of-38 shots he faced for his ninth victory of the season.
Kari Lehtnon gave up five goals on 40 shots but made several saves to keep the game from being an even more lopsided result.
Former Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza, Ryan Garbutt, back from a two-game suspension for kneeing Edmonton's Taylor Hall, and ex-Oilers winger Alex Hemsky scored for the struggling Stars (9-11-5). Dallas lost its third-straight game.
It didn't take long for the Leafs to jump out to a lead.
Captain Dion Phaneuf forced an Ales Hemsky turnover and Bozak skated into space before firing a shot through traffic and past Lehtonen. The goal was scored just 27 seconds into the game and came on the Leafs' first shot.
At the 15:26 mark, Kadri took advantage of ice time at the tail end of a penalty kill to give the Leafs a 2-0 lead. After Mike Santorelli got to the puck down the right wing, he got it to Kadri, who ripped a shot into the top corner short side on Lehtonen for his sixth of the season.
Toronto made it 3-0 on the power play early in the second. With James van Riemsdyk setting a screen, Kessel scored 56 seconds in to end his goal drought at five games.
Spezza cut the Leafs' lead to 3-1 at the 5:06 mark of the second. Erik Cole got the puck over the blue-line, and when Spezza got a hold of it, he wound up and fired a laser by Bernier for his fifth goal of the season.
Lupul restored the three-goal lead 9:31 into the second when he banged home a rebound of a Cody Franson shot. Franson's two assists gave him 14 points in the past 13 games.
With the teams playing at four players aside 2:11 into the third, Garbutt made it 4-2 when he deflected a shot from Alex Goligoski and tucked the rebound by Bernier.
Lupul made it 5-2 at 5:20 of the third when a centring pass from Kadri crossed up Stars defenceman Jordie Benn. Lupul's second of the night was an easy one as he slid the puck into the empty side of the net.
With the Leafs caught up in the Stars' cycle game, Horcoff found former Edmonton teammate Ales Hemsky to make it 5-3 at 15:25.
Notes — Leo Komarov missed the game three days after taking a hit to the head. The gritty forward did not practice Monday or Tuesday, but coach Randy Carlyle said Komarov's symptoms had subsided and that he didn't believe his absence to be a long-term one. ... Stars winger Patrick Eaves left the game in pain during the second period after blocking a shot. He did not return. ... The Leafs went 5 for 5 on the penalty kill, including 1:30 of a five-on-three Stars power play in the third period.
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