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game recap

Connor Brown has four points in Maple Leafs win

Forward gets two goals, two assists against James Reimer, Panthers

by David Alter / NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs spoiled James Reimer's first start against his former team.

Connor Brown had two goals and two assists, rookie Mitchell Marner scored on a breakaway, and the Maple Leafs defeated the Florida Panthers 6-1 at Air Canada Centre on Thursday.

"It was one of those games where I felt like the puck was following us a bit," Brown said. "We were able to take advantage of some bounces there and it was a good win."

 

WATCH: All Panthers vs. Maple Leafs highlights

 

Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk scored second-period goals for Toronto (8-6-3). Jake Gardiner scored in the third.

Brown had his first multigoal game of his NHL career and set a new career high with four points.

He scored his first goal at 5:55 of the first period when he deflected a shot from the point by Morgan Rielly. Initially ruled no goal by officials due to contact with a high stick, the play was reviewed and overturned to make it 1-0.

"I was out so far from the net I had no idea how high it was," Brown said of his deflection. "I saw that they waved it off right away. It's good that they went up and made the right call."

Video: FLA@TOR: Brown's redirect bounces in past Reimer

Brown's second goal came at 15:36 of the first period for a 2-1 lead. He skated past Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, and with Nazem Kadri on his wing, he got the puck between Reimer's pad and post.

"I was actually trying to pass it to [Kadri]," Brown said.

Marner scored on a breakaway at 17:03. He used a triple deke to beat Reimer to make it 3-1.

Reimer made 24 saves. He played six seasons for Toronto before he was traded on Feb. 27 to the San Jose Sharks and signed with the Panthers as a free agent on July 1.

"It just wasn't my best game," Reimer said. "I had [to face] a couple of chances and there were a couple of lucky breaks. I just couldn't get to it in time."

Video: FLA@TOR: Brown nets his second goal after nice rush

Ekblad scored for Florida at 10:21 of the first period to tie it 1-1.

The Panthers (8-8-1) lost their first game this season when Ekblad scores (3-1-0). Florida had won two in a row and hasn't won three consecutive games this season.

Komarov made it 4-1 at 7:45 of the second period, van Riemsdyk made it 5-1 at 18:53, and Gardiner made it 6-1 with 2:55 left in the third.

Frederik Andersen made 26 saves for Toronto.

"I think [Andersen] has been real good for us this last chunk," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "It's like a pitcher who is getting a lot of run support, it's a lot more fun. I thought he was really solid tonight."

Video: FLA@TOR: van Riemsdyk capitalizes off a turnover

 

Goal of the game

Marner had to avoid the stick-checking of Michael Matheson to break loose and score his breakaway goal.

"James [van Riemsdyk] made a good flip and luckily we got the bounce too," Marner said. "I knew I had pressure behind me and forced on my backhand, but I knew if I could get to my forehand I had a pretty good chance of scoring on it. I just tried to get to my forehand as quick as possible when I got close to [Reimer]."

Video: FLA@TOR: Marner shows off skills for fantastic goal

 

Save of the game

Panthers forward Colton Sceviour had a breakaway after breaking up pressure in their zone. Sceviour tried to go five-hole, but Andersen made a pad save at 11:53 of the second period.

 

Unsung moment of the game

Sceviour took a quick wrist shot on Andersen, who corralled the puck and eliminated the threat at 7:36 of the second period. Komarov scored nine seconds later.

 

Highlight of the game

Brown's first assist, third point, came on a saucer pass to Komarov, who beat Reimer over his glove.

Video: FLA@TOR: Komarov chips puck into net to finish rush

 

They said it

"A lot of guys didn't play good at all. Two guys out of our lineup (forwards Nick Bjugstad, Jonathan Huberdeau) shouldn't make a huge difference for us. I just didn't like the way a lot of our guys played. There was no compete, there was no battle, we probably played maybe 20 good minutes in the whole game and that's not enough." -- Panthers coach Gerard Gallant

 

Video: FLA@TOR: Gardiner scores right out of the penalty box

 

Need to know

The Maple Leafs have scored six goals in each of their past four wins. They have won six out of their past eight games (6-2-0). … The Panthers have split the first two games of their four-game road trip (1-1-0).

 

What's next

Panthers: At the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, TVA Sports 2, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: At the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, NHLN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Maple Leafs rout Panthers, 6-1

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