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Jiri Tlusty has six points as Marlies hold off Bruins 6-4

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TORONTO - The red-hot Jiri Tlusty had a six-point night with two goals and four assists, leading the Toronto Marlies past the visiting Providence Bruins 6-4 in American Hockey League action on Wednesday night.

Tim Stapleton, in his first game back with the Marlies after a three-game NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs, had a pair of goals while Anton Stralman and Jeremy Williams also scored to help the Marlies (31-23-7) snap a three-game losing streak at home.

Stapleton also had two assists for a four-point game, while Bates Battaglia chipped in with three helpers.

Mikko Lehtonen scored twice and Brad Marchand and Vladimir Sobotka added singles for the Bruins, who suffered their third consecutive loss to fall to 34-23-5. Martin St. Pierre and Johnny Boychuk each collected two assists for the Bruins.

Tlusty, 20, was named the AHL's player of the month in February after piling up 12 goals, 23 points and a plus-11 rating in 11 games. In his past 16 games, the left winger, who was drafted 13th overall by the Leafs in 2006, has 16 goals and 34 points.

Marlies goalie Justin Pogge stopped 25 of 29 shots for the victory, while Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask made 20 saves. Both goaltenders were drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs - Pogge 90th overall in 2004; Rask (21st in 2005), who was traded to the Boston Bruins in exchange for goalie Andrew Raycroft in June of 2006.

Tlusty opened the scoring late in the first period when he collected the puck at the side of the crease and deposited it past Rask at 16:39.

The Bruins responded less than two minutes later, with Lehtonen skating in from the top of the right faceoff circle and whipping a high wrist shot past Pogge's glove at 18:26.

Toronto wasted little time regaining the lead in the second period, while on the power play, as Stapleton's slap shot from the right point beat a screened Rask just 10 seconds into the middle frame.

Once again, though, Lehtonen drew the Bruins even, pounding a rebound past Pogge at 13:33 of the second.

Tlusty's second goal, a deflection off Jamie Sifers' point slap shot, eluded Rask at 17:11. But for the third time in the game, the Bruins fought back and notched the tying goal on Marchand's unassisted marker at 19:24.

With the Marlies on a 5-on-3 power play advantage, Stralman's point blast beat a screened Rask at 8:09 of the third period and gave Toronto a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

Williams scored a power play marker at 13:17 - his 18th goal in 28 AHL games this season - and Stapleton added his second of the contest at 15:45. Sobotka had pulled the Bruins to within 5-4 at 15:02, but Stapleton's marker 43 seconds later sealed the victory.

Toronto was 2-for-7 on the power play, while Hershey went 1-for-7 with the man advantage.

The Marlies are off until Friday, when they travel to Hamilton to face the Bulldogs. Toronto hosts the Hershey Bears on Saturday, and then heads back to Hamilton for a Sunday matinee.

Providence, meanwhile, heads to Manitoba for a pair of games against the Moose on Friday and Saturday.

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