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Kadri helps Maple Leafs beat Panthers 6-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 30, 2014 at 10:39 pm •  Published: January 30, 2014

TORONTO (AP) — Randy Carlyle said it was the best performance he had seen in a long time. Yup, it was one of those nights for Nazem Kadri.

The 23-year-old center had three assists, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Florida Panthers 6-3 on Thursday for their fifth consecutive home victory.

Kadri has two goals and five assists during a four-game point streak. He picked up his 100th career assist on Nikolai Kulemin's one-timer at the four-minute mark of the third period.

"It's a great achievement for myself, but hopefully there's a lot more to come," Kadri said. "You got to think to yourself when the points are coming easy, it's just not all about that, you got to make sure you're good in your D zone, bearing down on face-offs and just allow the coaching staff to put you on the ice in those crucial situations."

James van Riemsdyk set a career high with his 22nd goal for Toronto, which scored five straight goals after falling behind 2-0 in the first. Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak also scored in the third.

Toronto (28-21-6) has won eight of 10 overall. It was coming off a 3-2 win against Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.

"Nazy was a difference-maker tonight," Carlyle said. "That's probably the best game he's played in a long time and at both ends of the rink obviously with the points and distributing the puck, that was making some big league plays."

Nick Bjugstad and Sean Bergenheim scored in the first for Florida (21-25-7), and Dmitry Kulikov had a third-period goal. Scott Clemmensen made 26 saves.

"When a team comes out after they've lost the period, they're probably getting some bad words from the coach," Kulikov said. "We knew they were going to come out strong in the second period and we didn't handle it."

Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 35 saves, shaking off a slow start.

Florida scored twice on its first seven shots to open a 2-0 lead in the first period.

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