“I give credit because they are a hard-working group that is structured and we lack that structure in our game right now,” MacTavish said. “And that’s why we got pounded.”
Nikolai Kulemin, Nik Antropov, Ian White and Mikhail Grabovski also scored to help Toronto, coming off a loss in Calgary on Tuesday night, move over .500 at 7-6-4. The victory was the Maple Leafs’ second time in their last six games.
“For us, coming off of Calgary we wanted to establish something early tonight and in Calgary the last game they handed it to us pretty good,” Stajan said. “Actually, the Oilers took it to us early. We wanted to make sure that we’re ready to go and obviously we’ve got to be physical, too. They’ve got a lot of skill on that team so you’ve got to make sure you’re physical and good players.”
“We were definitely concerned coming off our long road trip with our start to this game, but we came out energized and ready to go,” Oilers defenseman Steve Staios said. “It seems it is that first period when you are coming off a long trip that does you in, but it was the rest of the game that did it to us tonight.
“We spent a lot of time in our zone in the second period and had some penalties to try and kill off and that was the momentum shift.”
The Oilers opened the scoring on a power play midway through the first period. Toronto goalie Vesa Toskala made the initial stop on a shot by Denis Grebeshkov, but couldn’t get over in time to stop Gagner with the rebound at the side of the net.
Toronto surged ahead with a couple of power-play goals of at the start of the second. Kaberle fired a hard shot from the point past Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, and Toronto made it 2-1 less than 2 minutes later when Kulemin tipped in Kaberle’s shot.
Edmonton tied it just over 7 minutes into the second period. Moreau had three whacks at a loose puck before finally squeezing it between Toskala’s skate and the post.
The Leafs regained the lead with 1:01 to go in the second period after prolonged pressure in the Edmonton zone. Antropov took a pass in the slot and wired a wrist shot past Drouin-Deslauriers.
Toronto added some insurance 5 minutes into the third after Ales Hemsky turned the puck over to Jason Blake at the Edmonton blue line. Blake fed a pass to White, who blasted his second of the season into the net for a 4-2 advantage.
The Leafs put the game away with 6 1/2 minutes to go with Grabovski’s goal, Toronto’s third power-play score of the night.
Blake was back in the Toronto lineyp after being a healthy scratch Tuesday night in Calgary. … Forward Jesse Boulerice joined the Oilers on Thursday after being claimed off of waivers from Colorado earlier in the week, but did not play.