NEWS
02/26/2012 07:52 EST | Updated 04/27/2012 05:12 EDT

Deschamps, Dupuis combine for nine points as Marlies pound Bulldogs 6-1

TORONTO - Nicolas Deschamps couldn't recall the last time he had five points in a game.

"Probably in junior," he said with a smile.

The 22-year-old left winger scored two goals and had three assists — tying a team record for points in a game — as the Toronto Marlies hammered the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs 6-1 in American Hockey League action Sunday.

"After the first period I had three points and guys were joking in the dressing room," Deschamps said, "and then I scored two goals in the second period and they were laughing again."

His linemates were smiling, too, as Philippe Dupuis scored once and added three assists, while Marcel Mueller picked up a pair of helpers.

"It just clicked," said Deschamps, who had gone pointless in his previous five contests. "It had been a few games without any points for Dupuis and me, and it was important for us to respond. We had Mueller on the line today, and it just worked."

Defenceman Simon Gysbers had a goal and two assists, while Juraj Mikus and Greg Scott also scored for Toronto.

The Marlies, who improved to 31-19-6 on the season and remain in first place in the AHL's North Division, jumped out to a 3-0 lead midway through the first period and didn't look back in what quickly became a lopsided affair.

"I trust this group," said Marlies coach Dallas Eakins. "Every single player responded tonight, from the goalie on out."

Garrett Stafford provided the lone goal for the Bulldogs, who lost for the second time in three games to fall to 25-25-5 on the season.

Toronto goaltender Mark Owuya made 27 saves for the victory, his fourth win in a row.

At the other end of the ice, Hamilton netminder Nathan Lawson was pulled after allowing three first-period goals on 13 shots. Replacement Robert Mayer didn't fare much better, surrendering a goal on the first shot he faced 48 seconds into the second period and giving up three goals on 20 shots over the final 40 minutes.

The Marlies led 3-0 after the first period and were ahead 5-0 through 40 minutes.

Mikus opened the scoring when he scored his second goal in 56 games this season, pinching in from the left point and converting a feed from Dupuis at 3:25.

Dupuis made it 2-0 when he drove hard to the net and redirected Mueller's centring pass past Lawson at 10:44.

"He's been one of my best forwards the past three weeks," said Eakins of Dupuis, who was sent down by the NHL-parent Toronto Maple Leafs in early January.

Gysbers gave the Marlies a three-goal lead at 14:49 when he scored a power-play goal right off the draw, just two seconds after Hamilton's Joonas Nattinen was whistled for hooking.

Deschamps made it 4-0 just 48 seconds into the middle frame, skating down the right wing and whipping a high wrist shot past Mayer on the stick side.

The Marlies winger scored again to make it 5-0 — and collect his fifth point of the night — when he delivered on the power play at 16:35 of the second period.

"Five points is not a bad night in my books," Eakins said. "Some guys would die for five points in a month. Good for him."

Scott capped Toronto's offensive outburst when he roofed one past Mayer at 4:05 of the third period. Hamilton finally got on the board, spoiling Owuya's shutout bid when Stafford scored at 5:27.

Toronto was 2 for 4 on the power play, scoring more than one power-play goal in a game for just the second time in 22 outings. Hamilton went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

The Marlies and Bulldogs are off until Wednesday, when they renew the rivalry in Hamilton.