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Associated Press
12/22/2006 11:46:07 PM


CHICAGO (AP) - Peter Bondra scored his 500th NHL goal to break a 1-1 third-period tie and lead the Chicago Blackhawks over the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Friday night.

Bondra, signed by Chicago as a free agent Dec. 10, drove to the net and rammed a rebound of Jassen Cullimore's shot from the left point past Jean-Sebastien Aubin 6:37 into the third. Bondra became the 37th player in league history to reach the 500-goal plateau.

Bryan Smolinski, who had a short-handed goal, and Brent Seabrook scored for Chicago, which improved to 8-2-3 under head coach Denis Savard.

John Pohl scored a power-play goal for Toronto.

Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin blocked 25 shots. He twice stopped Toronto's leading goal scorer, Darcy Tucker, point-blank - including on a first-period breakaway.

Aubin made 22 saves.

Maple Leafs centre Michael Peca suffered a right knee injury late in the first and had to be helped from the ice. He didn't return, and team officials had no further update before the end of the game.

Peca collided with Chicago defenceman Jim Vandermeer at full speed in the Toronto zone with 5:17 left in the first. Vandermeer received a five-minute penalty for kneeing and game misconduct on the play.

Toronto took a 1-0 lead when Pohl scored on a power play with 4:01 left in the first.

After taking a cross-ice pass from Tomas Kaberle, Pohl fired a shot from the left that beat Khabibulin between the pads.

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