TORONTO (AP) -- Glen Metropolit had the game of his life in front of tons of family and friends.
Metropolit scored and assisted on two of Atlanta's five third-period goals and the Atlanta Thrashers rallied for a season-high fifth straight win beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 on Tuesday night.
The Thrashers trailed the Maple Leafs 2-0 at the second intermission, but Atlanta exploded for five third period goals and won 5-2. It's been over six years since a team scored five or more goals in the third after being shut out in the first two periods. On November 29, 2000, also at Air Canada Centre against the Leafs, the Blues trailed 4-0 after two but rallied for a 6-5 overtime win. Tuesday was only the second time in Toronto franchise history that the Leafs took a lead of at least two goals into the third period and lost by a three-goal (or greater) margin. On Jan. 14, 1981 at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto carried a 3-1 advantage into the third period against Edmonton only to lose, 7-4.
Slava Kozlov scored twice and Marian Hossa scored his league-leading 21st goal for the Thrashers, who rallied after trailing 2-0.
Metropolit -- raised in Toronto -- scored the first goal and assisted on the next two.
He's back in the NHL this year after playing three years in Europe.
"Everyone came out of the woodwork here. Kids from high school were up there. I saw faces. It was so rewarding getting a goal," Metropolit said. "It was special. Everyone lives vicariously through me."
They greeted him with applause after the game.
Altanta coach Bob Hartley credited Metropolit for the victory.
"Metro was the difference," Hartley said. "Metro skated very well and opened it up for us. It's nice to see. He's been working hard. We gave him a chance and he took advantage of it."
Hartley said scouts noticed Metropolit's skills and speed last year and figured with the new rules he'd do well. He has six goals.
"We figured he'd come in and give us big goals and that's what he's doing," Hartley said.
Darcy Tucker and Michael Peca scored for the Maple Leafs, who have lost five straight. Fans booed the Maple Leafs off the ice.
"There's not a lot of confidence in the room right now," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said.
The Thrashers went 0-for-7 on the power play before Metropolit scored on the man advantage. Atlanta finished 2-for-10 with the man advantage.
"We can't spend that much time in the penalty box," said Maurice, who added his team was exhausted from killing penalties in the second. "We lost this game in the second, not the third."
Metropolit tipped in a shot from in front of the net at 3:56 of the third. After Toronto defenseman Hal Gill turned the puck over the blue line, Kozlov tied it at 2 with a slap shot at 7:14 of the third.
Kovlov gave Atlanta the lead at 11:27 of the third after Metropolit checked Alex Steen and made a pass from behind the net to Kozlov, who is tied with Tucker for the league lead with 12 power-play goals.
Hossa scored on a partial breakaway at 14:21 of the third and Ilya Kovalchuk added an empty-netter at 19:03 of the third. Atlanta outshot Toronto 37-19.
"We need to keep going if we want to be at the top of the league," Kozlov said.
For Toronto, Tucker scored at 8:41 of the first on a power play from the side of the net -- where he has scored most of his goals with the man advantage. Jeff O'Neill and Kyle Wellwood assisted. After an Atlanta turnover, Peca's wrist shot beat Johan Hedberg at 19:44 of the first.
Toronto defenseman Pavel Kubina, who signed a four-year, $20 million contract in the offseason, has yet to score a goal ... Atlanta has two straight wins over Toronto after losing eight straight ... The Thrashers placed defenseman Andy Sutton on injured reserve Monday with a torn tendon in his left ankle. He underwent surgery Tuesday and will be out indefinitely.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Air Canada Centre Location: Toronto, Ontario
Referees: Gord Dwyer, Dean Warren Linesmen: Derek Amell, David Brisebois
Attendance: 19,507 (103.8% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Darcy Tucker (17)
(Power Play) Assists: Jeff O'Neill, Kyle Wellwood
Michael Peca (4)
Assists: Alexander Steen, Chad Kilger