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    TORONTO -- Carter Ashton hasnt scored in 30 NHL games this season, but he knows how to put the puck in the back of the net in the American Hockey League. Marcus Williams Jersey . Ashton scored a hat trick -- giving him 13 goals in 16 AHL games this season -- to power the Toronto Marlies to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Lake Erie Monsters in AHL action on Sunday. "He took the game over," said Marlies coach Steve Spott. "You see what he can do at this level. "Hes going to have to find that same confidence and swagger when he plays for the (NHL parent) Maple Leafs. Here in the AHL, he does a nice job, he maintains possession of the puck, he uses his body, uses his speed, and it becomes a weapon for him. He just needs to find the confidence to do that at the next level." Ashton broke a 2-2 tie -- and completed his hat trick -- during a goal-mouth scramble when he deposited a rebound into the net past Monsters goalie Calvin Pickard at 6:16 of the third period. Defenceman T.J. Brennan, with his team-leading 21st of the season, gave the Marlies a two-goal cushion 45 seconds later when his point shot trickled through Pickards legs. Brandon Kozun closed out the scoring with an empty-netter at 17:51. "Its definitely a process, so to come back down and get these games and some good ice time, thats good for me," Ashton said. "And we finished off our homestand with a win, so thats great." Toronto went 7-3-0 on its 10-game homestand and improved to 33-18-4 on the season, good for first place in the North Division. Ashtons linemates, Spencer Abbott and Greg McKegg, collected two assists apiece in front of 4,351 fans at Ricoh Coliseum. Joey Hishon and Mike Sgarbossa replied for the Monsters, who dropped their second game in a row to fall to 23-26-6. "Give Lake Erie credit, they found a way to get back into it after a two-goal deficit," said Spott, who watched the Monsters strike twice in the latter stages of the second period after Toronto had staked a 2-0 lead. "We knew we were at home, playing the last period of a 10-game homestand, and we wanted to take advantage of it. I give our guys a lot of credit for the way they played the final 20 minutes." Marlies goalie Drew MacIntyre was sharp making 26 saves, while Pickard stopped 18 of 22 shots. Toronto led 1-0 after the first period and the score was tied 2-2 through 40 minutes. The Marlies opened the scoring 53 seconds into the first period when Ashton took a pass from Spencer Abbott in the slot, cut to the left and whipped a wrist shot past Pickards blocker. The Monsters had some chances of their own in the opening frame -- including a two-minute 5-on-3 power play and a breakaway by right winger Guillaume Desbiens -- but they couldnt beat MacIntyre. Ashton gave the Marlies a two-goal edge when he deflected Greg McKeggs point shot past a screened Pickard at 10:02 of the second period. The advantage was shortlived, however, as Hishon put the Monsters on the scoreboard 52 seconds later when he redirected a slapshot past MacIntyre. Sgarbossa tied it up when he whacked in a rebound for a power-play goal at 18:35 of the middle frame. Ashton regained the lead for Toronto with his third goal of the game at 6:16 of the third period, and Brennans goal 45 seconds later sealed the win for the Marlies. Kozun capped the scoring with an empty-netter at 17:51 Toronto went 0 for 3 on the power play while Lake Erie was 1 for 6. The Marlies and Monsters are off until next weekend, when Toronto visits Lake Erie for back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. Mitch Berger Jersey .500 ball against teams with winning records, so they needed a huge lift from somebody Tuesday night in a matchup of division leaders. Jake Kupp Jersey . LA (SportsNetwork.ATLANTA - The Indiana Pacers knew what they were up against. This was a game they had to have. Paul George and David West made sure they got it. George and West hit key 3-pointers down the closing minutes, and top-seeded Indiana held off the Atlanta Hawks 91-88 to even the opening-round series at two wins apiece Saturday. Finally, the Pacers showed some grit and resilience, regaining the home-court edge that slipped away when they were stunned by the No. 8-seeded Hawks in Game 1. "We were just in desperation mode," West said. "You just cant go down two games in a playoff series. The odds are against you." George put the Pacers ahead 86-85 with a jumper beyond the arc, and West hit another trey with 1:33 remaining. Atlanta had a chance after Kyle Korver was fouled in the corner and knocked down three free throws, taking advantage of a do-over after the Pacers were called for a lane violation. But George gave the Pacers two chances at the other hand, scrambling for an offensive rebound after Lance Stephenson missed a 3. George Hill took advantage by scooping one in off a drive with 56 seconds left. That would be the final points. The Hawks whiffed on their last three possessions; Pero Antic missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime after the Pacers made sure Korver, the long-range specialist, didnt get his hands on the ball. Game 5 is Monday in Indianapolis. After questioning his teams toughness, George scored 24 points and added 10 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double. West added 18 points. "My number was called," George said. "I had to deliver." Unfortunately for the Hawks, Paul Millsap couldnt provide the matching punch. Even though he led the Hawks with 29 points, the All-Star forward turned it over with a bad pass with 33 seconds to go. Then, after Stephenson lost the ball and the Hawks gained possession off a jump, Millsap missed a spinning shot in the lane as Atlanta passed on going for a tying 3-pointer. "Were still a confident group," Millsap said. "We let one slip away, but we showed we can go out and compete in the games up there. Thats where our mindset is now. Weve got to let this one go and get ready for Monday." Indiana left the door open by missing its final four free throws, including a pair byy George with 7. Willie Roaf Jersey. 5 seconds left when only one would have been enough to seal the victory. But the Pacers buckled down at the defensive end, forcing Antic to throw up a desperation shot that clanked off the rim. The Pacers decided against benching Roy Hibbert to go with a smaller lineup against the Hawks, who have taken the 7-foot-2 centre out of his comfort zone by spreading the court with their big men. Hibbert continued to struggle, managing just six points and three rebounds in a little less than 25 minutes. But he did have his first two blocks of the series. George and West took care of the rest. Cheered on by a raucous crowd at Philips Arena, where they even took down a curtain that normally covers part of the upper deck, the Hawks looked as though they were headed for a commanding lead in the series as they pushed out to their biggest lead, 54-44, early in the third quarter. But Millsap picked up two fouls just 7 seconds apart, giving him four in the game and forcing him to the bench for much of the period. The Pacers took advantage of the Atlanta stars absence, whittling the deficit down to 59-56 by the time he returned. "Getting him on his heels, putting him in a tough spot, obviously it changes who they are," West said. "The game was getting away from us. He goes to the bench, we closed the gap somewhat." It was tight all the way in the fourth, and things really got heated down the stretch. With about 5 1/2 minutes remaining, Millsap stumbled trying to drive to the basket and two Pacers piled on him trying to snatch the ball away. Tempers flared, Hill gave Atlantas Mike Scott a little shove, and both players were assessed technical fouls. After sorting things out, the officials ruled it a jump ball. "In the fourth quarter, we just made enough plays," West said. "The season was on the line." Notes: The Hawks gave a lot more attention to Indiana F Luis Scola, who had scored 37 points in the two previous games. He managed only 4 Saturday. ... Scott had 12 points off the Atlanta bench, but went just 4 of 15 from the field. ... Evan Turner gave the Pacers a boost early on, scoring seven straight points. He finished with 11. ... All five Indiana starters blocked at least one shot. ... Korver had a career playoff high with nine rebounds. ' ' '