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Tucker helps Maple Leafs end skid

Nov 21, 2006 - 3:13 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Darcy Tucker helped the Toronto Maple Leafs break out of their offensive drought.

Tucker scored to cap a big first period as the Maple Leafs posted a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders.

Tucker leads the Leafs with 13 goals this season.

"I've been open and I've been finding a lot of open spots," Tucker said. "We came out and had a good start to the game. We definitely played well at the beginning of the game. It was nice to finally get some goals."

Johnny Pohl, Kyle Wellwood and Alexei Ponikarovski also scored for Toronto, which had tallied just twice in losing its last two games.

Tucker's 13th goal while Toronto was on the power play gave the Leafs a 3-1 lead at 9:23 of the first period. He beat goaltender Rick DiPietro with a one-timer from the slot after taking a pass from defenseman Tomas Kaberle.

"I was trying to see through the screen of Kaberle," DiPietro said. "By the time I got over there, it was already in the net."

Chris Simon and Jason Blake scored for the Islanders, who completed a 3-2-0 road trip.

DiPietro finished with 29 saves for New York, which entered with wins in three of its last four.

"We just came out flat in the first 10 (minutes)," DiPietro said. "Anytime you get down three (goals) early it's tough to get back. I don't think anyone's satisfied with that effort. This was a good road trip. It could have been a great road trip, but I think everyone in that locker room feels like we failed to capitalize on another possible two points.

Toronto came out on fire, as Pohl, Wellwood and Tucker all scored before the game was 10 minutes old.

"I don't think we came out ready to play," New York's Alexei Yashin said. "The first 10 minutes we really got outmuscled and outplayed. We got better in the second and third period."

Andrew Raycroft, who had missed the three previous games with a groin injury, made 19 saves for the Leafs.

"It's a tough game when you don't get a lot of work," Raycroft said. "It's a good game to come back. We held on and got a big two points. Scoring three goals in the first period makes life a lot easier for everybody. I think tonight we sat back a little bit more than we like, but the bottom line is we got the win."

"Our goalie was good," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. "(Raycroft) made some great saves late in the first period. Don't get me wrong, we weren't sitting there hanging on in this game. I thought we were better than they were."

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