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Maple Leafs 4, Thrashers 0

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Maple Leafs 4, Thrashers 0
Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Atlanta Thrashers 0

ATLANTA (AP) - In a matchup of two of the top four power plays in the NHL, Atlanta was short-handed more often than Toronto - and the Thrashers paid for it Thursday night.

Mikael Tellqvist stopped 28 shots for his first career shutout, Darcy Tucker scored twice and the Maple Leafs stretched their winning streak over Atlanta to six games by beating the Thrashers 4-0.

The Maple Leafs scored on three of their 11 power-play opportunities. The Thrashers were denied 26 times in the first two periods by Tellqvist and were 0-for-8 on power plays.

``He was sharp early in the game,'' Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. ``Our penalty killers were good, too. The best part about penalty killing is usually the goaltender, and he certainly answered tonight.''

Tellqvist, giving regular starter Ed Belfour a night off as the Maple Leafs were playing back-to-back games, earned Toronto's first shutout of the season.

``I've been waiting a long time for that,'' Tellqvist said. ``It was huge. All the credit goes to my D-men.''

Alexei Ponikarovsky had a short-handed goal and Alex Steen also scored for the Maple Leafs.

Toronto has the league's best road power-play percentage (26.9) and is second overall at 22.7 percent. The Thrashers are fourth with a 21.6 percent success rate on the power play.

Though the Thrashers managed only two shots in the final period, they fired 16 second-period shots at Tellqvist.

``He made some key saves on us tonight, but that's no excuse for us,'' Atlanta center Marc Savard said. ``We've got to find some ways to score.''

Toronto took a 2-0 lead in the opening period and added two goals in the final 5 minutes. The Thrashers were shut out for the fourth time this season.

Toronto has outscored Atlanta 18-2 in three wins this season.

Tucker, who needed 20 stitches on his forehead after the Maple Leafs' last visit to Atlanta, gave Toronto the lead less than 5 minutes into the game and added his second goal in the third period.

``Sometimes you just have that feeling,'' Tucker said. ``We want to keep that feeling going.''

When the Maple Leafs played in Atlanta on Oct. 14, two third-period brawls helped lead to a total of 109 penalty minutes in Toronto's 9-1 win.

The Thrashers placed more emphasis on avoiding penalties in November, but they again played short-handed too often Thursday night with 11 penalties, including five in the third period.

``We definitely have to play even strength,'' Thrashers defenseman Garnet Exelby said. ``When you're in the box that much it's pretty tough to win. We make it hard on ourselves.''

The penalties caught up with Atlanta in the third when Toronto, with a two-man advantage, took a 3-0 lead on Tucker's second goal. Tucker scored on a pass from Jason Allison. Tomas Kaberle also was credited with an assist.

Steen added a power-play goal about a minute later for a 4-0 lead. Mats Sundin and Bryan McCabe had assists.

``You have to be able to attack, and when you are sitting in the box, that's impossible against a good, veteran team like this,'' Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. ``Their power play is their bread and butter, and they excel at this.''

By comparison, Atlanta is only 27th in the league on the penalty kill. Only 7 seconds into the Maple Leafs' first power play of the game, Tucker took advantage of that weakness in the Thrashers' defense as he scored his 10th goal, assisted by McCabe and Allison.

With two assists, McCabe has 34 points and the NHL scoring lead for defensemen.

The Maple Leafs pushed the lead to 2-0 late in the first period with a short-handed goal by Ponikarovsky. He beat goalie Michael Garnett, and Nik Antropov got the assist.

Notes: Belfour is still tied with Terry Sawchuk for second place on the NHL career list with 447 wins. Patrick Roy tops the victory list with 551. ... The Thrashers set a franchise record with 16 points in November. ... The Thrashers had only two shots in the third period. ... Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk had only two shots as his seven-game point streak ended.

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - Darcy Tucker (10) ASST: Bryan McCabe (24), Jason Allison (20)
1 - 0 TOR
SHG - Alexei Ponikarovsky (8) ASST: Nik Antropov (5)
2 - 0 TOR
2nd Period
3rd Period
PPG - Darcy Tucker (11) ASST: Jason Allison (21), Tomas Kaberle (20)
3 - 0 TOR
PPG - Alexander Steen (9) ASST: Mats Sundin (9), Bryan McCabe (25)
4 - 0 TOR
penalty summary
1st Period
Greg De Vries  Hooking against  Alexei Ponikarovsky
Greg De Vries  Hooking against  Mats Sundin
Jason Allison  Tripping against  Greg De Vries
Bobby Holik  Roughing against  Tomas Kaberle
Mats Sundin  Hooking against  Jean-Pierre Vigier
2nd Period
Alexei Ponikarovsky  Hooking against  Scott Mellanby
Jaroslav Modry  Interference against  Matt Stajan
Scott Mellanby  Hooking against  Ken Klee
Tie Domi  Cross checking against  Garnet Exelby
Jaroslav Modry  Hooking against  Nik Antropov
Jason Allison  Tripping against  Serge Aubin
Darcy Tucker  Elbowing against  Garnet Exelby
3rd Period
Ken Klee  Tripping
Marc Savard  Hooking
Marian Hossa  Holding the stick
Marian Hossa  Tripping against  Carlo Colaiacovo
Niclas Havelid  Hooking
Marc Savard  Unsportsmanlike conduct
Tie Domi  Tripping against  Patrik Stefan
goalie stats
Mikael Tellqvist
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
Saves: 28EV: 20 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: 1.000SH: 1 - 1
Michael Garnett
Michael Garnett
SA: 28TOI: 59:51
Saves: 24EV: 10 - 10
PIM: 0PP: 14 - 17
SV%: .857SH: 0 - 1 is the official Web site of the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club. The Maple Leafs and are trademarks of MLSE.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 MLSE and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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