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Canadian Press
11/20/2006 10:16:35 PM


TORONTO (CP) - So far so good for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Just into the second quarter of their NHL schedule, the Leafs have the second-highest points total in the Eastern Conference.

A 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Monday night kept them on the heels of the front-running Buffalo Sabres.

John Pohl, Kyle Wellwood, Darcy Tucker and Alexei Ponikarovsky scored Toronto's goals, and Andrew Raycroft, returning to the crease after missing three games with a strained groin muscle, made 19 saves for the goaltending win.

Chris Simon and Jason Blake scored for the Islanders, who headed home after their first regulation-time loss of a five-game road trip. Rick Dipietro stopped 29 shots.

Toronto outshot New York 13-5 and jumped to a 3-1 lead in the first period.

Pohl slammed home a cross-crease Wade Belak pass at 2:53, Simon slapped one in from the middle of Toronto's zone at 5:03, Wellwood deked DiPietro to the ice and flipped in a high shot at 5:54 after taking a 2-on-1 pass from Nik Antropov, and Tucker slapped in a cross-ice Tomas Kaberle pass on a power play at 9:23 with Alexei Zhitnik off for holding.

Tucker leads the Leafs with 13 goals.

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Did you see Maurice on the bench? He totally freaked out.

Paul Maurice said:
''I liked our first period but I was very disappointed after that - that we didn't finish the deal hard. I did not enjoy the win as much as some other ones.

''We weren't handing out roses after that game.''
I can't say that I disagree agree. The Leafs really faded badly out there.
 
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