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Tucker scores game-winner

2/19/2004

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- After allowing 15 goals in their last three
games, the Toronto Maple Leafs tightened up enough to get past the
Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Darcy Tucker scored 2:18 into overtime, keeping rookie Mikael
Tellqvist unbeaten and lifting the Maple Leafs to a 2-1 victory.

Bryan McCabe scored a power-play goal, and Tellqvist made 34
saves for the Maple Leafs, who had lost two of their last three.

"The simple fact is we can play better," said Tucker, who
scored his 18th goal of the season. "We played pretty good on the
offensive side of the puck, but we're not doing the little things
that made us so successful earlier and gave us the team identity we
had throughout November, December and early January."

Tellqvist improved to 4-0-2 this season, with two of his wins
coming against Carolina. The 24-year-old goalie was recalled
Saturday from St. John's of the AHL because of Ed Belfour's back
injury.

"It's always nice to be undefeated," Tellqvist said. "I just
try to come up here and work as hard as possible every time I get a
chance to play. I'm the No. 3 guy in this rotation. I need to keep
working so maybe one day I can be a No. 1."

In overtime, Drake Berehowsky pushed the puck up the ice, then
sent a pass to a cutting Tucker between the circles. Tucker was
locked up with Erik Cole, but managed to flip the puck past Kevin
Weekes as he fell into the goalie.

"I didn't even see it go into the net," Tucker said. "We've
been preaching that a lot the last few games, to try to get the
puck to the net and go there and get some chances."

Carolina had plenty of those, outshooting Toronto 35-22. But the
Hurricanes went 0-for-6 on the power play and repeatedly came up
empty against Tellqvist.

"We went out with a mission to try and control the puck and
control the play," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "We were
just not able to be opportunistic on any of the chances we got."

Sean Hill scored midway through the third period for the
Hurricanes, and Weekes stopped 20 shots. Carolina lost for the
sixth time in 10 games.

The teams split their previous meetings this season, with
Toronto winning 2-1 on the road on Nov. 2, and Carolina winning 2-0
in Toronto on Jan. 27. Thursday's game was just as tight, with
McCabe's first-period goal the only score in the first 40 minutes.

Carolina finally tied it on a miscue by the Maple Leafs in the
third.

Hill held the puck on the left side, waiting until the last
second before passing it to a cutting Pavel Brendl. Tomas Kaberle
stretched out on the ice to stop the pass, but the puck bounced off
Kaberle's stick and slipped past Tellqvist.

Hill was credited with the goal at 9:42, giving him 14 points in
his last 17 games.

The Hurricanes started aggressively, swarming around the net and
taking a 9-1 shot advantage in the first 7{ minutes. But, as has
been the case all season, Carolina couldn't convert.

McCabe did. After Hill was whistled for slashing at 7:38, the
defenseman took a pass from Joe Nieuwendyk and beat Weekes from the
point 11 seconds into the man advantage.

Game notes
McCabe has two goals and seven assists in his last nine
games. ... Tucker has four goals and four assists in his last seven
games. ... Toronto is 8-1-4-1 against Southeast Division teams. ...
Carolina defenseman Bob Boughner returned to the lineup after
missing five games because of a knee injury. ... Hurricanes
defenseman Niclas Wallin played his 200th NHL game.