New York at Toronto

Maple Leafs still pushing for playoffs, eliminate Islanders in process


TORONTO -- The Maple Leafs still have a shot to make the Eastern Conference playoffs. The New York Islanders do not.

Darcy Tucker ended a 16-game scoring drought with two goals, and Alexei Ponikarovsky snapped a tie with 2:02 remaining to give Toronto a 3-2 victory over the Islanders and move the Maple Leafs within six points of Tampa Bay for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

"We're going to keep fighting and give it our best shot," Tucker said.

Toronto has earned nine of a possible 10 points in five games. Jean-Sebastien Aubin has played well in goal, and the Leafs will go with him for their seven remaining games.

The Islanders outshot the Maple Leafs 29-22 and led twice.

"Things didn't really go our way but we found a way to get the two points," captain Mats Sundin said.

Toronto coach Pat Quinn sounded as if he expected a loss.

"We didn't seem to have a lot of teamwork going on," Quinn said. "We were playing the kind of game we play when we don't win."

Fortunately for the Leafs, Snow flopped to his knees on nearly every shot and let pucks squirt through his legs. The Islanders fifth straight loss eliminated them from the playoff race. New York reached the postseason each of the previous three seasons.

"For the first two periods, we played a great road game," Snow said. "A couple of unfortunate bounces wound up in (our net). It's a tough position to be in."

Nik Antropov took the shot that led to the winning goal. Snow got a piece of the puck but it got behind him and stopped in the crease. Ponikarovsky outmuscled defenseman Denis Greveshkov in reaching in to shoot it over the line for his 20th goal of the season. Ponikarovsky's previous best was nine in 2003-2004.

"There's no doubt it's a breakout season for him," Sundin said. "He's a big strong forward who should be able to score goals and he's shown this year he can do that."

Alexei Yashin and Miroslav Satan scored power-play goals for the Islanders.

Tucker hadn't scored since Feb. 28. He has a career-best 26 goals, including 17 on power plays.

"Even though he hadn't scored in a while, he's been playing gritty and working hard," Sundin said.

The Leafs were outshot 17-6 in the second period despite having a full 2-minute, two-man advantage that yielded only three shots on Snow.

"For the most part, we outworked Toronto," Islanders coach Brad Shaw said. "I thought they were a little sleepy for most of the night.

"They ramped it up a few times and Tucker came to play."


  • The Islanders were 2-for-7 on the power play. The Leafs went 1-for-6.
  • Toronto G Ed Belfour, who hasn't played since March 10, had back surgery in Los Angeles to repair a herniated disc.
  • Aubin made his fifth straight start.
  • Snow made his second start since March 6.
Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
NY Islanders (33-37-5)0112
Toronto  (36-32-7) «0123
Three Stars
D. Tucker

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
M. Satan

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
T. Kaberle

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
02:28Power Play - Alexei Yashin (26), Wrist Shot - Assists: Jason Blake and Robert Nilsson
07:37Darcy Tucker (25), Snap Shot - Assists: Kyle Wellwood and Ian White
04:12Power Play - Miroslav Satan (30), Wrist Shot - Assists: Radek Martinek and Chris Campoli
10:30Power Play - Darcy Tucker (26), Slap Shot - Assists: Bryan McCabe and Mats Sundin
17:58Alexei Ponikarovsky (20), Backhand Shot - Assist: Nik Antropov
Penalty Summary
03:29Ponikarovsky: Hooking - 2 min.
07:12Tambellini: Holding - 2 min.
17:14White: Hooking - 2 min.
00:37Ponikarovsky: Interference - 2 min.
06:21Wilm: Roughing - 2 min.
06:57Nilsson: Hooking - 2 min.
15:32Erskine: Tripping - 2 min.
15:32Smith: Holding - 2 min.
03:04Wilm: Hooking - 2 min.
08:04Richardson: High sticking - 2 min.
10:24Campoli: Tripping - 2 min.
10:49McCabe: Hooking - 2 min.
19:29: Too Many Men on the Ice(bench) - 2 min.
New York5177 29
Toronto769 22
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