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Leafs down Islanders, knocking NY out of playoffs

TORONTO (AP) -- 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 Miro 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."

Game notes
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.