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Toronto continues dominance over Atlanta, wins 4-2

TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Atlanta
Thrashers yet again, this time by using their power play.

The Maple Leafs scored three power-play goals in a span of one minute, 26 second in the first period, their fastest three power-play goals in over 54 years, since Feb. 9, 1954, when Toronto scored three times in one minute, 16 seconds against the Canadiens.

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Darcy Tucker scored two power-play goals and the Maple Leafs won
their eighth straight against the Thrashers, earning a 4-2 victory
on Monday night.

Tomas Kaberle also scored on the power play for Toronto, which
won consecutive games for the first time this season. The Maple
Leafs beat Montreal in a shootout Saturday night.

Toronto scored three power-play goals during an 86-second
stretch in the first period.

"I can't explain why we play so well against them. We were
fortunate to get two points tonight," Tucker said.

The Thrashers lost for just the second time in regulation, and
were coming off a big victory on Saturday when they snapped
Buffalo's season-opening winning streak at 10.

But their troubles against Toronto continued. Atlanta has been
outscored 37-9 during the skid and hasn't beaten the Maple Leafs
since a 3-2 road victory on Oct. 27, 2003.

Ilya Kovalchuk and Brad Larsen scored for Atlanta.

"Sometimes coming off an emotional game like Saturday, it's
tough to come back," Atlanta captain Scott Mellanby said. "But
there's no excuse. We've got to be ready.

"Those first period power plays were the difference. We just
couldn't claw our way back."

Toronto ended its three-game losing streak on Saturday when
defenseman Kaberle recorded his first career hat trick and scored
in the shootout. He'd been criticized in the past for passing up
shots, but he didn't hesitate against the Thrashers when Mats
Sundin found him with a pass in the first period.

Sundin tied a team record with three assists in the opening
frame.

The Maple Leafs went 3-for-7 on the power play after entering
tied for 21st in the NHL -- scoring eight times in their first 63
chances.

Tucker has been the only bright spot on Toronto's power play --
scoring seven of his nine goals with the man advantage.

"The power play gave us a boost in the first period," Toronto
forward Michael Peca said. "Any time you capitalize on 5-on-3
power plays it means a lot to your hockey team because when those
opportunities get wasted it's a bit of emotional let down."

Atlanta went 1-for-7 on the power play.

Kovalchuk skated over the blue line and used defenseman Wade
Belak as a shield before putting a wrist shot past goalie Andrew
Raycroft at 8:12 of the first.

But the Leafs scored less than a minute later on a two-man
advantage.

Tucker -- left alone at the side of the net -- tied it at 9:18 of
the first.

Kaberle put a slap shot past goalie Kari Lehtonen less than
minute later on a two-man advantage.

Just 31 seconds later, Tucker gave Toronto a 3-1 lead by pushing
the puck over the goal line on the power play.

Toronto's Bryan McCabe left the penalty box and skated in on a
breakaway in the second, but Lehtonen made a pad save.

Jeff O'Neill made it 4-1 by scoring on a breakaway at 16:05 of
the third.

Larsen cut it to 4-2 with a short-handed goal on a breakaway
just over a minute later.

Game notes
Toronto outscored Atlanta 22-3 in four games last season.
... The Thrashers played their fifth game in eight nights. ...
Tucker has 17 two-goal games in his career but has never had a hat
trick.