TORONTO (AP)—Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice wasn’t satisfied with his team’s latest victory.
“We weren’t handing out roses after this one,” Maurice said.
Darcy Tucker scored his 13th goal and Toronto held on for a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Monday night. John Pohl, Kyle Wellwood and Alexei Ponikarovsky also scored for the Maple Leafs, who ended a two-game losing skid.
Toronto outshot New York 33-21, including 13-5 in the first when they scored three goals.
But Maurice wasn’t happy after the Leafs looked sluggish in the final two periods.
“We didn’t play the way I wanted in the third period. Clearly, there was not enough profanity on the bench early in the game,” Maurice said. “I did a nice job of fixing that in the third.”
The Maple Leafs have had offensive trouble lately without captain Mats Sundin (torn elbow ligament), but Tucker continued to impress on the power play, scoring his NHL-leading 10th goal with the man advantage. He is on pace to surpass the career-high 28 goals he scored last season.
“I’ve been open and I’ve been finding a lot of open spots,” said Tucker, who has benefited as teams have focused on defenseman Bryan McCabe.
Toronto’s Andrew Raycroft made 19 saves after missing three games with a strained groin.
“Any time you play on the road and allow three early it’s tough to come back,” Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro said. “We never quit, but I don’t think anyone is satisfied with that effort. This was a big game for us. We could have made it a great road trip. We failed to capitalize on another two points.”
DiPietro said being tired is just an excuse.
“We just came out flat in the first,” he said. “We kind of reverted back to the same things we did in previous years. We have some success then failure.”
Pohl scored the first of Toronto’s three first-period goals at 2:53 with a shot from the side of the net.
Maple Leafs defenseman Ian White failed to clear the puck before Simon put a screened one-timer past Raycroft at 5:03 of the first.
Just 51 seconds later, Wellwood restored Toronto’s lead by scoring from the side the net after DiPietro skated too far in front of his net.
Tucker made it 3-1 on the power play with a one-timer from the circle at 9:23 of the first. He hit the post with another chance in the second.
Blake cut it to 3-2 with his 11th goal of the season at 16:01 of the second.
“We came and had a strong start. We could have definitely played better in the third period, but we got the win,” Tucker said.
Ponikarovsky scored an insurance goal with 1:09 left in the game by scoring on a rebound.
DiPietro looked shaky in the first, but solid in the final two periods.
Blake said Islanders captain Alexei Yashin is a different player this season. “There’s definitely a bit more fire there. He’s competing every night.” Yashin signed a 10-year, $87.5 million contract in 2001. … Sundin is expected to miss another week or two. … The Islanders have lost five straight in Toronto.