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Streak Reaches Four For Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs


by John McCauley
November 19, 2005

(TORONTO) -- Riding a three-game winning streak heading into Saturday's supposed grudge match with the Atlanta Thrashers, Quinn wasn't going to make a lineup change just to get some muscle in the lineup.

Chad Kilger wasn't feeling well just before puck drop and inserted into the lineup was Wade Belak for the first time in six games. There had been some concern about the health of Darcy Tucker after he was given a rough ride by Boston's Hal Gill Thursday night, but the resilent little winger was back in his familiar left wing position.

Considering all of the bad blood that occurred the last time these two teams met one would have thought that Quinn was going to have Belak in the mix for sure, but the veteran bench boss wanted to stick with the guys that had put the little run together.

Either way the move definitely didn't hurt as the the Leafs dominated with a 5-1 victory.

"I know we had a tired team but we still executed. We got a win and that's the bottom line," said Quinn before noting that Atlanta's overtime win Friday was a worry. "You are always mindful of a boost they could get from the night before. Possibly the early goals put them back a little bit."

Early goals indeed, the Leafs were up 3-0 by the 16:40 mark of the first period and outshot Atlanta 13-2 at the intermission.

All four lines were going for the Buds, especially that of Nik Antropov, Jason Allison and Alexei Ponikarovsky, who accounted for three of the team's goals.

"That's only their second game together and it has some possibility. They all hold the puck well. It has the potential to be a strong unit for us," said Quinn.

The defence again came through for the Blue & White as Tomas Kaberle and Bryan McCabe combined for five points. McCabe scored  his ninth goal of the season. Quinn was asked after the game if the trade that brought McCabe to Toronto for Alexander Karpovtsev was one of his best moves as GM.

"Hindsight is marvelous. It's always worked really well for me," Quinn said with a smirk. "Bryan is getting the accolades that he's deserved and earned."

The Leafs now have three days off before playing the Boston Bruins, Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre.

All photos by Graig Abel Photography

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