Leaf-lo and Stitch

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Darcy Tucker's face is a seamstress's dream.

Tucker wears stitches like they are part of his equipment, and yesterday was no exception. A deep gash on his nose was sewn up after he was clipped by a high stick in the Maple Leafs' 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre.

That didn't stop the feisty winger from dropping the gloves with Washington's Chris Clark after the final horn sounded in the Capitals' 5-4 win yesterday. Both men landed solid blows, setting the stage for an interesting rematch between the two teams tomorrow in Toronto.

"He started it," Tucker said as he headed for the team bus.

Neither player is expected to be suspended because there was no instigator penalty called. Nevertheless you can bet league officials reviewed the incident last night.

Even with all the bashing his mug has absorbed over the years, Tucker still refuses to wear a visor.

"No. Never. I just can't get used to it," he said. "It has been that way for 11 years. Even in junior when I had to wear one I didn't wear it properly. I had it pushed up."

Tucker said cuts are just part of the job, especially given his penchant of mucking things up out on the ice.

"My face is a road map of my life," he said. "Every game I get cut, we win. Maybe I should start cutting my own face before games.

"I've been around hockey all my life so you just deal with it. It's a hazard of the job. Construction workers put nails through their fingers or hit their hands with hammers. It's just part of the deal."

OLYMPIC DREAMS

A pair of executives from the Russian Ice Hockey Federation were in the MCI Center press box last night, presumably to scout Alexander Ovechkin for the upcoming Olympics.

Ovechkin grew up watching the extremely dynamic Pavel Bure work his on-ice magic in the National Hockey League. Now he would love to compete for Bure, who last week took over as general manager of the Russian Olympic team.

"I used to see him play all the time," Ovechkin said. "Now I want to play for him."


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