Telly stands tall for Leafs

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

BOSTON -- Mikael Tellqvist began the Maple Leafs' road show last night with a scintillating first act, then got to play the role of spectator as his teammates closed with a triumphant number before the curtain fell.

Taking advantage of a team playing with zero confidence, the Leafs scored three unanswered goals in the final period to beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 at the TD Banknorth Garden. Tellqvist, in his fourth start of the season, stopped 26 of 27 shots in the first 40 minutes, allowing his team to take over in the third.

"He was terrific," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "He has been looking good in practice and gives you the feeling (he will be good in games). It was a good outing for him and I was happy to see it."

The Leafs have won three in a row and four of their past five. Of their 73 goals, 31 have come in the third period.

Not every Leaf was in a buoyant mood last night afterward. Darcy Tucker suffered a charley horse on his left thigh after a collision with Hal Gill in the second period. And though Tucker returned for the third, he will have a better idea this morning if the bruise will keep him from playing tomorrow night at home against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Defenceman Ken Klee, meanwhile, escaped with just eight stitches on his cheek after being cut by the left skate of Dave Scatchard in the first period. Klee did not speak to the media.

Nik Antropov, Eric Lindros, Mats Sundin and Tucker scored for the Leafs. Brad Isbister, on a deflection with 13 seconds left in the second period, scored for the Bruins, who have one win in nine games against Northeast Division foes.

Sundin's goal, which bounced in off his leg, was his 333rd as a Leaf, moving him past Ron Ellis into third place on the franchise list.

Though the Leafs initially were unable to sustain an improved performance against the New York Rangers on Tuesday, they improved as the evening wore on. Tellqvist had to make just five saves in the third, when the Bruins self-combusted and took four minor penalties in a row. After Lindros scored his team-high 10th goal, Sundin and Tucker scored on power plays.

"I had a big smile on my face (with the outburst)," Tellqvist said. "I am proud of the team, coming off two periods where we did not really play as we wanted."

"The third was maybe our best road period of the year," Sundin said. "We kept it simple. That was the difference."

The Leafs hit the quarter pole at 11-7-0-2, and the majority of players think there's more to be done.

"You can look at it two ways," said Jason Allison, who had two assists. "One is we should be playing a lot better than we are, but on the flip side, we're winning. When we get rolling, we are going to be a hard team to play."


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