Kubina, Tucker, Perreault turn corner

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

Not so long ago, Pavel Kubina and Darcy Tucker were decked out in street clothes while Yanic Perreault was still a Phoenix Coyote.

Last night all three proved to be key cogs in the Maple Leafs 3-0 victory over the Washington Capitals.

What a difference a week makes.

Kubina returned to the Leafs lineup just 12 days after fracturing his finger and chipped in with an assist. It was an admirable showing for a guy who admits he still isn't at 100%.

"It's still sore but it didn't get any worse," he said. "At least I got through it."

Looking for a way to help grip his stick, Kubina taped his fractured finger together with his pinky finger. It doesn't do much for his puckhandling skills, but the technique does help keep the fracture from growing.

Kubina also put plastic on the outside of his glove for precautionary measures.

"With (Tomas Kaberle) out, it's time to step up," he said. "Hey, no pain, no game."

Playing just his second game since coming back from a fractured left foot, Tucker scored his first goal since Dec. 16. The puck deflected in off his shoulder, but Tucker will take it nonetheless.

"I felt a lot better as the game went on, but there still is a long way to go to get back to where I was," said Tucker, who joined Mats Sundin and Jeff O'Neill as Leafs who have cracked the 20-goal mark.

Informed that Team Canada general manager Steve Yzerman was in the press box scouting potential candidates for the coming world hockey championships, Tucker shrugged his shoulders.

"I don't think anyone in here is thinking about the worlds," he said.

Perreault, meanwhile, saw some action on the wing and took advantage, scoring on a beautiful deke. It was his first goal as a Leaf in six years.

"It's always nice to score at the Air Canada Centre," said Perreault, acquired from the Coyotes on Feb. 27.

"I have some great memories here."


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