ATLANTA – Mikael Tellqvist stopped 28 shots for his first career shutout, Darcy Tucker scored twice and Toronto stretched its winning streak over Atlanta to six games by beating the Thrashers 4-0 Thursday night.

Tellqvist, giving regular starter Ed Belfour a night off as the Maple Leafs were playing back-to-back games, earned Toronto’s first shutout of the season. Alexei Ponikarovsky had a short-handed goal and Alex Steen also scored for the Maple Leafs.

Toronto took a 2-0 lead in the opening period and added two goals in the final five minutes. The Thrashers were shut out for the fourth time this season.

Toronto has outscored Atlanta 18-2 in three wins this season.

Tucker, who needed 20 stitches on his forehead after the Maple Leafs’ last visit to Atlanta, gave Toronto the lead less than 5 minutes into the game and added his second goal in the third period.

When the Maple Leafs played in Atlanta on Oct. 14, two third-period brawls helped lead to a total of 109 penalty minutes in Toronto’s 9-1 win. After the game, Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn accused the Thrashers of “cowardice” and said Atlanta coach Bob Hartley “has a reputation of sending his guys out head hunting.”

Hartley’s response included the charge that the Maple Leafs “are always whining.”

The Thrashers placed more emphasis on avoiding penalties in November, but they again played short-handed too often Thursday night with 11 penalties, including five in the third period.

The penalties caught up with Atlanta in the third when Toronto, with a two-man advantage, took a 3-0 lead on Tucker’s second goal. Tucker scored on a pass from Jason Allison. Tomas Kaberle also was credited with an assist.

Steen added a power-play goal about a minute later for a 4-0 lead. Mats Sundin and Bryan McCabe had assists.

Toronto boasts the NHL’s best road power-play percentage (26.9), while Atlanta is 27th in the league on the penalty kill. Only 7 seconds into the Maple Leafs’ first power play of the game, Tucker improved that percentage with his 10th goal, assisted by McCabe and Allison.

With two assists, McCabe has 34 points and the NHL scoring lead for defensemen.

The Maple Leafs pushed the lead to 2-0 late in the first period with a short-handed goal by Ponikarovsky. He beat goalie Michael Garnett, and Nik Antropov got the assist.

Notes: Belfour is still tied with Terry Sawchuk for second place on the NHL career list with 447 wins. Patrick Roy tops the victory list with 551. … The Thrashers set a franchise record with 16 points in November. … The Thrashers had only two shots in the third period.

AP-ES-12-01-05 2147EST

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