TORONTO – Kyle Wellwood had three goals and two assists to lead the suddenly high-scoring Toronto Maple Leafs to a 9-2 rout over the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

Carlo Colaiacovo, Alexei Ponikarovsky and John Pohl also scored in a five-goal first period for the Maple Leafs, who have now scored 18 goals in winning three straight.

Toronto scored just nine goals during a season-high seven-game losing streak that ended Tuesday.

Darcy Tucker scored his 19th goal to give Toronto a 7-1 lead at 9:51 of the second. Ponikarovsky scored his second at 13:27 of the second to make it 8-1.

Jeff O’Neill added a goal late in the third.

Wellwood, who has never had a two-goal game in his career, recorded his first career hat trick.

Darius Kasparaitis and Martin Straka scored for the Rangers, who suffered their worst loss of the season as their five-game winning streak ended.

AP-ES-12-16-06 2137EST


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