Despite a bleak playoff picture, Darcy Tucker showed his Toronto Maple Leaf teammates and fans on Saturday why he's not throwing in the towel on the 2007-08 NHL season.
The Maple Leafs' forward scored twice and help set up another as Toronto beat the Boston Bruins, 4-3, in overtime before 19,481 victory starved spectators at the Air Canada Center.
Tucker re-directed a perfect cross-ice feed from teammate Alex Steen past Bruins netminder Tim Thomas at 3:39 of the extra period for the victory.
The win was the Leafs' 24th of the season in 60 games. They still trail the eighth and final playoff spot occupied by the Bruins and Buffalo Sabres by seven points.
Nik Antropov and Dominic Moore also scored for Toronto. Glen Murray, Dennis Wideman and Zdeno Chara replied for Boston.
Tucker has tallied five times in his past five games and appears to be climbing out of his season long goal scoring drought. He now has twelve goals on the year.
Boston forced OT with a goal in the final minute of play from the rather large twig of Chara. The 6' 9" defenseman was johnny-on-the-spot in front of the Leafs net, vacated by goalie Vesa Toskala, to bang home a loose puck.
Earlier in the third period, Chara took an ill-timed delay of game penalty with the Bruins already a man down. With the two-man advantage, Toronto tied it at 2-2 at 14:09 as Tucker one-timed captain Mats Sundin's goal crease pass into the net.
It was only Tucker's third power play (PP) marker of the season in 52 games. Last season, he led the blue and white with 15 PP goals in just 56 contests.
Toronto went ahead less than two minutes later, Tucker crossed up the Boston defense by making a drop pass to Antropov before circling the Bruins net. Antropov slapped home his 20th of the season past a startled Thomas.
The Leafs, who outshot the Bruins 36-27, climbed out of the Eastern Conference basement into 14th place one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Next for the Blue and White, they'll entertain Rick Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Toronto is in the midst of a five-game home stand, which thus far stands at 1-1.
The Leafs fell 5-4 to the New York Islanders last Thursday.