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Eagle Flies Through Lightning

Thursday, 19.12.2002 / 12:00 AM / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Ed Belfour just missed out on another shutout, but he helped Pat Quinn reach another coaching milestone.

Belfour made 29 saves and Alexander Mogilny scored his 13th goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Just 96 seconds away from his league-leading sixth shutout, Belfour yielded Brad Richards' seventh goal. It came after Tampa Bay pulled goaltender Kevin Hodson for an extra attacker during a delayed penalty.

"This was a big two points, that's for sure," said Belfour, who has allowed just 12 goals in nine road games this season. "A shutout would have been nice, but I'm happy with the win. We were a lot more hungry to the net tonight. We drove to the net and forechecked hard. The team is playing a lot better than when I first started and I'm a lot more comfortable with our defense."

Belfour won for the eighth time in his last 10 outings and secured Quinn's 543rd victory, moving him past Billy Reay into fifth place on the all-time list.
Tomas Kaberle takes a closer look at the puck. Dave Sandford /NHLI/GettyImages


"There always should be a sense of pride in shutting out a team," Quinn said. "When you give up a shutout, it's a lousy feeling, especially late in the game."

The Maple Leafs snaped a four-game road winless streak (0-3-1) and salvaged the finale of a three-game trip (1-1-1). They also extended their winning streak against the Lightning to seven games.

"The effort was pretty good early on," Quinn said. "We had a good start and we didn't have that in the last two games. We were slow starting the other two games of the road trip. We tried to sit a little bit too much on the lead (tonight), I think. All in all it was a pretty good game and our so-called good players played good. Somehow we have to switch on a confidence switch."

Robert Reichel opened the scoring 6:41 into the second period with his fourth goal, converting Tie Domi's centering pass from behind the net. It ended Hodson's scoreless streak at 79 minutes, 52 seconds.

Mogilny got his first goal in nine games when he beat a screened Hodson to the short side from the right faceoff circle. He has 24 goals and 40 points all-time vs. Tampa Bay.

"The start of the road trip was sloppy," Mogilny said. "I thought we played better last night. It was big to get a win tonight. We had a few chances and Eddie played well tonight. Considering how we played on the road lately, this was a big victory."

Hodson made 17 saves and remained winless at 0-2-1.

"I thought in the first period, they had their way with us," Hodson said. "But the last two periods, we played well.

Belfour was the difference. He's one of the elite goaltenders in the world and you expect that from him."

The Lightning had a three-game unbeaten streak stopped and fell to 2-15-0 all-time at home against the Maple Leafs.

"They played hard, we played hard," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "But we couldn't score a goal against Belfour until late. I thought our team battled the second half of the game. I thought we ended up with some opportunities to score, but we couldn't. The puck wasn't bouncing in for us."

Richards extended the NHL's longest active points streak to nine games when he picked up the puck from the outside the right circle. He skated to the inside of the circle and put the puck in the right side of the net.
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