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Bolts Can't Beat Belfour

Tuesday, 16.12.2003 / 10:28 PM / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Bolts Can\'t Beat Belfour
December 16, 2003
Score Sheet | Statistics

TORONTO (AP) --
TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs moved into a tie for the most points in the NHL with their latest victory.

Mats Sundin and Gary Roberts each had a goal and an assist in the third period, and Ed Belfour earned his third shutout in the last six games as the Maple Leafs beat Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 Tuesday night.

Toronto has 44 points and is tied with Philadelphia for the league lead.

"Everybody deserves a real pat on the back for how we've played," Roberts said. "Our guys have really pulled together. Everyone has contributed."

Darcy Tucker added an empty-net goal for the Maple Leafs, who set a franchise record by recording a point in 12 straight games (11-0-0-1). They celebrated with a group hug after the final buzzer.

Roberts put the first goal of the game past Khabibulin in the third.
(Graig Abel Photography)
"It's early in the year, but it's definitely where we want to be," Sundin said of first place overall. "We want to stay there."

Belfour made 21 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and the 69th of his career, two less than New Jersey's Martin Brodeur on the active list.

Belfour also blanked Boston on Dec. 4. and Minnesota on Dec. 11.

Nikolai Khabibulin made 18 saves for the Lightning, who have lost four straight overall and nine consecutive to the Toronto.

"Their big guys came through tonight, and our big guys didn't," Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis said.

The Maple Leafs took the lead seven minutes into the third when Roberts scored on the rebound of a shot by Sundin to make it 1-0.

Less than a minute and a half later, Sundin scored on a wrist shot from the side of the net. Roberts assisted on the power-play goal.

The Lightning, who have won just two of their last 12 games, called a 30-second timeout after the goal, but didn't threaten in the final minutes. Tampa Bay went 0-for-6 on the power-play.

Belfour made several impressive saves throughout, including a nice stop on St. Louis' wrist shot early in the third.

Fans chanted "Eddie!, Eddie!" in the final seconds.

Notes: Toronto's Owen Nolan returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore hip muscle. ... The Lightning play at Philadelphia on Thursday. ... Belfour is 14-4-3 in his career against Tampa Bay. ... Sundin has seven goals in his last 12 games. ... Mikael Renberg had two assists.
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