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Belfour Ties Terry Sawchuk

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) --Ed Belfour knows all about the man he tied for second place on the NHL's career victory list.

"I had a chance to read his biography,'' Belfour said after matching Terry Sawchuk with 447 wins Monday night in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 2-1 victory over Florida.


"He was a fierce competitor, very acrobatic and obviously very brave, not wearing a mask most of his career. I'm just honoured to be tied with him.''

The 40-year-old Belfour made 34 saves and will stand alone behind all-time leader Patrick Roy (551) with his next win.

Sawchuk was a member of Toronto's last Stanley Cup winner, in 1966-67, when he shared goaltending duties with Johnny Bower.

"It's just unbelievable to be in the same ballpark as him,'' Belfour said. "I just wish he was alive to meet him.''

Bryan McCabe scored the winning goal on a 5-on-3 power play midway through the third period. His slapshot from just above the right circle beat Roberto Luongo to the high stick side at 10:18 of the third with Florida's Gary Roberts and Juraj Kolnik in the penalty box.

It was McCabe's 10th goal, adding to his league-leading points total of 33 for defencemen."

"We had 1:15 ... 1:20, so we knew, `Let's be patient here, let's wait for the right play,''' McCabe said. "We moved the puck around and got lucky - I got a clear shot.''

Stephen Weiss' power-play goal tied the score 1-1 with 1:33 left in the second period. Weiss dived for a rebound of Lukas Krajicek's shot and put the puck past Belfour for his seventh goal.

"We deserved a better result,'' Weiss said. "Three or four times we had pucks laying on the goal-line, in the crease, and we didn't seize on it.''

Darcy Tucker gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead with his ninth goal at 11:59 of the second period. Positioned all alone to Luongo's left, Tucker put home a pass that deflected off Jeff O'Neill's stick.

Tucker, who missed the Maple Leafs' previous two games following the birth of his son, has scored in three of his last four games.

Belfour made the Maple Leafs' two goals hold up as Florida lost for the 14th time in 15 games.

"He was the difference in a game where you might think he would be pressured because of the statistical relevance of it,'' Toronto coach Pat Quinn said.

Notes: The game was the first for Florida on a four-game homestand that will include two games (Thursday vs. Washington and Monday vs. Ottawa) that had been postponed after Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida in late October. ... Toronto finishes its three-game road trip at Tampa Bay on Wednesday and Atlanta on Thursday. ... Joe Nieuwendyk, who sat out Saturday's loss at Atlanta, assisted on Weiss' goal.

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