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Power play potent, defence deadly

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Dallas Stars are one of only five NHL teams without a win when trailing after two periods. But they rallied twice in the third to pull out a 5-5 tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Mike Modano set up third-period goals by Brenden Morrow and defenseman Derian Hatcher as the Stars tied St. Louis for seventh place in the Western Conference.

Morrow's second goal of the game forged a 4-4 deadlock at 4:56.

Modano centered a bouncing puck to the top of the crease, where Morrow whipped it between the pads of goaltender Corey Schwab.

Gary Roberts put Toronto back on top with a power-play goal at 7:36, but Morrow screened Schwab, giving him little chance to stop Hatcher's drive from the right point on the power play with 8:53 left in regulation.

"I just thought they did a great job screening," Schwab said. "You don't see the puck coming and you don't see the guy releasing (the shot). You just hope it hits you."

The Maple Leafs dominated overtime, but Ed Belfour denied Mats Sundin on a partial breakaway in the opening minute and Roberts put a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle off the right post with 3:13 remaining.

Belfour came off the bench in the second period after Roman Turek surrendered three goals on 22 shots.

"He got better as the game went on and made some good saves late in the third and overtime," Modano said of Belfour.

Schwab had yielded just one goal in each of his previous four starts but coughed up five in Toronto's first game since acquiring veteran Tom Barrasso as goaltending insurance.

"We were down two goals, too," Maple Leafs left wing Garry Valk said. "It was just one of those games. We haven't been a team to give up leads too often, so that was disappointing."

While Dallas has won an NHL-record 50 consecutive games when leading after two periods, it is 0-20-5 when trailing after 40 minutes. It is tied with St. Louis for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.

"It was a big point for us, coming back a couple of times when we were down," Morrow said. "We need the two points, not just the one."

Dallas' Kirk Muller and Toronto's Robert Reichel traded first-period goals before Scott Pellerin and Morrow scored 1:55 apart early in the second.

But the Maple Leafs stormed back with three unanswered goals before the end of the period. Reichel completed his first two-goal game since March 30, 1999 with a power-play tally at 7:04 and Valk tipped defenseman Jyrki Lumme's point shot past Turco to tie it 23 seconds later.

Mats Sundin put Toronto in front with 46 seconds to go in the period. Defenseman Tomas Kaberle faked a slap shot at the top of the slot to freeze the defense, then slid a pass to the left faceoff circle, where Sundin ripped a one-timer by Belfour for his 35th goal.

"Our line had a little bit of a struggle tonight. We were on for three goals against," Sundin said. "We were able to score on the power play, but we had some letdowns defensively. We had turnovers and they capitalized on them."

The single point dropped Toronto into second place in the Northeast Division, one behind Boston.

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