TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs spoiled Brett Hull's night.
Gary Roberts and Mats Sundin each had a goal and an assist to lead Toronto
to a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday and extend the Maple
Leafs' winning streak to eight games.
Hull scored his 731st NHL goal, moving the Red Wings forward into a tie with
Marcel Dionne for third place on the career list.
Hull skated with the puck across the front of the Toronto crease, waited
until goalie Ed Belfour went down, and lifted in a backhander off Belfour's
helmet for his 15th goal of the season at 19:40 of the first.
After returning to the Detroit bench, Hull asked for the puck. Dionne has
been in third place since retiring in 1989. Wayne Gretzky is first with 894
goals, followed by Gordie Howe, who scored 801.
"It's an honor for me to be a part of that group. Maybe we can do it in the
next game as a part of a win," Hull said.
The 39 year-old Hull doesn't want to think about surpassing Howe because he
fears a lockout next year will ruin his chances.
"It's in the back of your mind, but with the labor issues that we have, you
try not to think about it too much," Hull said. "At my age, if there is an
extended period of time that we're locked out, I don't think I'd be able to
Hull has scored in six straight games and has 10 goals in his last 12 games.
Bryan Marchment, Tie Domi and Matt Stajan also scored for the Maple Leafs,
who have their longest winning streak since taking 10 straight at the start of
the 1993-94 season.
Toronto's streak includes two wins over Vancouver and one against Ottawa,
two of the best teams in the NHL. Detroit entered the game tied for the Western
Conference lead with the Canucks.
"We've played quality opponents. I'm excited with how we're playing,"
Sundin said. "We want to be a top team in this league. I think we have the
players to be a top team."
The Maple Leafs ended Detroit's five game unbeaten streak in a game that had
just two penalties.
"This is a good team. We can play with the good teams and we really believe
that now," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said.
Roberts, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a strained
hip muscle, gave Toronto a 3-1 lead in the second. Sundin assisted.
Roberts also made a nifty pass to a streaking Sundin, whose breakaway goal
gave Toronto a 4-2 lead with 5:41 left.
Less than a minute later, Stajan made it 5-2 with a one-timer from in front
of the net.
Roberts credits the defense for the streak.
"Our defense is doing a great of getting the puck out of our zone. That's
where we've had our problems," Roberts said. "We haven't done a very good job
of supporting our defense. There use to be too much gap between our defense and
our forwards. That's the difference in our game right now. We're a five man
group right now that is supporting each other."
Marchment, a defenseman, scored his first goal of the season, and the 39th
of his 16-year career at 2:46 of the second period. He skating in alone and
slipped a backhander past goalie Manny Legace.
Domi, Toronto's enforcer, scored his third of the season at 13:24,
redirecting Robert Reichel's centering pass.
Just 23 seconds later, Roberts blasted a slap shot past Legace.
Brendan Shanahan cut Toronto's lead to 3-2 less than a minute later with his
10th goal of season.