ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Ed Belfour bailed out the Toronto Maple Leafs in
their first trip to Minnesota in 10 years.
Belfour stopped 28 shots for his third shutout of the season, and Tom
Fitzgerald scored to lead Toronto to a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on
"They had a lot of offense because we weren't as good with the puck as we
needed to be," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "If not for Eddie tonight, it
might have been a different result."
Toronto's last game played in Minnesota was a 3-3 tie vs. the North Stars on
March 25, 1993.
Against the Wild, Toronto earned its eighth straight road win. It was also
the 10th consecutive game in which the Northeast Division-leading Maple Leafs
earned a point. The victory was Toronto's ninth in its last 10 games, with a
3-2 overtime loss to St. Louis on Tuesday the only blemish.
Belfour's 68th career shutout moved him into 11th place on the NHL's career
list. He's also second among active goaltenders behind New Jersey's Martin
Brodeur, who has 70.
Minnesota outshot Toronto 28-17, but couldn't score and fell to 0-4 against
the Maple Leafs. The Wild have just eight goals in their last eight games, but
their coach was pleased with Thursday's effort, if not the outcome.
"We played probably our best game tonight," Minnesota's Jacques Lemaire
said. "We got a lot of chances, we played solid defensively, and the guys
While Minnesota dominated in the early stages, it took the Leafs more than
seven minutes to get their first shot.
But Toronto withstood the early pressure and scored the game's only goal
11:37 into the opening period.
Defenseman Karel Pilar took a rising shot from the side of the right circle.
Wild goaltender Dwayne Roloson blocked the shot, but Fitzgerald poked in the
rebound for his fourth goal of the season.
Fitzgerald had an opportunity for his first two-goal game of the season in
the third period when he picked up a loose puck and had a breakaway from the
red line. Fitzgerald went to his backhand and appeared to have Roloson beaten,
but failed to get a shot off.
"The puck never settled down for me," Fitzgerald said. "I pulled it back
and moved to the backhand, but I missed it. If it stays on my stick, I've got a
Roloson had 16 saves for Minnesota, 2-6-2-0 in its last 10.
"We're in the doghouse, everybody, in terms of scoring," Minnesota forward
Marian Gaborik said.