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NHL

Maple Leafs cruise to seven in a row

By Wire services
Published December 5, 2003

BOSTON - Ed Belfour made 25 saves in recording his second shutout of the season and Toronto won its seventh straight, beating the Bruins 6-0 Thursday night.

"When you win seven in a row, you are getting contributions from different guys each night," defenseman Ken Klee said. "When guys like (Joe) Nieuwendyk and (Mats) Sundin are out on the ice, you know good things will happen."

Nieuwendyk scored two power-play goals for the Maple Leafs, who are on their longest win streak since taking 10 straight in 1993-94. Five of Toronto's seven victories have come on the road.

Nieuwendyk scored the first of three power-play goals for Toronto when he converted a pass from Sundin and beat Felix Potvin at 16:23 of the first for a 1-0 lead.

Nieuwendyk has three goals and seven points in the past three games for Toronto, which pulled within one point of Philadelphia for the top spot in the East and three points ahead of Boston in the Northeast.

Belfour is 13-4-3 lifetime, including four shutouts, against Boston.

RED WINGS 4, BLUES 4: Pavel Datsyuk and Brett Hull scored in a 57-second span late in the third and visiting Detroit rallied from a three-goal deficit. The Red Wings scored four times on their first 11 shots of the third against former teammate Chris Osgood. Hull has 730 goals and needs one to tie Marcel Dionne for third on the career list. Hull, Datsyuk and Steve Thomas each had a goal and an assist. The comeback rescued goalie Dominik Hasek, who played for the first time in nine games because of a groin injury. He gave up goals on two of the first three shots faced and three of the first 10.

Chris Pronger had two goals and an assist and Keith Tkachuk had a goal and an assist for the Blues. But St. Louis tried to sit on a 3-0 second-period lead, totaling eight shots the last two periods.

PREDATORS 4, BLUE JACKETS 2: Rem Murray, Scott Hartnell, Greg Johnson and Scott Walker scored, and Tomas Vokoun stopped 37 shots for visiting Nashville. Ukrainian emigre Nikolai Zherdev, the Blue Jackets' first-round draft pick who flew out of Russia on Sunday, scored his first NHL goal and had another disallowed.

Zherdev got a standing ovation when he skated to the bench during a break late in the game. Rick Nash added his 17th goal for the Blue Jackets, matching his total as a rookie last season. Zherdev picked up the assist. Nashville extended its franchise-record win streak to six and won for the fourth straight time on the road. The Predators are 10-2-0-0 in their past 12 games.

RANGERS 4, ISLANDERS 2: Brian Leetch and Anson Carter scored during a five-minute power play in the second period for visiting New York. Leetch also scored earlier in the period to record his 24th career two-goal game. Mike Dunham made 37 saves, allowing goals to Janne Niinimaa and Alexei Yashin in the second half of the third period. Two Islanders goals were waved off because the whistle blew before the puck entered the net. Martin Rucinsky sealed it for the Rangers when he took a pass from Bobby Holik and finished a two-on-one with 5:17 left.

DEVILS 3, CAPITALS 0: Rookie defenseman Paul Martin had a goal and an assist in the first period and Martin Brodeur needed only nine saves to record his 69th shutout as New Jersey ended a four-game winless skid. Turner Stevenson and Jeff Friesen also scored for the Devils, who won for the eighth time in their past 10 home games (8-1-1). Three Washington streaks ended. The Capitals had won two straight for the first time this season and Robert Lang (16 games) and Jaromir Jagr (12 games) carried lengthy scoring streaks into the game.

COYOTES 3, SABRES 2: Branko Radivojevic scored with 4:03 left and Brian Boucher made 34 saves to help lift visiting Phoenix. David Tanabe and Chris Gratton also scored for the Coyotes, who are unbeaten in their past four (3-0-1). J.P. Dumont and Daniel Briere each scored their ninth goal of the season for Buffalo. Briere's power-play goal at 11:52 of the third tied the score at 2. Gratton, who was acquired from the Sabres in exchange for Briere before the trade deadline in March, scored his fifth goal of the season in the second period, just 1:15 after Dumont tied it at 1.

FLAMES 4, CANUCKS 1: Shean Donovan scored in his fourth straight game, and Miikka Kiprusoff made 28 saves to lead visiting Calgary. Kiprusoff won for the fourth time in five starts since being acquired from San Jose just over two weeks ago. He allowed one goal for the fourth time. Jarome Iginla scored twice, including an empty-netter, and Martin Gelinas added a goal for the Flames, who have picked up points in eight straight.

KINGS 3, STARS 0: Martin Straka ended a 14-game goal drought in his first home appearance with Los Angeles, and Roman Cechmanek posted his fourth shutout of the season. Cechmanek, who was benched during Tuesday's 4-1 loss at St. Louis after giving up three goals on nine shots, made 17 saves en route to his 24th career shutout. Marty Turco made 20 saves for the Stars, who lost by shutout for the fifth time this season.

FLYERS: Forward Claude Lapointe entered the league's substance abuse treatment program. The Flyers did not elaborate on Lapointe's condition or say when he is scheduled to return. This season, he has two goals and two assists for four points and 10 penalty minutes in 19 games.

[Last modified December 5, 2003, 01:34:13]


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