The Toronto Maple Leafs are turning their last few games into milestone affairs.
Though they have been eliminated from contention for home-ice in the first-round of the playoffs, the Maple Leafs are still playing hard. They are unbeaten in their last four (3-0-1), including Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime win at Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey.
Belfour, who made 38 saves, became only the seventh NHL goaltender to win 400 games in the regular season, joining Patrick Roy, Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall and Grant Fuhr.
“I think Eddie was superb tonight,” Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. “You can’t say enough about him this season. He’s been our backbone. He got us through the tough times.”
Belfour, who signed with the Maple Leafs after Curtis Joseph left for Detroit as a free agent, was 21-27-11 last season with the Dallas Stars, but is 36-20-5 this season, and 400-262-105 overall in 15 seasons.
“This is definitely up there,” Belfour said of the milestone. “It’s something I feel honored about and I’m thankful that I’m on the Toronto Maple Leafs with a great group of guys who play well in front of me. I owe it all to them.”
Sundin scored his 299th career goal on Tuesday, leaving him tied with Rick Vaive for fourth in team history. It was the third goal in as many games for Sundin, who has six points over that span.
Sundin and the Leafs have faced the Wild only twice— both times in Toronto. He has two goals and two assists in those games, with Toronto outscoring Minnesota a combined 9-2 in a pair of wins.
The Wild are also playoff bound, but are coming off their third loss in five games, a 3-0 defeat at Columbus on Wednesday.
They went 0-for-7 on the power play after going 3-for-8 on the man-advantage in Monday’s 3-0 home win over Calgary.
STANDINGS: Wild - 93 points, 3rd place, 11 PB, Northwest Division. Maple Leafs - 96 points, 2nd place, 13 PB, Northeast Division.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through April 1): Wild - Power play: 14.2 percent (50 for 352), 22nd in NHL (tied). Penalty killing: 86.7 percent (255 for 294), 4th. Maple Leafs - Power play: 17.8 percent (63 for 354), 10th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.1 percent (365 for 419), 3rd.
2001-02 SEASON SERIES: Maple Leafs, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 5, 2002; Maple Leafs, 3-1. At Toronto, Sundin scored twice in the third period and added an assist for the Maple Leafs, who were without Mogilny because of back spasms. The Wild, who were outshot 35-24, got their goal from Pascal Dupuis.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Wild - 17-15-7-1 on the road; Maple Leafs - 23-12-4-0 at home.