“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 skated well.”
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.
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 goal.”
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 forwardMarian Gaborik said.
Leafs enforcer Tie Domi has been penalized in games against every NHL team. He received a five-minute major for fighting in the second period. … Leafs forward Owen Nolan didn’t make the trip to Minnesota after injuring his hip in Toronto’s loss to St. Louis. He’s expected to resume skating during theweekend. … It was Lemaire’s 750th game as an NHL head coach.