Maple Leafs 9, Islanders 6

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TORONTO (AP)—Ed Belfour finally made history in one of the wildest games of the season.

Belfour moved into sole possession of second place on the NHL’s career wins list, and Matt Stajan scored twice in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 9-6 victory over the New York Islanders on Monday night.

Belfour lost five straight starts since moving into a tie with Terry Sawchuk on Nov. 28 for second place. But the 40-year-old goalie won his 448th—despite allowing four goals in the first period and six goals on 33 shots.

Fans chanted ‘Ed-die, Ed-die’ in the final minutes. Patrick Roy is the wins leader with 551.

“It seemed like it took forever,” Belfour said. “It took nine goals, but I’m real thankful and honored.”

Belfour never thought it would happen like this.

“It was penalty after penalty, 5-on-3s, the refs were giving me a heart attack,” he said.

Belfour knows all about Sawchuk, a member of Toronto’s last Stanley Cup winner in 1967, by reading his autobiography.

“I just have a lot of respect for Terry. He played without a mask,” Belfour said. “It just means a lot to me to be up there with him and the other greats that have played that long. It’s a tribute to all the guys I’ve played with, all the great teams I’ve played on.”

Alex Ponikarovsky, Ken Klee, Mariusz Czerkawski, Jeff O’Neill, Mats Sundin, Kyle Wellwood and Darcy Tucker also had goals for the Maple Leafs, who won for just the second time in six games.

Toronto scored four goals in a wild first period.

“Eddie saved our bacon so many times over the last two or three years. It’s about time we owed him one back,” Tucker said. “That’s something we deserved to get him, that’s for sure.”

New York goalie Rick DiPietro, chosen earlier Monday for the U.S. Olympic hockey team, left after allowing six goals on 17 shots. Garth Snow didn’t fare much better, allowing two of Toronto’s four goals in the second period on just six shots.

“You don’t want to get pulled in a game whether you make the Olympic team or not,” DiPietro said.

Eric Godard, Mark Parrish, Alexei Yashin, Rob Collins, Mike York and Arron Asham scored for the Islanders.

“It was crazy,” New York defenseman Brent Sopel said. “This was a football game.”

Godard scored his first NHL goal after the puck deflected in off his skate at 2:11 of the first, but Ponikarovsky tied at 8:14. Klee gave Toronto a 2-1 lead on a 2-on-1 at 10:37.

Parrish, also picked for the American Olympic squad, tied it on a two-man advantage just over two minutes later. Yashin gave New York the lead on another two-man advantage just 33 seconds after that.

Collins put one between Belfour’s legs at 17:28 of the third, but O’Neill cut it to 4-3 just 29 seconds later. Czerkawski tied it with 19 seconds left in the period.

Toronto outscored New York 4-0 in the second period as Wellwood scored on a wrist shot, Stajan scored twice and Sundin added a short-handed goal.

York tipped Brad Lukowich’s shot from the point, cutting Toronto’s lead to 8-5 at 2:42 of the third. Tucker scored at 12:20, but Asham cut it to 9-6 at 13:57.

Notes

Injured LW Jason Blake (concussion) was the third Islanders player picked for the U.S. Olympic team. Philadelphia and New Jersey also had three. … Belfour allowed all eight goals in Ottawa’s 8-2 rout over Toronto on Saturday. … New York went 3-for-6 on the power-play in the first period. … Toronto’s Eric Lindros (torn ligament in wrist), Alex Steen (dislocated thumb) and Tie Domi (strained shoulder) missed the game.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
M. Stajan M. Stajan
Toronto Maple Leafs
Scored at 11:52 of 2nd

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Rick DiPietro NYI 17 11
Ed Belfour Fla 33 27