posted on Mar, 19 2004 @ 11:08 AM
The Toronto Maple Leafs found the key to beating the Philadelphia Flyers: Brian Leetch. In what could be a future playoff battle.
Leetch scored his first two goals with his new team, lifting the Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory Thursday night.
Ed Belfour made 26 saves, and Gary Roberts added a goal for Toronto, which had lost five straight against Philadelphia.
"(Leetch) has been around long enough to know that (scoring goals) is not the most important job a defenseman does," Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn
said. "But, when you have skill like him, you're going to get some."
Leetch, acquired March 3 from the New York Rangers, scored his 25th and 26th career goals against the Flyers -- his most against any franchise in his
17 NHL seasons. He also assisted on Roberts' first-period goal and helped the Maple Leafs end a losing streak against Philadelphia that dated to last
season's first-round playoff exit.
The Flyers outscored the Maple Leafs 15-2 in three wins this season. Belfour surrendered 14 of those goals and was pulled after only 11 minutes in a
4-1 loss on Jan. 16.
But Belfour played well this time, carrying a shutout into the third period and stopping several shots in the final minute to preserve the victory.
"Besides taking too many penalties, I think five-on-five, we were much better," said Leetch, who has 11 points in eight games with Toronto. "We had
fewer chances against and got the lead."
John LeClair and Kim Johnsson scored for the Flyers, who had been unbeaten in their past four games.