Eagle's got hot hand for Maple Leafs

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 2:53 PM ET


 Goaltender Ed Belfour has all the answers for the Toronto Maple Leafs right now.

 Except one.

 He can't remember a better run than the one he's having.

 The Eagle had his second straight shutout over the Senators last night, running his perfect string to 138 minutes and 21 seconds as the Leafs took a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final.

 It was also his second straight shutout over the Senators in the Corel Centre (he was in net for the Leafs 6-0 win on the last night of the regular season).

 It all boils down to him having shutouts in four of his last five games and in each of his last four road starts.

 Can he remember a better streak?

 "No, not off the top of my head," said the 38-year-old veteran, who stopped 37 shots last night. "I had some good runs in my career, but I can't think of any (better than this)."

 Belfour wasn't bothered by a lot of traffic in front last night.

 His best save might have been on Senators winger Marian Hossa three minutes into the second period when he got his catching hand on Hossa's low shot, tipping it wide.

 "I was impressed all those years I played against him," said Leafs veteran Ron Francis, who joined the Leafs from the Carolina Hurricanes at the trade deadline.

 "But I've been impressed even more in the time I've been here, with the way he handles the puck and the way he reads plays."

 Leafs defenceman Brian Leetch, who also joined the Leafs at the trade deadline, said Belfour makes everybody's life easier.

 "I don't know if anybody gets this far without having confidence in their goaltending," he said. "When you get 100 points (in the regular season), you need goaltending.

 "It's his demeanor, the way he plays, the lack of scrambles around the net. He just makes for a much simpler game for the rest of the guys."


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