NHL Game Summary - Florida at Toronto
(Tuesday, March 9th)
Final Score: Toronto 5, Florida 0
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Ed Belfour made just 15 saves to earn his seventh shutout of season and Gary Roberts scored twice to lead Toronto to a 5-0 win over Florida at Air Canada Centre.
Owen Nolan and Matthew Stajan both delivered a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs, who won for the fourth time in five games. Joe Nieuwendyk also scored.
Steve Shields turned away 37 shots for the Panthers, who had their six-game road unbeaten streak snapped (3-0-3) and suffered their third straight loss.
Before the game, the Maple Leafs acquired veteran center Ron Francis from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2005.
Francis, 41, has 546 goals and 1,242 assists for 1,788 points in his Hall of Fame career. He ranks second only to Wayne Gretzky on the NHL's all-time assist list, and is fourth in career points.
"We have a very good hockey team with a lot of experience," said Francis, who was in the building Tuesday night.
Toronto, which held a 15-8 shots advantage in the first period, scored twice in the initial 20 minutes.
Nolan posted his 15th goal, and first tally in 10 games, on a one-timer from just outside right faceoff circle. Stajan gathered a loose puck along the right boards and set up tally at 5:23 of the first.
Roberts made it 2-0 nearly 5 1/2 minutes later, beating Shields with a low wrist shot on a rebound from between the circles.
During a scoreless second period, the Maple Leafs held a 12-4 shots advantage. Shields made 12 saves, including consecutive stops on a Toronto breakaway with less than six minutes to play in the second.
Stajan's 13th goal opened a 3-0 edge for Toronto at 4:58 of the third period. Positioned behind the net, Nolan carried the puck over the red line and slid a pass through the crease to Stajan, who redirected the puck inside the left post.
Nieuwendyk and Roberts capped the scoring less than two minutes apart for the Maple Leafs midway through the third period.
Belfour stopped three shots in the third to secure his 72nd career shutout to move into 10th place on the all-time NHL list past Harry Lumley.
Despite going on a power play for the final 3:17, Florida couldn't muster a shot on goal.
"We have a lot of guys that play hard," Shields said. "[But] some are holding us back."
Panthers forward Mikael Samuelsson left in the second period after taking a hit at center ice by Brian Leetch...Toronto, which went 0-for-3 on the power play, has won five of its last seven at home...Byron Ritchie left in the third after taking a hit for the Panthers, who have one victory in their last six games (1-4-1).
03/10 00:46:22 ET