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Leafs Skate By Hawks

If not for the stick of one of his teammates, Toronto goaltender Glenn Healy might have earned his 12th career NHL shutout Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Cruising to a victory, the Maple Leafs led Chicago 2-0 late in the third period before the Blackhawks got on the board with 7:05 left in regulation when Josef Marha's shot from the right circle deflected off the stick of Toronto defenseman Cory Cross and over Healy's glove.

Still, Healy, Toronto's back-up netminder to Curtis Joseph, and the Maple Leafs were able to hold off the late Chicago flurry for a 2-1 win.

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  • "He (Healy) was the difference in a pretty even game," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "We thought it would be important to get Glenn in and give Curtis a rest. We've been playing reasonably well, but certainly our goaltending has been the difference."

    "Tonight was a new night, a fresh challenge against a hungry team," said Healy, whose 25-save effort was supported by a first- period, power-play goal by Jonas Hoglund and an even-strength goal in the second period by Yanic Perreault.

    With the win, Toronto improved to 5-2-0 despite skating without star center Mats Sundin, who's out with a fractured ankle.

    "With Mats Sundin out, we have two options - fold our tent or dig our heels in," Healy said. "This team has too much character to fold."

    Meanwhile, the Blackhawks remained winless at 0-3-2. Although Chicago is one of four NHL teamwithout a victory, the Blackhawks claim they're not desperate... yet.

    "We haven't won a hockey game, but I think we've played well enough to win," Chicago coach Lorne Molleken said. "We've got to stay focused and not panic."

    "We played well defensively," added Chicago goaltender Jocelyn Thibault, who faced 25 Toronto shots. "But if we win tomorrow (at Pittsburgh) we can turn this thing around."

    Still, Chicago got off on the wrong foot Friday.

    Hoglund's deflection during a Toronto power play at 12:44 of the first period opened the scoring. Stationed in the slot, he redirected Alexander Karpovtsev's shot from the right point past Thibault.

    Perreault converted a two-on-one break with Hoglund at 16:07 of the second period to extend the Maple Leafs' lead to 2-0. Carrying the puck down right wing, Perreault faked a pass to Hoglund, but then fired himself and beat Thibault with a high, glove-side shot.

    Marha ruined Healy's shutout bid during a Chicago power play with 7:05 left in regulation on the Blackhawks' 22nd shot on goal of the contest.

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