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Leafs' Win 4th In A Row


After leading the NHL in offense last season, the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying something new: leading the league in defense.

Curtis Joseph made 29 saves as the Maple Leafs beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 Saturday night for their fourth straight win.

The Maple Leafs have allowed just 23 goals in 13 games for a league-best 1.77 goals-against average.

Along the way, Toronto compiled a shutout streak of 210 minutes 49 seconds, the third-longest in team history. The longest was a five-game shutout run from Nov. 13-22, 1930.

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  • Calgary's Valeri Bure broke the shutout streak when he circled the Toronto net and put a shot up high over Joseph at 11:13 of the third period.

    "We didn't count the minutes, but sure, we take great pride in that," Joseph said. "That's great defense. The pairs are working well and it's a team thing."

    After allowing a goal 24 seconds into the second period in a game against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 23, the Maple Leafs shut out the Dallas Stars and Atlanta Thrashers in consecutive games on Monday and Wednesday.

    Toronto has allowed one goal or fewer in seven of 13 games this season.

    Bryan Berard and Igor Korolev scored for the Maple Leafs, who won four games in a row for the first time in five years. Saturday's game marked Toronto's 21st attempt since 1994 to win a fourth straight game.

    Despite the impressive 9-3-1 start that put Toronto at the top of the NHL standings, coach Pat Quinn wasn't happy with his team's effort.

    "I'm not so sure we deserved the fourth (consecutive win)," Quinn said. "We quit movng, we quit skating. We were outshot, outworked. We didn't have anyone in position to move the puck out. We were lazy coming out."

    The Maple Leafs dominated the first period, outshooting Calgary 15-6. But the Flames took control the rest of the way and had 24 shots in the second and third periods compared to just 12 for Toronto.

    "It's tough to swallow," said Calgary forward Jarome Iginla. "We pushed hard and played well after the first period and got lots of chances."

    Berard's first goal of the season opened the scoring at 15:44 of the first period. He drilled a slap shot from the top of the circle between the legs of Calgary goalie Grant Fuhr with the Maple Leafs on a 5-on-3 advantage.

    Korolev converted a behind-the-net pass from Sergei Berezin to put Toronto ahead at 1:58 of the second period.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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