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Maple Leafs Blank Stars

General manager Pat Quinn found a new player for the Toronto Maple Leafs last week. This week, coach Pat Quinn found a new line.

Dmitri Khristich got his first points for Toronto with a goal and an assist, and Curtis Joseph made 17 saves for his second shutout of the season as the Leafs defeated the injury-riddled Dallas Stars 4-0 Monday night.

Khristich, who signed with Toronto last week, and linemates Mike Johnson and Nik Antropov combined for six points in just their second game as a unit.

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  • "They have the skills that can blend with one another to produce a good threesome instead of three good onesomes," Quinn said. "We'll leave them together for a while and see how they develop."

    Johnson also had a goal and an assist for Toronto, while rookie Antropov assisted on both goals.

    "I felt really good out there and, with time, we're going to get even better," said Khristich, who played the last two years in Boston. "I'm getting close to 100 percent."

    Khristich became a free agent after the Bruins refused to pay him the $2.8 million he was awarded by an arbitrator in August.

    Steve Thomas and defenseman Tomas Kaberle also scored for the Leafs.

    The Stars played without seven regulars: Darryl Sydor (groin), Richard Matvichuk (knee), (back), Shawn Chambers (knee), Jere Lehtinen (ankle) and Grant Marshall (groin).

    Dallas went with three rookie defensemen Brad Lukowich, Alan Letang and Richard Jackman and paid the price.

    "We didn't play well at all," said Stars center Mike Modano, who was held without a shot on goal. "It was probably our worst game of the season. We had no flow in the game. It felt like we were constantly chasing the puck."

    Johnson opened the scoring 2:08 into the game when he put in a rebound of Antropov's shot. Thomas made it 2-0 at 13:34 when took a pass from Yanic Perreault, waited for Belfour to commit and snapped the puck over the goalie's right shoulder.

    It was Thomas' first goal in 11 games this season.

    "I knew they were going to come at some point," he said. "People may look at the fact that I'm not playing with (injured) Mats Sundin is the problem, but I've been getting some pretty good chances."

    Kaberle scored with 7:58 left in the game.

    "We were not competitive," said Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock. "You have to fight through things. It had nothing to do with injuries."

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