Belfour placed on IR, likely to miss rest of season

TORONTO -- Maple Leafs goalie Ed Belfour is expected to miss the remainder of the season after being placed on injured reserve Thursday with a hurt back.

Belfour hasn't played since March 10.

The 40-year-old, who has a history of back problems, has had a subpar season -- going 22-22-4 with a goals-against average of 3.29 in 49 games.

Mikael Tellqvist is expected to make his seventh straight start in place Belfour on Thursday night in Montreal.

Tellqvist has been impressive at times, but he's also allowed some shaky goals. He could become the No. 1 goalie next season if Toronto buys out the last year of Belfour's contract.

The Maple Leafs play the Canadiens on Thursday and Saturday nights in games that have playoff implications. Toronto is in 10th place in the Eastern Conference -- four points behind Atlanta for the eighth and final playoff spot and three back of Montreal.

Belfour has a career record of 457-303-115.