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Former Leaf Belfour helps Panthers take down Toronto

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Jacques Martin was happy to reach a
coaching milestone. He was even more pleased it came in an
important game for the Florida Panthers.

Ed Belfour made 23 saves against his former team and Martin
picked up his 450th career victory in Florida's 4-2 win over the
Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

"I think the satisfaction is for us: we needed this win," said
Martin, the 13th coach to reach the milestone in the NHL. "We're
not playing again until Wednesday. We don't want to fall too far
behind and I think that's the most important thing."

Rostislav Olesz and Olli Jokinen scored in the first period,
Joel Kwiatkowski scored on a breakaway and Chris Gratton added an
empty-net goal with 36.9 seconds left for Florida.

"It's definitely nice to have a good game against the fellas,"
said Belfour, who played the previous three seasons with Toronto.
"To come out on top is definitely a bonus."

Jean-Sebastien Aubin lost for the first time since joining the
Maple Leafs in March, dropping to 10-1-3. He made 39 saves and fell
to 1-1-1 this season.

Toronto's Bryan McCabe scored on a slap shot at 7:19 of the
third to end Belfour's shutout bid. It was McCabe's second goal.
Mats Sundin scored his sixth goal at 14:09 of the third.

"We didn't have the legs Florida had," Sundin said. "We were
playing back-to-back, and Florida was sitting there waiting, and
they were the desperate team needing points. We needed to match
that, but we waited until the third period and you can't do that in
this league."

Florida lost the previous six meetings dating to March 9, 2004,
while being outscored 21-10 overall. The Panthers were coming off a
shootout loss against the New York Islanders and a one-goal home
loss against San Jose.

"When you're on the road, you need to play smart on those
nights when you don't have the edge," Toronto coach Paul Maurice
said. "We didn't have the edge tonight, and we didn't play
smart."

Kwiatkowski scored unassisted on a breakaway down the left side
at 3:19 of the third to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead. It was
Kwiatkowski's third goal.

"You don't get breakaways every day, and you just try to keep
it simple," Kwiatkowski said.

Goals by Olesz and Jokinen gave Florida a 2-0 lead after one
period. The Panthers took 23 shots, a season high for a period.

Olesz scored his first goal, at 1:07, when he backhanded in the
rebound of Ruslan Salei's shot from the right point. Jokinen scored
his sixth goal when he one-timed a cross-ice pass from Nathan
Horton at 10:03.

Game notes
Jokinen has 13 points in seven home games. ... Toronto has
played back-to-back games three times this season, and has split
all three times. The Maple Leafs won at Tampa Bay on Wednesday
night. ... Florida right wing Todd Bertuzzi underwent lower back
surgery and will be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days. ... Martin's
career coaching mark is 450-347-119-33.