1/24/97 -- 11:45 PM

Maple Leafs-Blackhawks


CHICAGO (AP) - Kirk Muller scored 2:53 into overtime Friday night as the Toronto Maple Leafs snapped a five-game road losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Ed Belfour, the Blackhawks' No. 1 goalie all decade, was supposed to start but was told not to come to the United Center because Chicago was trying to complete a trade. The Blackhawks wouldn't disclose the identity of the other team involved, and the deal wasn't finished by game's end.

Jeff Hackett, who would take over as Chicago's goaltender if Belfour is dealt, made 31 saves but couldn't keep Muller from scoring on a rebound of Todd Warriner's shot. It was the second consecutive overtime loss for Hackett and the Blackhawks.

Muller, who started the winning play by checking Eric Daze off the puck along the boards, was left unchecked to gain control of the rebound in the left faceoff circle. He lifted a shot past Hackett's stick side.

Muller had two goals Dec. 9, when the Maple Leafs won in Chicago to snap a nine-game road losing streak.

While Toronto has the NHL's worst road record (7-18-0), the Blackhawks are the worst at home (8-16-3).

Tony Amonte scored his team-high 29th goal for Chicago, which is 3-11-3 at home since Nov. 14. The Blackhawks will play their next six games away from the United Center. They are 9-9-5 on the road.

Larry Murphy also scored for Toronto, which got 27 saves from Felix Potvin.

Potvin was helped by three shots hitting the post - Kevin Miller near the end of the second period, Keith Carney midway through the third and Alex Zhamnov with 5:05 left in regulation.

The Blackhawks, sporting new black home jerseys, went ahead at 6:17 of the second period. Potvin stopped Eric Weinrich's shot from the point but Amonte put the rebound off Potvin's pad and into the net.

Murphy tied it with a power-play goal at 18:27 of the second, taking a drop pass from Doug Gilmour and wristing a 40-foot shot past Hackett.

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