Belfour to skip All-Star Game

TORONTO, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The back injury that recently forced Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ed Belfour to miss three straight games will keep him out of the All-Star Game.

The Maple Leafs announced Monday that Belfour has decided to decline his invitation to represent the Eastern Conference on Sunday in Sunrise, Fla., because of back spasms.


Ottawa Senators goalie Patrick Lalime has replaced Belfour on the All-Star roster.

In his first season with Toronto, Belfour missed three games last week before returning for losses on Friday and Saturday.

According to the team, it was more important for Belfour to get the five days rest instead of "displaying his skill" next weekend.

Belfour is 21-14-3 with five shutouts, a 2.15 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. He signed over the summer after Curtis Joseph left for Detroit.

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