The Carolina Hurricanes were the hottest team in the NHL before the Olympic break and had won five games in a row. Some thought that the layoff would adversely affect the club, but they picked up right where they left off on Tuesday night as they dominated the Leafs at the ACC and won their sixth straight game, 5-1.
Rookie goaltender Justin Peters won his third game in three attempts and looked very sharp throughout the contest. Peters stopped 32 of 33 shots and now has a save percentage of well over .950.
His counterpart, Jean-Sebastien Giguere had a very rough night as he mishandled the puck leading to one goal and looked lethargic through much of the game.
At one point, the Canes held the puck in the Toronto zone for well over two minutes. When the Leafs finally did clear their zone, they were met with mocking cheers from their frustrated fans.
Chad LaRose got the party started less than three minutes into the affair when he stole the puck from Giguere behind the net and tucked it in the empty net for an easy score. It was a shorthanded tally and highlighted a nice return for LaRose, who had been out with an injury over the previous seven games.
The second period was all Carolina as the team scored three times. Jussi Jokinen extended his scoring streak to 10 games with a very nice shot from the slot just 36 seconds into the period. Jokinen now has a team leading, 24 goals. Ray Whitney and Eric Staal helped to create the opportunity.
Brandon Sutter knocked home a rebound chance about midway through the period right on Giguere's doorstep. LaRose set him up from behind the net.
Sergei Samsonov closed things out for the Canes when he scored a softie midway through the third period and with the score 5-0, it looked like Peters might get his first shutout. But Toronto's John Mitchell ruined the bid with about five minutes remaining in the game.
All in all, it was a very satisfying win for the visitors, who will face Ottawa on Thursday at the RBC.
- Chad LaRose had a three point night and finished with a team best +3.
- Justin Peters is certainly making a great case for himself to make the Canes next year. He looks too good to sit the bench though as he has allowed just four goals in three games played.
- The Canes took 30 shots on goal and were led by Eric Staal, Tuomo Ruutu, and Scott Walker who had four each.
- The club blocked 13 shots for their rookie tender. Tim Gleason had a team high three.
- Joe Corvo had a team high 24:52 of ice time.
- Apparently, the weird lines put out by Maurice at the morning skate were just a guise to mislead the Toronto press, or perhaps the players really did just skate with their friends. In any event, the lines were back to normal at game time.
Just a reminder that we will have an open thread for trade talk starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. If there are moves beforehand, we will start up earlier. It should be interesting.