Game Analysis: Hurricanes At Maple Leafs

Claus Andersen

The Staal brothers each scored, Jeff Skinner notched three assists and Cam Ward made 41 saves to lead Carolina to a 4-1 win Monday over Toronto.

Jordan Staal scored his first goal with the Hurricanes and Carolina never looked back, scoring four unanswered goals after a lackluster first period to give the Canes a 4-1 win in Toronto. Here's a closer look at Monday's win.

Three Observations

1. The Hurricanes played with intensity from the get-go, but it cost them in the first period. The team had several neutral zone turnovers, and Jay Harrison's untimely offensive zone pinch led to a Toronto 2-on-1 that found it's way into the Carolina net. But Carolina's energy turned into opportunities the rest of the way. The Hurricanes twice beat out icing calls in the second, with the first by Jeff Skinner leading to Jordan Staal's game-tying goal. Tim Brent later nullified an icing call in the second that led to waves of scoring chances for the Canes, including an Eric Staal effort that hit the post. On Eric Staal's game-winner that made it 2-1, Jiri Tlusty beat Toronto's defense to the corner to help facilitate the captain's seventh goal of the season.

2. It was a game of awkward bounces and curious calls. Referee Marc Joannette got the worst of it, taking a Dion Phaneuf clearing attempt off the face and reportedly leaving Toronto down a couple teeth. Despite Joannette's dental misadventures, the Leafs probably still felt they got the shortest end of the stick. It all started when Tyler Bozak appeared to have gotten Toronto back in the game in the second period, but his goal was waived off by the War Room after it was determined he kicked in the puck. The Maple Leafs then took two quick penalties and Carolina capitalized early in the third when Justin Faulk scored on the power play. It was the Canes' second man-advantage goal of the night — Eric Staal scored earlier with Jay McClemment in the box after getting a rare unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for snowing Cam Ward.

3. Faulk continued his ascent to No. 1 defenseman status, logging more than 29 minutes and scoring his second goal of the season. Most interesting was the coaching staff's decision to play Faulk down low on the power play — he scored his goal there and was also the intended target on Eric Staal's goal that instead hit Michael Kostka and wound up behind James Reimer. He finished the night plus-2, but was on the ice for all four Carolina goals.

Number To Know

4 — Penalty minutes on the night for Jamie McBain, which matched his total in 76 games in 2011-12. McBain now has eight PIMs in six games this season.

Plus

Cam Ward — Ward played his best game of the young season, stifling the Leafs time and again to keep Carolina in control of the game. Phil Kessel, who is still looking for his first goal of the season, had several prime chances but was shut down by Ward.

Minus

Bobby Sanguinetti — It's been up and down with Sanguinetti. There were times Monday when his speed and shot seemed like huge assets, but he is still searching for consistency. While Toronto's lone goal wasn't solely his fault, he failed to recognize Harrison getting back in the play and lost Matt Frattin on the rebound. With 14 career NHL games under his belt and no points, the clock might be ticking for a player that needs to make his mark offensively.

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