The Carolina Hurricanes stopped a three game losing streak on Sunday night when they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2 in front of 13,187 at the RBC. The Canes also broke up a scoreless streak that stretched over the past two games when Jay Harrison lit the lamp with just seconds left in the first period. The team went a total of 154:55 without a goal during that time frame.
Harrison gave his team an important lead after they pretty much had dominated the first period, but had nothing to show for it. The Canes outshot the Leafs 10-5 in that period.
The home team went on to dominate the second period as well and again outshot the Leafs, this time 19 to 7. They took a 2-0 lead when a pass to the front of the net by Jussi Jokinen bounced in off of Luke Schenn's skate. Chad LaRose was in front of the net creating havoc and was looking to bang the puck home.
The third period was a tighter one though as league leading scorer Phil Kessel would score two goals to make things interesting. He made the score 2-1 when he knocked in a rebound during a 4-on-3 advantage just 4:31 into the period.
Then after the Canes would make it 3-1 on a Jeff Skinner putback of an Eric Staal attempt, Kessel would fire in a perfect shot with just a minute left, to keep his team in it.
Skinner's goal was his eighth of the season. He followed Staal when his team captain had a nice chance on a clean breakaway. Staal was stopped, but last year's Rookie of the Year made no mistake as he lifted the rebound up over Ben Scrivens, who had a decent game for Toronto with 38 saves on 41 attempts.
The Canes will jump on a plane and fly to Philadelphia to get set for a match against the Flyers on Monday night.
- The team did well for stretches tonight, but it's important to note that they were playing a tired Toronto team who had played against the Caps the night before. The schedule worked out in Carolina's favor for this one.
- The defense did a nice job of limiting shots the first two periods, (12), and allowed a total of 25 for the game, the second straight game they allowed less than 30.
- The Canes put 41 shots on net led by Skinner and LaRose with five each.
- Carolina won 65% of the game's faceoffs. (Staal 76%, Sutter 47%, Jokinen 80%) Tom Brent went 1-1 for 100%.
- Paul Maurice tried new lines for this game (12-53-15...16-39-19...36-23-59...and 13-37-11). But look for new lines again tomorrow night in Philadephia as the coach said he would mix things up for that one. (see interview)
Justin Faulk continues to impress. He finished with 21:41 of ice time, had three hits, and his first career NHL assist. He was paired with Harrison, who had a team high 22:13 of ice time. Harrison also had a team high four blocked shots to go along with his goal.
- The team was credited with 22 hits, led by Alexei Ponikarovsky with five.
- The Hurricanes broke a six game scoreless streak on the powerplay with Jokinen's goal. Officially, they were 1-5 on the advantage. The Leafs were 1-2.
- Staal had two assists and finished +2 for the game. Skinner was named first star of the game with an assist and the game winning goal. He also had a +2.
Post game interviews: