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Game 8 Recap: Hurricanes 4, Maple Leafs 1

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Cam Ward makes 41 saves and the Staal brothers each light the lamp to lead Hurricanes over Leafs, 4-1.

Cam Ward stands tall against the Leafs at the ACC
Cam Ward stands tall against the Leafs at the ACC
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

It was a game of stark contrasts as the Toronto Maple Leafs dominated the first period while the Carolina Hurricanes returned the favor in the second. The primary difference was goaltending.

Cam Ward seemed to shake off any early season rust as he made several key saves and looked very confident doing it to lead Carolina to a 4-1 win over Toronto on Monday night at the ACC.

The Leafs came out with all the jump in the opening minutes and kept up almost constant pressure in the Carolina zone until they finally got one past Ward. Nazem Kadri put a shot on the Carolina goalie and the rebound game to a bad spot, right in front of the net.

Bobby Sanguinetti was in position but tried to play the puck instead of the player. Matt Frattin made no mistake putting back the rebound and scored his 5th of the season to put the home team up, 1-0.

The Leafs outshot the Canes 18-12 in that opening period and out-chanced them as well 10-4, but Ward would not allow anymore goals this night and the visitors had to feel pretty good only down by one goal at the first intermission.

In the second period it was all Carolina as they outshot the Leafs 20- 5 and out-chanced them 11-3.

Just 1:21 into the period, Jordan Staal scored his first goal as a Hurricane off of a nice pass by Patrick Dwyer. Jeff Skinner beat the Toronto defense down the ice to negate a possible icing call to start the play.

Midway through the period, Eric Staal notched his 7th goal of the season when his shot/pass bounced in the net off of a defenseman's skate. The goal was a powerplay goal. The captain now has points in six straight games.

The Hurricanes would score another powerplay goal to start the third period, their first 5-on-3 goal of the season. The Canes moved the puck crisply as Alexander Semin zipped a pass to Jeff Skinner, who then fed Justin Faulk for the score. Semin dented the post with a sharp looking shot just before the play.

Dwyer would close out the scoring with a perfect wrister half way through the third.

The Hurricanes special team play looked much better this night and killed all four penalties they faced, while scoring two powerplay goals. The team evened up it's record, (4-4) and will next face Ottawa on Thursday night.

Game Notes:

  • The Hurricanes were outshot in this one, 42-39, but made their shots count. Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner, and Jiri Tlusty each had a team high five shots.
  • Alexander Semin is due to break through as he had four shots and hit the post twice on close tries. Semin continues to show off his two-way game as he broke up what looked like an open chance in the first period.
  • Eric Staal had a team high three takeaways and also won 64% of his faceoffs.
  • Skinner had three assists and now has nine points, (5G 4A) in eight games. E. Staal leads the team with 10 points.