Two streaking teams met on Thursday night and both streaks came to an end as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1 in front of 12,332 at the PNC Arena. The Hurricanes ended their six game losing streak, while stopping the Leafs six game winning streak.
Cam Ward made 25 saves on 26 shots to earn the win for the home team. Ward was given the fireman's helmet after the game.
The Canes came out with fire and speed in the opening period and jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first 14 minutes.
At the 11:54 mark, Chris Terry scored his fifth of the season when he knocked in an Eric Staal rebound in close. Jonathan Bernier made the initial stop on Staal but the puck came right off his pad and Terry's quick reflexes took over.
Less then two minutes later, Patrick Dwyer and Justin Faulk teamed up on a short-handed two-on-one break. Dwyer fed Faulk and the defenseman made a pretty shot to put the Canes up by two.
Faulk continues to lead Carolina in scoring, now with 19 points.
The Leafs were outshot 16-9 in that opening period but came back stronger in the second. Ward made a couple of flashy glove saves to keep them at bay until Dion Phaneuf scored with 3:05 left in the period.
Just a one goal game, it was anyone's contest in the third and both teams played fairly evenly. Midway through the third, Carolina was given a powerplay and Andrej Sekera made a nice shot as he skated in from the point. With the score 3-1, the home team just had to keep Toronto off the scoreboard the rest of the way and with the help of some nice defensive work and solid play by Ward, they held on for the win.
With 1:24 left, Staal had the puck at center ice and was looking at an empty net, but passed it to Elias Lindholm who was able to control it and flick it in the goal to make the final, 4-1 Carolina.
After the game, coach Peters said that finally playing with a lead was huge for his team.
Peters also made a comment about losing Jay Harrison, who was traded earlier. He said they wanted a long look at Michal Jordan and liked what they have seen. The team did not need eight defensemen, so that made Harrison available. Peters also mentioned that Ryan Murphy was close to being NHL ready in Charlotte.
The Canes will practice on Friday in preparation for the next game against the Rangers on Saturday night. (No practice on Friday).
- The Canes outshot the Leafs 37-26 for the game. Lindholm led the way with eight.
- It was the first goal of the season for Sekera, who scored a career best 11 last year. He was due.
- After a poor night in Montreal, Carolina won 68% of the faceoffs in this game. Jay McClement led the way at 84%.
- The team was credited with 29 hits and were led by Faulk with five. Faulk also had 24:28 of ice time.
- Jeff Skinner had a team high four giveaways.