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Recap: Hurricanes 4, Maple Leafs 1

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Khudobin wins fifth straight start and Carolina is now 6-2-1 in January

Anton Khudobin wins fifth straight, Canes defeat Leafs, 4-1
Anton Khudobin wins fifth straight, Canes defeat Leafs, 4-1
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes took advantage of a struggling team and defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1 on Monday night at the ACC.

The Canes won back-to-back road games for the first time this season and now have a 6-2-1 record in the month of January.

The Leafs have now lost five in a row and have only scored two goals in that time frame.

Anton Khudobin made 34 saves in the effort and has now won five straight starts.

Carolina wanted to get off to a good start and they succeeded with the help of their red-hot fourth line.  Brad Malone scored his third goal of the season off the rebound of a Patrick Dwyer pass/shot.

Just 41 seconds after the Malone score, Elias Lindholm made the score 2-0, at 7:47 into the first period when he got a step on the Leafs defense.

Malone also dropped the gloves with David Clarkson in a busy first period for him.

The Canes made it 3-0 in the second period when Eric Staal took a pass from brother Jordan and beat Jonathan Bernier in close.  That was all for the Toronto goalie as James Reimer took his spot.

There were a lot of penalties in this game and things got a little chippy in the third period.  At one point, Eric took exception to a hit by Dion Phaneuf on Jordan Staal and the two captains dropped gloves.

The Leafs would eventually score with five minutes and change left when Nazem Kadri beat Khudobin during a powerplay opportunity.   That score ended the Carolina penalty kill streak at 14 games and 36 consecutive kills.

Toronto pulled their goalie for an extra attacker, but Victor Rask made a hustle play to get the puck behind the Leafs net and he passed to Jordan Staal who fed it again to Eric.  The elder Staal saw Phaneuf blocking the net so he wound up and fired a slapper which went in the net for the final score.

After the game Staal was interviewed and he said that he saw the defenseman in the way and fired the puck hard to either score or hit him.  Obviously, there is no love lost between those players.

The Canes, who probably would prefer to keep playing, will now have eight days off for the All Star beak and will play again next Tuesday at the PNC.

Game Notes:

  • Khudobin has been nothing short of outstanding in the past few games and should continue to be the starter until he falters.  We will see if the coaching staff agrees.
  • Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk led the team with over 24 minutes of ice time each.  Sekera had three blocked shots, Faulk two.
  • The Canes had 32 shots on goal.  The Captain led the way with six.  He got the fireman's helmet for being the team's player of the game.
  • Faulk and Jiri Tlusty had a team high four hits each.  The Canes were credited with 27 for the game.
  • Carolina dominated the faceoff circle and won 64% for the game.
  • stats and post game audio