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Canes beat Maple Leafs, tie franchise record with fifth straight win to open season

The Carolina Hurricanes stayed hot Monday night, as Frederik Andersen beat his former team for the Canes fifth straight win to open the season.

Steven Lorentz celebrates his first goal of the season with Jordan Martinook during the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 in PNC Arena.
Kaydee Gawlik

The Carolina Hurricanes returned home and stayed hot Monday night in PNC Arena, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 to tie their franchise record with their fifth straight win to open up the season.

The Canes controlled the game from the puck drop and played a fast-paced and commanding first period, though a single goal from Auston Matthews had the Maple Leafs up 1-0 at the first break.

The floodgates opened for the Hurricanes in the second period though, as Carolina netted three in the middle frame. Sebastian Aho had the first to extend his point streak to five games, with Steven Lorentz and Nino Niederreieter adding the second and third. Andrei Svechnikov added an empty netter, his fifth goal of the season.

In net, Frederik Andersen stopped 24 of 25 shots faced against his former team to get his fifth straight win to open the season. Jack Campbell was fantastic in Toronto’s net, stopping 32 of 35 shots faced and making a couple great saves to keep the Maple Leafs in the contest.

The Maple Leafs got on the board first just 3:25 into the game on a pretty ugly sequence for Carolina. Ethan Bear misplayed a puck and turned it over, then got worked behind the net by Matthews.

Matthews went with the wraparound and slotted it easily past Andersen, who certainly could have done more. The goal was the 200th of Matthews’ career and the first of his season.

The Canes got the game’s first power play a little bit later in the first period, and once again Carolina’s special teams units looked very good. Both power play groups got some great looks and challenged Campbell, but the Toronto netminder held firm and turned everything away.

The Hurricanes had as near a miss as you can have in the waning minutes of the opening period, as Svechnikov got alone behind the Toronto defense and unleashed a beautiful wrister past Campbell.

Svechnikov’s shot got the crossbar and the post before bouncing the wrong way for the Canes, as the Russian winger raised his arms and thought he had scored on the ice.

Carolina entered the first break down 1-0 but up 15-8 shots, looking like the better team for most of the opening 20 minutes.

The Canes easily killed off a Brett Pesce penalty early in the second period without allowing a shot, and they followed that up with two great chances but still no goal. Vincent Trocheck completely missed the net on a breakaway, and Jesper Fast shot a great pass from Jordan Martinook straight into Campbell’s pad.

Rod Brind’Amour shifted the lines around late in the first period, reuniting the Svechnikov-Aho-Teuvo Teravainen line, and it paid off. The Canes finally beat Campbell a few minutes after the Fast and Trocheck chances on a perfectly executed set after an offensive-zone faceoff win.

Aho won the battle on the dot and got out in front of net, as Bear unloaded a powerful shot that Aho got his stick to for the tip-in. It was Aho’s fourth of the season, while Andrei Svechnikov extended his point streak to five games with the secondary assist.

The Canes doubled their lead two minutes later, as Lorentz showed off some work in the weight room to score on a fantastic individual effort. Jordan Martinook blocked a shot in the defensive zone and Lorentz collected the puck, holding off Rasmus Sandin and slotting a shot through Campbell’s five-hole. The goal was Lorentz’s first of the new season, while Martinook got his first assist.

After the Canes successfully killed off a very rare Jaccob Slavin penalty, they made it 3-1 thanks to an incredible move from the man who took his first trip to the box in 45 games. Slavin controlled the puck near the blue line and made a cut to absolutely undress Mitch Marner, threading a pass to Niederreiter after.

Niederreiter used a great move himself to beat Campbell in the crease, doubling the Canes lead with his second goal of the season.

The third period was the worst of the game for the Canes but not too eventful. Carolina had an abbreviated power play wiped out by a Trocheck hooking, but neither team scored during the special teams segment. The Canes got another power play a few minutes later in the third, but again couldn’t find the net.

Svechnikov got his fifth goal in as many games late, bagging the empty netter to make it 4-1.

The Canes will stay at home for a few more games, as the Boston Bruins will come to Raleigh Thursday night.