Hurricanes' early barrage buries Leafs to snap winning streak

24 Novembre, 2018, 07:44 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Hurricanes' early barrage buries Leafs to snap winning streak

Still, the Carolina Hurricanes found a way to neutralize the Leafs behind a former Toronto goaltender and solid special-teams play.

The Hurricanes (10-8-3) dominated the first period and handed Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen (40 saves) his first loss in seven starts.

McElhinney, meanwhile, was victimized by Kapanen's blistering speed and shot when the winger raced down the wall while play was 4-on-4 and ripped a high shot over McElhinney to cut Carolina's lead to 3-2.

Regardless, the Leafs have thrived especially on the road where they are a league-best 9-1 including their first sweep of the California road trip since 1995.

Through 21 games, the Leafs are second in the league and first in the Eastern Conference and tied with the Nashville Predators with the best goal differential in the league. Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov added empty-net goals for Carolina.

"We weren't prepared to go, for whatever reason", Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. He took a backhand swipe at the puck after a scramble in front, beating a prone Andersen at 10:56. Toronto challenged the play for goaltender interference, but the call was upheld.

Staal then won a faceoff to the left of Andersen.

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With the Leafs trailing 2-0 midway through the first period, Tavares, their leading goal scorer, slipped behind the Hurricanes' defence and buried his 14th of the season behind Curtis McElhinney to cut Carolina's lead in half.

After beating the National Hockey League record for Shots On Goal in a first period, Carolina followed it up with two in the second. Toronto's record for most shots allowed in a period this season was 22 against the Winnipeg Jets on October 24, while the franchise record for most shots-against in a period was 32 against the Hartford Whalers on March 15, 1984. The Leafs ended up losing this unusual contest 5-2 to the Hurricanes, but the game was actually much closer than that when you remember that Carolina potted two empty-netters at the end.

After the deluge of first-period shots, the Hurricanes managed only two second-period shots - both in the final two minutes. "Really nothing has changed, and the guys have gotten more comfortable with things. Honestly, I just think the bounces have been going our way".

NOTES: Announced attendance was 12,562. Just 22 seconds later, Williams produced his 100th goal as a member of the Hurricanes. Tavares' goal was his 11th of the season on the road. Williams scored 103 goals for the Los Angeles Kings and was part of championship teams in 2012 and 2014. Toronto's fortunes on the man advantage didn't improve in Carolina, starting with their first power play in the second period that generated zero shots on goal.

The game marked the season debut of Carolina centre Victor Rask, who had been out since an off-season off-ice finger injury. It came on Carolina's first power-play goal in three games.

The Maple Leafs fell into an early hole against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday and this time they couldn't claw their way back, falling 5-2 to the 'Canes in Raleigh.

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