Carolina Hurricanes hand the Maple Leafs rare road loss
Trevor van Riemsdyk and Justin Williams scored 22 seconds apart in the first period, sending the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.
Curtis McElhinney made 30 saves against his former team.
“It feels good. I’m not going to lie,” McElhinney said. “It was a tough way to leave Toronto, but I certainly understand what the circumstances were. It’s a huge win for us considering where they are in the standings.”
Micheal Ferland scored his 11th of the season with 12:15 remaining. A power-play goal that put the Hurricanes ahead 3-1. Teuvo Teravainen assisted on the play.
Kasperi Kapanen answered for the Leafs with 8:05 left. He raced in to score his ninth of the season and cut the margin to 3-2. Sebastian Aho and Andre Svechnikov added empty-net goals for Carolina.
“It seemed like the pucks were kind of bouncing on us a little bit and we weren’t able to finally connect and tie it up and really change the momentum of the game,” Tavares said. “Obviously, we had a chance at the end in the last eight minutes, again within one. But obviously we’d like to start better than we did.”
The Hurricanes (10-8-3) dominated the first period and handed Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen (40 saves) his first loss in seven starts. “They threw everything on net and they’ve been shooting a lot so far this season,” Andersen said. “They definitely came and put everything on net. I thought we came back in the second, played a really good period there and just couldn’t get it in.”
Toronto (15-7-0) fell to 9-2 on the road this season.
Carolina went into the lead when van Riemsdyk scored his first of the season. 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.
Jordan Staal then won a face off to the left of Andersen. Calvin de Haan skated in and found Williams alone in front of the net.
John Tavares scored his 14th of the season for the Leafs later in the period to cut the lead to 2-1. He now has 23 goals in 35 games against the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes out shot the Leafs 29-11 in the first. A record for shots in a period by the team since it relocated from Hartford in 1997. The Hurricanes needed more than 18 minutes to register a shot on goal in the second. The Tampa Bay Lightning set the NHL record of 33 shots on goal in a period Oct. 21 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“(After the second period), we played it right,” Hurricane’s coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We didn’t sit back. I liked the way we competed in the third. We went after it.”
Carolina killed off two penalties, keeping the lead despite being out shot 12-2. The final shot total was 45-32 in favor of the Hurricanes.
Speaking after the game, Leafs coach Mike Babcock said: “We talked about the process here today and being ready and we weren’t. If you don’t win any battles, any races, then it doesn’t matter how much skill you have.”
Next up for the Leafs is another road game at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.