It finally looked as if midnight was just around the corner for the Carolina Hurricanes, and an end to their recent streak of 5 straight point-receiving games would be soon. Returning home off of a 6-game road swing, the Canes played the Maple Leafs without defensemen Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason. With an already shaky defensive corps, and young players such as Bobby Sanguinetti and newcomer Michal Jordan in the fold, the Hurricanes could have easily folded. Instead, the team played solid defensively in front of back-up goaltender Dan Ellis and used a 3-goal second period to win their third straight.
Eliis and company were great all night. Toronto only put up 23 shots, and Dan Ellis made 22 saves en route to a 3-1 victory in front of a sell-out crowd at PNC arena in Raleigh. The Hurricanes, who sit in 28th out of 30 on the penalty kill thanks to a rough stretch, did allow a power play goal to Nazem Kadri in the second, but tightened the screws for the remainder of the game and kept the puck out of the net.
Defenseman Joe Corvo continued his resurgence since being scratched for 3 straight games earlier this month. Corvo opened the scoring 6 minutes into the second and was assisted by Eric Staal, which extended the captain’s point streak to 11 games. ”When you try to get involved, good things happen, you get chances,” Corvo said. ”There’s a big difference between playing safe and playing confident. Obviously, right now I’m playing pretty confident.”
After a brief period of being tied at 1 after the Kadri PP goal, Jussi Jokinen netted his second of the season on a loose play from backup goaltender Ben Scrivens and the Canes took the lead that they wouldn’t give up. Three minutes later, Jordan Staal also got his second of the season on a rebound from a Jeff Skinner wrister to put the Canes up 3-1. That’s the way the game would finish, although both teams had multiple scoring chances in the third period.
The first and second lines for the Canes are producing the majority of the offense for the team, which is to be expected. Secondary scoring is what will be needed if the Canes want to make a real splash this season. With players in the bottom 6 struggling, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets something going. Fan favorite Chad LaRose was a healthy scratch for the game, showing that head coach Kirk Muller is very serious about holding players accountable for their play.
The Hurricanes travel to Montreal on Monday for their first matchup with the Canadiens this season. With a full weekend free, players will be able to enjoy spending time with their families after the road trip. It’ll be back to business for the Southeast leading Hurricanes when the puck drops on Monday.