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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes at Toronto Maple Leafs

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes at Toronto Maple Leafs

Tuesday, March 21, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Air Canada Centre * Toronto, Ont.

Listen LIVE! ( Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.)

Hurricanes: 45-16-6 (96 pts.), Southeast Division, 1st place
Maple Leafs: 31-30-6 (68 pts.), Northeast Division, 4th place

Back-to-Back Games

The Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes continue their four-game road swing with a Tuesday night meeting against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre (7:30 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network). Carolina scored a 5-1 win at Montreal on Thursday in the first game of the road swing, but fell 4-2 in Saturday's matinee at Boston. The Hurricanes will wrap up this road trip on Wednesday night at Buffalo. The Hurricanes earned six of 10 possible points in their recent five-game road trip with games at Pittsburgh, NY Rangers, Philadelphia and Florida.

Carolina has 15 games remaining in its 82-game regular-season schedule, with all games against Eastern Conference opponents. The Hurricanes' 96 points put them two points behind Ottawa for first place in the conference, 20 points ahead of Tampa Bay for first place in the Southeast Division and three points behind Detroit for the NHL lead through games of March 19.

Hurricanes Current Streaks

  • Center Eric Staal has earned points in each of the last five games (3/10-3/18: 2g, 5a)
  • Defenseman Aaron Ward has earned assists and points in each of the last three games (3/14-3/18: 0g, 3a)
  • Right wing Justin Williams has earned assists and points in each of the last three games (3/14-3/18: 2g, 4a)
  • Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle has earned assists and points in each of the last two games (3/16-3/18: 0g, 2a)
  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour has earned points in each of the last two games (3/16-3/18: 1g, 1a)

Milestone Watch

  • The Carolina Hurricanes eclipsed the previous franchise records for wins in a season (43), home wins in a season (27) and points in a season (93) with their 44th win (27th home win) of 2005-06 on March 14 against the New York Rangers
  • Right wing Justin Williams will play his 100th Hurricanes game with his next game played
  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour is one goals shy of 100 Hurricanes goals
  • Center Matt Cullen is one goal shy of 100 NHL goals Right wing Justin Williams is four points shy of 200 NHL points

Television: FSN South
Radio: Hurricanes Radio Network - WWMY 102.9 FM (Raleigh - flagship), WYSR 1590 AM (High Point), WMFD 630 AM (Wilmington)

Carolina Notes

The Hurricanes currently post a 45-16-6 record, including a 22-6-2 record in 30 games since Dec. 31. Carolina had its franchise-best nine-game home winning streak (12/13-1/28) snapped against Pittsburgh on Feb. 10. That home winning streak is tied for the longest in the NHL this season (Philadelphia, 10/7-11/12) and the Hurricanes currently post the best home record in the league at 27-5-1 (55 points). With 96 points in their first 67 games, the Hurricanes now look to improve upon their newly-set franchise record for points in a season. The previous franchise-high for points in a season was 93 set by the 1986-87 squad.

Hurricanes center Eric Staal earned had a goal and an assist on Thursday at Montreal for his 25th multiple-point game of the season. Through games of March 19, Staal ranked third in the league with 89 points and fifth in the NHL with 41 goals. He has notched points in 50 of the Hurricanes' 67 games this season. Through games of March 19, he ranked tied for sixth in the league with 17 power-play goals and tied for 12th with three shorthanded goals.

CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 82-of-447 (18.3%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 301-of-364 (82.7%)

Injury Report

  • Defenseman Niclas Wallin, lower body, day-to-day, missed 3 games
  • Left wing Erik Cole, fractured vertebra 3/4, out 6-8 weeks, missed 7 games
  • Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, wrist, surgery 2/1, out two months, missed 15 games
  • Center Josef Vasicek, left knee, surgery 12/5, injured reserve, out 3-4 months, missed 52 games

Hurricanes Practice Schedule

March 21 Tuesday Air Canada Centre 11:30 a.m.
March 22 Wednesday HSBC Arena 11:30 a.m.
March 23 Thursday none
March 24 Friday RecZone 11:00 a.m.
March 25 Saturday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
March 26 Sunday RBC Center 11:00 a.m.
March 27 Monday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
March 28 Tuesday RBC Center 11:00 a.m.
March 29 Wednesday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
March 30 Thursday RecZone 11:00 a.m.
March 31 Friday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.

*All times are local - Times and locations subject to change

Against the Maple Leafs

Tuesday marks the fourth and final meeting this season between the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs scored a 5-4 overtime win in the teams' first match up on Oct. 20 at the Air Canada Centre. Carolina returned the favor at the RBC Center on Nov. 3, taking a 4-3 regulation win, and then scored a 4-3 shootout win in the Leafs' last visit to Raleigh on Nov. 25.

The Hurricanes won the 2003-04 season series against the Maple Leafs 2-1-0-1 (Maple Leafs: 2-2-0-0), scoring wins in each of their two visits to Toronto, including a 2-0 shutout win on Jan. 27, 2004. Erik Cole (2g, 1a) led Carolina in the 2003-04 season series against the Maple Leafs with three points (2g, 1a). Ken Klee paced Toronto with three points (1g, 2a) in the four-game season series. The Carolina franchise posts a 38-25-12-1 all-time record against the Maple Leafs, going 20-12-6-1 at home and 18-13-6-0 in Toronto.

Hurricanes vs. Maple Leafs 2005-06 Schedule
Oct. 20 Air Canada Centre L, 5-4 (OT)
Nov. 3 RBC Center W, 4-3
Nov. 25 RBC Center W, 4-3 (SO)
March 21 Air Canada Centre 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 20, 2005
Toronto 5, Hurricanes 4 (OT)

The Carolina Hurricanes battled back from two two-goal deficits in the first of four regular-season meetings with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but defenseman Ken Klee scored on a four-on-three power play with 16 seconds remaining in overtime to give Toronto a 5-4 overtime win. After the Leafs took a 2-0 lead at 11:53 of the first period, defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky put Carolina on the board when he banged an Eric Staal centering pass past Toronto netminder Ed Belfour. Captain Rod Brind'Amour scored a power-play goal 8:08 into the second frame to even the score 2-2 and extend his goal-scoring streak to three games (10/12-10/20: 4g, 2a). Leafs centerman Matt Stajan gave Toronto a 3-2 lead with a shorthanded goal with 3:11 remaining in the second period, and Eric Lindros returned the lead to two 4:59 into the third. Hurricanes winger Erik Cole scored 7:33 into the third frame and Cory Stillman tied the game with 2:28 remaining in regulation, extending his points streak to three games (10/12-10/20: 1g, 3a). Rookie netminder Cam Ward stopped 18 of 23 Maple Leafs shots in his fifth NHL start. Staal finished the game with three assists for his second three-assist game of the season and of his NHL career.

Nov. 3, 2005
Hurricanes 4, Toronto 3

The Hurricanes extended their franchise-best home unbeaten streak to six games, and their overall winning streak to six games, by downing the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3. Erik Cole scored the game-winner when he beat Leafs netminder Ed Belfour with 1:34 remaining in regulation, to top off a three-point night that earned him the game's third star. Center Eric Staal had his third consecutive multi-point game with two goals and an assist and was recognized at the first star of the game. Toronto rookie Alexander Steen notched his first career two-goal and three-point game, but Hurricanes rookie goaltender Cam Ward still notched the victory, his fifth of the season, making 22 saves. Carolina winger Ray Whitney kept his two-points per game average intact with a goal and an assist, and Cory Stillman extended his latest points and assists streak to four games (10/26-11/3: 2g, 6a) with the lone assist on Cole's game-winner.

Nov. 25, 2005
Hurricanes 4, Toronto 3 (SO)

The Carolina Hurricanes scored their second shootout win of the season in front of a sell-out crowd at the RBC Center against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Radim Vrbata and Matt Cullen scored in the shootout while Hurricanes netminder Martin Gerber stopped Toronto shooters Mats Sundin and Jeff O'Neill to secure the two points. The game marked the second time in three 2005-06 meetings that Carolina and Toronto finished regulation time tied. Bret Hedican opened the game's scoring with a power-play goal at 4:40 of the first period, but O'Neill tied the game 1-1 with his first goal and point against his former team. Eric Staal scored a shorthanded breakaway goal early in the second period to give Carolina a 2-1 edge, but Jason Allison evened the score later in the period. Rookie winger Andrew Ladd used his first NHL goal and point to give Carolina a 3-2 lead before Chad Kilger scored with 8:37 remaining in regulation to force the eventual overtime and shootout. Gerber made 35 saves between the pipes for Carolina to earn his 10th win of the year.

12 Staal
61 Stillman
11 Williams
26 Cole

SV %
29 Gerber
30 Ward

Maple Leafs
24 McCabe
41 Allison
15 Kaberle
13 Sundin

SV %
20 Belfour
32 Tellqvist
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