TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
JANUARY 31, 7 p.m.
TV - none
RADIO - HURRICANES RADIO NETWORK
The Carolina Hurricanes play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at 7 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. The game marks former Hurricanes forward Gary Roberts’ second trip to Raleigh with his current team.
The teams split a home-and-home series during November. On Nov. 8 in Toronto, Leafs’ goaltender Curtis Joseph stymied all Hurricanes scoring attempts as his teammates scored five goals against Carolina, including two from Roberts.
The Hurricanes returned the favor two nights later in Raleigh when they put three pucks past Toronto goaltender Glen Healy to earn a 3-1 victory.
“They’re a great hockey team,” said Hurricanes winger Jeff O’Neill. “They’ve got a lot of depth. They’ve got a good defense and their goaltending is outstanding.”
“It will be a real challenge for our team,” said forward Martin Gelinas. “We’ve been playing some really good hockey recently. We’ve been playing against some teams that are below .500 -- New York and Tampa Bay and so on. Now we’ve got a bigger challenge with Toronto. I think it will be a fun game.”
In the last six games the line of Rod Brind’Amour, Gelinas and rookie Shane Willis has scored in each game. Brind’Amour (1/18-1/29: 1g, 8a) and Gelinas (1/18-1/29: 3g, 4a) each ride six game points streaks into tonight’s matchup.
“The start we got out to was great,” said Willis. “Then we went through a couple of tough games where we were far away from what our line needs to do and that’s get the puck in deep. We need to get physical out there and create chances off of that. Now we’re back to getting lots of chances.”
The Hurricanes are 32-18-10 all-time against the Maple Leafs – 17-8-5 on home ice.