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Keys to the Game: Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs are on the road, getting set to take on the Carolina Hurricanes. Here are the Leafs’ three keys to a win.

Get to the net

The Maple Leafs scoring woes go further back then the Leafs 2015 swoon. Toronto have dropped their last three games against the Hurricanes, while scoring just one goal in each of them. Typically, it’s been the Hurricanes leaders running wild on the Leafs in these games. An emphasis on limiting a player like Eric Staal is a must. That will be difficult to accomplish with Dion Phaneuf still away due to injury.

Experimental Power Play

The Leafs were a perfect 2-for-2 on the power play on Tuesday night, marking the first time they were perfect with the man advantage while scoring multiple goals. Because of the power play success, only one unit was used. During Friday’s practice, the Leafs tried a secondary unit with forwards David Clarkson, Richard Panik, Peter Holland, Olli Jokinen and Jake Gardiner. It’s extremely rare for the Leafs to run two power play units that feature just one defenceman. If it helps the Leafs continue to get goals in this fashion, look for this strategy to be a difference going forward.

Outshoot and Outchance

The Carolina Hurricanes own the worst record when being outshot in a game (.208). The Leafs have been getting better at outshooting. The Leafs limited the Panthers to just 17 shots on Tuesday night but in the three games prior to their last one, they’ve been badly outshot. Buckling down and limiting the Hurricanes’ chances are a must.

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