RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Martin Gelinas without a helmet was every bit the equal of Mats Sundin with a visor.
Gelinas scored his second goal of the game with 3:17 remaining to cap a frantic third period as the Carolina Hurricanes handed the Toronto Maple Leafs just their second loss in nine games, 4-3.
Just 24 seconds after Sundin's second goal of the night lifted Toronto into a 3-3 tie, Gelinas got the game-winner. His helmet knocked off earlier in the play, Gelinas left a drop pass for Shane Willis, whose blast from the right faceoff circle was stopped by goaltender Curtis Joseph.
But Joseph was knocked off-balance and had not recovered by the time Josef Vasicek steered the rebound toward the net. Gelinas emerged from the left side and flicked a shot by the goalie for his seventh goal of the season and first game-winner.
"I told Bates (Battaglia) that was a Guy Lafleur goal," joked Gelinas, who has three goals in as many games. "I lost my helmet and got a little upset. Then I gave it to Vasicek and fortunately, got the puck back."
It also was the third goal in a 52-second span as Carolina rallied to pick up a point for the eighth time in nine games (6-1-0-2).
"Sometimes, I don't think we realize what kind of team we have and how well we can play," Battaglia said. "When you beat a team like that, it proves it to you. If we can play like that consistently, we can beat anybody."
Bloodied by a high stick near the end of the first period, Sundin returned wearing a visor and scored with 6:22 to go in the second. But the Maple Leafs fell to 16-2-1 when taking a lead into the third period.
"They got 15 shots in the third period. When we have the lead, we have to be like a turtle and go into a shell," Toronto left wing Garry Valk said. "We have to cycle the puck so they don't get opportunities on their end of the ice."
The Maple Leafs carried a 2-1 lead into the final period, but Gelinas tied it on the power play at 12:30. After Willis put a rebound off the left goalpost, Gelinas flipped a shot from a tight angle between Joseph's pads.
Less than 3 1/2 minutes later, Battaglia gave Carolina its first lead since the first period. On another power play, Jeff O'Neill retrieved a rebound and got it in front to Battaglia, who whacked a dribbling puck over Joseph's right arm for his ninth goal.
"You can never think that you have the game-winner until it's over," Battaglia said. "The crowd was going wild when I scored, but they were going more wild when he scored."
That's because Sundin tied it just 28 seconds after Battaglia's goal. Mikael Renberg slid a pass across the crease to Sundin for his team-best 19th goal.
O'Neill scored the only goal of the opening period, one that ended after Sundin was cut by the stick of defenseman Marek Malik. The ensuing power play carried into the second period and resulted in the tying tally as Renberg stuffed the puck past Arturs Irbe on a wraparound at the left post.
"That's a little too close for comfort right there," Sundin said of his injury. "I felt like it hit right in my eye. A lot of thoughts went through my head because I was on the ice when Bryan (Berard) got hit."
Asked about the visor, Sundin replied, "I have thought about it. It will be on for a while now. We will see about wearing it long-term after this clears up."
Sundin put Toronto in front exactly 10 minutes later on a redirection of Jonas Hoglund's pass from the top of the left circle.
"If it wasn't for Curtis, we wouldn't even be in the game," Sundin said. "In spots, we played well, but we had a lot of letdowns as well. They were the better team tonight and they deserved to win."Game Stats
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