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Hurricanes at Maple Leafs preview

Toronto going for best 10-game start since 1993-94; Carolina tries to end two-game slide

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

HURRICANES (3-3-1) at MAPLE LEAFS (7-2-0)

7 p.m. ET; SNO, FS-CR, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Toronto Maple Leafs will try for their best start to a season since they began 1993-94 with 10 consecutive victories when they face the Carolina Hurricanes at the Air Canada Centre on Thursday.

Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marleau needs one goal to tie Jeremy Roenick (513) for 39th on the NHL all-time list. Marleau has four goals in his first nine games with Toronto after scoring 508 during 19 seasons with the San Jose Sharks.

The Hurricanes, who have lost two in a row, will begin their first set of back-to-back games this season. They host the St. Louis Blues on Friday at PNC Arena.

 

Players to watch

Forward Jeff Skinner leads the Hurricanes with six points (five goals, one assist) and has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past three games.

Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner had two assists in a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, ending a streak of four straight games without a point. It was his first multipoint game since he had a goal and an assist in Toronto's 7-2 season-opening win against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct 4.

 

They said it

"There's a lot of guys from Ontario on our team and it's an Original Six franchise. Any time you play an Original Six franchise is a pretty exciting situation for a player." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters

 

"Veteran players, they know how to play, they know where to stand, their radar goes off when something's going wrong and they find a way to get back to the net and put their stick in the right spot. Because they know all those things, they do more talking and settle everyone else down. He's been a real plus to us." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on defenseman Ron Hainsey, who spent 300 games with the Hurricanes from 2013-17

 

Hurricanes projected lineup

Sebastian Aho -- Jordan Staal -- Elias Lindholm

Brock McGinn -- Victor Rask -- Teuvo Teravainen

Jeff Skinner -- Derek Ryan -- Justin Williams

Joakim Nordstrom -- Marcus Kruger -- Josh Jooris

Noah Hanifin -- Justin Faulk

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Haydn Fleury -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Scott Darling

Cam Ward

Scratched: Klas Dahlbeck, Janne Kuokkanen

Injured: Lee Stempniak (back)

 

Maple Leafs projected lineup

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Connor Brown

Patrick Marleau -- Nazem Kadri -- Leo Komarov

Matt Martin -- Dominic Moore -- Mitchell Marner

Morgan Rielly -- Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner -- Nikita Zaitsev

Andreas Borgman -- Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Josh Leivo, Eric Fehr, Connor Carrick

Injured: None

 

Status report

Stempniak was on the ice for the Hurricanes' optional skate but will not play. Carolina is expected to use the same lineup that played Tuesday in a 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. … Van Riemsdyk missed practice Wednesday with a lower-body injury but took part in the morning skate. Coach Mike Babcock said he will be a game-time decision. Leivo will replace van Riemsdyk if he cannot play.

 

Stat pack

The Hurricanes take an NHL-low 5.7 penalty minutes per game and have faced 19 opposition power plays, the fewest in the League. Toronto is 14th at 9.6 minutes per game.

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