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game recap

Hurricanes use shorthanded goal to defeat Maple Leafs

Viktor Stalberg breaks tie in second period for Carolina

by David Alter / Correspondent

TORONTO -- Viktor Stalberg scored a shorthanded goal, and Cam Ward made 25 saves for the Carolina Hurricanes in a 2-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday.


WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Maple Leafs highlights


The Hurricanes (8-6-4), with the top-ranked penalty kill in the NHL, scored their second shorthanded goal of the season at 14:06 of the second period. Forward Elias Lindholm blocked a pass by Tyler Bozak at the Carolina blue line and quickly passed to Stalberg, who beat Frederik Andersen on his blocker side to make it 2-1.

"I saw that I was kind of the middle guy on that and we picked it off," Stalberg said of the turnover. "Lindholm got it right on his stick, so I was just kind of going the other way."

Video: CAR@TOR: Stalberg converts shorthanded breakaway

The Hurricanes extended their winning streak to a season-high five games. Ward has been in goal for all five and has allowed five goals in that span with a save percentage of .962.

"I thought the special teams was clearly the difference tonight," Ward said. "Out penalty kill came up huge and [Lindholm] came up with the big block and Stalberg showed the speed that he has."

The Maple Leafs took a 1-0 lead at 5:55 of the first period when Jake Gardiner's shot from the point went through traffic in front of the net and beat Ward.

Video: CAR@TOR: Gardiner's slapper from the point beats Ward

Toronto (8-8-3) has scored first in its past five home games, and this was the first time it lost when scoring first at home (6-1-0).

On a Hurricanes power play, Derek Ryan chipped a puck over top of Andersen and it went off Skinner's skate to tie it 1-1 at 17:21.

"They scored on their power play, we didn't," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "We gave up a shorthanded goal, so there's the game right in itself. In saying all that, I thought it was a contested game, there was no room, there was lots of battles. I think these are games we have to get better in and find ways to win."

Video: CAR@TOR: Skinner puts home a loose puck for PPG 


Goal of the game

Stalberg's goal was his first in 10 games. "It doesn't happen too often for me," he said.


Save of the game

With the game tied 1-1, Toronto forward William Nylander took a snap shot from the wing. Ward got his pad on it to make the save at 12:39 of the second period.

Video: CAR@TOR: Ward stops Nylander with a nice pad save


Highlight of the game

With the Maple Leafs pressing for a tying goal, Bozak's shot from outside the circle was handled by Ward, who made a glove save to keep it 2-1 with 18 seconds left in the third period.

"That's a time to step up," Ward said. "I feel really calm and comfortable in the net, and you knew they were going to have a late push."


Unsung moment of the game

Toronto forward Mitchell Marner blocked a shot before getting hit by Jaccob Slavin at 1:11 of the first period. Marner eventually was able to shake it off and stay in the game. "It kind of just stung me in the ankle and dropped me quick," Marner said. "It's just a stinger for a couple of minutes and I kind of just walked it off."


They said it

"It's kind of the same story I guess. We created a lot of opportunities once again. We generated some chances like that one in midair which just goes over the net. It's just the way it's going right now, so there's no excuse for that." -- Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews on his goal-scoring drought, which extended to 13 games


"He gives us confidence. When your goaltender is playing well, you feed off that. When you need a big save, they make the big save, and we got the timely save from [Ward], and our schedule is good where we haven't had a lot of back-to-backs, so we can ride the hot guy right now." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters on Cam Ward

Video: CAR@TOR: Ward makes a pair of saves on Matthews


Need to know

The Hurricanes have scored a power-play goal in back-to-back games. … Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen made his 10th consecutive start, a season high.


What's next

Hurricanes: At the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN360, RDS, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: At the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, MSG+, NHL.TV)


Video: Ward, Hurricanes edge Maple Leafs, 2-1

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