The Carolina Hurricanes' stagnant offense finally improved in a win over Peter Laviolette's former team. Now the defending Stanley Cup champions hope a repeat performance will help them beat the coach who preceded him.
The Hurricanes go for back-to-back victories when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs and former coach Paul Maurice on Tuesday.
Carolina (22-18-4) had lost three in a row, including consecutive shutouts, but jumped out to a two-goal lead Saturday and held on for a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders.
Justin Williams scored his team-leading 20th goal with 0.8 seconds remaining in the first period to get the Hurricanes on the board for the first time in three games.
"We haven't had the lead. We haven't scored goals lately. We haven't won a period lately," said Laviolette, who coached the Islanders for two seasons before taking over in Carolina during the 2003-04 season after Maurice was fired. "To get that one and go in with the lead was a good thing."
Erik Cole scored twice in the first five minutes of the second period Saturday for the Hurricanes, who are 17-2-0 when scoring four or more goals. Cam Ward stopped 33 shots, but has lost two of his three career starts against the Maple Leafs (19-18-6) while posting a 3.91 goals-against average.
Ward may soon have more help in front of him as the Hurricanes acquired defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from Phoenix on Monday in exchange for center Kevyn Adams. Seidenberg had one goal and one assist in 32 games for the Coyotes, and will help fill in for injured defensemen Bret Hedican (finger) and Glen Wesley (lower body).
Adams, who recently returned after missing nine games due to wrist surgery and a staph infection, had four points in 35 games for Carolina this season and scored a career-high 15 goals in 2005-06.
"With some uncertainty concerning when our injured defensemen will be able to return, we needed to make this move now," Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford said. "Dennis will be a good fit for us on defense."
Carolina's defense came up short in its previous meeting with the Maple Leafs, losing 4-3 on Dec. 15. Alexander Steen scored the winning goal for Toronto in that contest.
Maurice coached the Hurricanes franchise for more than eight seasons and ranks first in wins (268), games coached (674), playoff wins (17) and playoff games coached (35). The Maple Leafs' first-year skipper was happy with the victory in December, but didn't take much pleasure in defeating his former squad.
"As hard as this is to explain, it's nice to win in here, but I don't have any enjoyment beating Jim Rutherford's team," Maurice said. "I didn't know what to expect. It's great that we won, it's nice to win in here, but there's no joy in beating your friends."
After outscoring Boston 15-3 in consecutive wins, the Maple Leafs lost 4-3 to Buffalo on Saturday. Pavel Kubina recorded his first goal since signing a four-year, $20 million contract with Toronto in the offseason.
Steen followed his career-high, five-point effort against the Bruins with another goal Saturday, and has five goals and three assists in five career games versus the Hurricanes.