Maple Leafs-Hurricanes Preview
GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (12-8-2) at Carolina Hurricanes (14-6-1).
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Carolina Hurricanes got off to the best start in franchise history thanks in part to their effectiveness at home. Lately, however, they've been stumbling - even in Raleigh.
The Southeast Division leaders look to snap their first losing streak of the season when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Hurricanes lost 5-3 to visiting Ottawa on Tuesday for their third straight defeat. Carolina had just one home loss before the losing streak, which includes two in a row at the RBC Center.
Eric Staal, Craig Adams and Cory Stillman scored for the Hurricanes, who won their first seven home games and opened the season 14-3-1 overall.
"We came back," coach Peter Laviolette said after Tuesday's loss. "It seemed like we gained momentum in the game and we turned the puck over and it cost us."
The Hurricanes have not scored more than three goals in any of their three losses, and have allowed at least four in each.
Defenseman Bret Hedican played in his 200th game for the Hurricanes franchise on Tuesday.
The Maple Leafs had their four-game winning streak snapped Wednesday, falling 5-1 to the Boston Bruins. Darcy Tucker scored the lone goal for Toronto, which was booed off the ice by its fans at the end of the second period and again after the final buzzer.
Goalie Ed Belfour, who is two wins short of tying Terry Sawchuk (447) for second on the career list, fanned on a pass after leaving the net to clear a puck and gave up an easy goal. He was jeered later when he successfully cleared a puck.
"That wasn't one of our best efforts of the year, that's for sure, and the score shows it," center Matt Stajan said.
Toronto failed to establish its longest winning streak of the season. Forward Eric Lindros played in his 700th career game.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 24): Maple Leafs - 26 points, 3rd place, 6 PB, Northeast Division. Hurricanes - 29 points, 1st place, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Maple Leafs - Lindros, 10 goals; Bryan McCabe, 21 assists and 30 points; Wade Belak, 38 PIM. Hurricanes - Staal, 15 goals, 18 assists and 33 points; Jesse Boulerice, 45 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 24): Maple Leafs - Power play: 23.4 percent (33 for 141), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing 81.4 percent (110 for 135), 19th. Hurricanes - Power play: 17.9 percent (24 for 134), 16th. Penalty killing: 78.9 percent (94 for 119), 27th.
GOALTENDERS: Maple Leafs - Belfour (10-6-2, 0 SO, 3.38 GAA); Mikael Tellqvist (2-2-0, 0, 2.85). Hurricanes - Martin Gerber (9-4-0, 2, 2.29); Cam Ward (5-2-1, 0, 3.75).
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 3; Hurricanes, 4-3. At Carolina, Erik Cole scored the game-winner with 1:34 left in regulation and Staal had two goals.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Maple Leafs - 4-4-1 on the road; Hurricanes - 8-3-0 at home.