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Maple Leafs-Hurricanes Preview @NHL

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes are headed in opposite directions offensively going into Sunday's game at the RBC Center, the first of a home-and-home series.

After scoring 11 goals in their first six games, the Maple Leafs (5-3-3) have found the net 20 times in their last five contests to post a 3-1-1 record.

The Hurricanes (5-3-2), meanwhile, remain atop the Southeast Division despite losing three of five following a 3-1-1 start. Carolina has scored only four goals in its past three games and 10 in its last five.

Toronto was blanked for the first two periods on Saturday against the visiting New York Rangers, but tallied five goals in a 5:21 span of the third for a 5-2 victory.

John Mitchell started the outburst at 12:36 with the first of two goals - also the first ones of his NHL career - and added an assist. Former Ranger Dominic Moore had a goal and assist and Jason Blake and Pavel Kubina also scored against backup goaltender Steve Valiquette.

"We completely shuffled our lines in the last 10 minutes, and it was just one of those things that some pucks went in and things worked," Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "You can't explain it. I can't remember the last time I coached a team where we scored five goals in five minutes to close out a win."

Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle has tallied three assists in his last two games. He's also had five goals and 16 assists 31 career games against the Hurricanes.

Carolina (5-3-2) saw its three-game winning streak end on Saturday with a 3-1 loss to Edmonton, who got two goals from Ethan Moreau in the final 88 seconds.

Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward made 29 saves, and was coming his first shutout of the season in a win over St. Louis. Carolina appeared to tie the score with 43.1 seconds remaining after Eric Staal put back a rebound, but a replay nullified the score.

Against the Oilers, Carolina also went 0-for-6 on the power play and have gone 6-for-50 with the man advantage.

"It's got to be better," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "The players and the personnel we use on the power play we feel are the right people. Again, I think it's a little bit slow. There's not enough puck movement. Hopefully, we'll get some practice time and get to work on it"

Carolina, which played at home for the first time since Oct. 13, is 1-2-0 there this season.

The Hurricanes took three of the four games last season with the Maple Leafs, and Carolina has also won the last two home games against Toronto, both in overtime. Rod Brind'Amour got the game-winning goal in the last meeting, a 3-2 victory on Jan. 31.

He has two goals and three assists in his last three games against the Maple Leafs.

Carolina and Toronto will play again on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.

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