continues to play well beyond his years for the Carolina Hurricanes
Monday night, the 18-year-old scored his 18th goal of the season, the game-winner in Carolina's 6-4 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs
at the RBC Center. He says he was fortunate the puck came to him. Those who've seen him play up close know better.
"He's just a special player," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.
scored twice in the third period for Carolina, which blew a two-goal lead in the third but held off Toronto to record 13 points in eight January home games. The victory at the RBC Center, the site of this weekend's All-Star Game, was the 1,000th in the history of the Hartford-Carolina franchise.
The Hurricanes improved to 16-0-0 when holding the lead after two periods. They are 7-0-1 when Sutter scores and 13-2 when Skinner scores.
Skinner found the back of the net after a slap shot by Joe Corvo deflected off Toronto's Luke Schenn
on a power play. Skinner one-timed the puck past Jean-Sebastien Giguere for a 5-3 lead with 8:58 remaining.
"He's certainly in the right spots," defenseman Jay Harrison
said. "He has a terrific nose for the net, and he's not afraid to get the dirty goals. He's working for them. That's what's most impressive to me, to see a young man come in and do that and not be intimidated."
Skinner credited his teammates with keeping the focus in a wild third period. The Hurricanes took a 3-1 lead that disappeared quickly.
"It's definitely not the way we drew it up," Skinner said. "It was kind of a weird game. When you find a way to win, it's always good."
scored two third-period goals for the Maple Leafs, who got within 5-4 on Mike Brown
's power-play tally with 5:45 to go. Erik Cole's empty-netter in the final minute sealed the victory for Carolina.
"It's disappointing," Toronto's Dion Phaneuf
said. "We fought back, gave ourselves a chance to win the game and then they come back and bang, bang. We had a lot of fight in us tonight to come back, but it's still disappointing to lose those points that are right there for us."
Brent's goals tied the score at three early in the third period. He scored first on a backhander over Ward's left shoulder then added a shorthanded goal with 15:31 remaining.
Brent took a long slap pass Dion Phaneuf
and came in on the right side. He faked a shot and Ward lunged, and Brent put the puck into an open net from a wide angle for the tie.
of Carolina broke a 1-1 tie with a long slap shot midway through the second period. His shot deflected off defenseman Mike Komisarek
's stick and over the right shoulder of Giguere.
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.