Post-Game Analysis: Hurricanes Beat Maple Leafs 5-3 in Raleigh

(AP Photo/Chris Seward)

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 in the first game of a back-to-back for Toronto. Despite a solid performance for most of the night, the blue and white couldn’t grab the two points. The Maple Leafs will travel to Nashville for tomorrow night’s game at Bridgestone Arena. 

The Carolina Hurricanes came out buzzing in the first period, opening up the scoring only 1:54 in. Carolina defenseman Brent Burns took advantage of the open shooting lane and wristed one over the glove of Leafs goaltender Matt Murray. After the Hurricanes capitalized on the power play early, the Hurricanes didn’t stop there. Coming in waves at the Leafs goaltender, Carolina forward Jordan Staal scored his seventeenth goal of the season. After a weird bounce in the defensive zone for Toronto, Jordan Staal swung at the loose puck, just beating the Leafs goaltender. The Hurricanes went into the intermission up 2-0 after an electric start. 

As the second frame got underway, the blue and white looked like a completely different team. After a strong finish to end the first, the blue and white stole momentum, scoring two of their own to tie the game. The Maple Leafs first goal was an absolutely beautiful snipe by Calle Järnkrok. The Leafs forward received a pass from teammate Morgan Rielly just above the left circle and beat Pyotr Kochetkov. After play resumed, nearly eight minutes later, Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews scored his thirty-fifth goal of the season. After a loose puck in the slot found Auston Matthews’ blade, this one was quickly tied at two apiece heading into the intermission.

After completely turning the game around in the second period, the blue and white came out strong early in the third. However, Carolina forward Stefan Noesen executed a beautiful, hard-working shift leading to his twelfth goal of the season. After the Hurricanes took the lead, the blue and white kept pushing and tied the game after an Auston Matthews goal with just under three minutes remaining! This was the 25-year-old’s second goal of the night, continuing his solid run of form. 

After the Maple Leafs tied the game, Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho scored his thirty-second goal of the season. After a miscommunication in the Maple Leafs defensive zone, Aho ended up all alone, scoring the eventual game-winner. Once the Hurricanes took the lead late, Carolina forward Teuvo Teravainen converted the empty-netter as the game ended 5-3. 

Despite a promising performance for most of the game, the Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t get this one. As much as this one stings, the blue and white will have a chance to turn the page quickly as they take on the Nashville Predators tomorrow. It’s likely goaltender Joseph Woll will get the start, going against a Predators team in a race to catch the Winnipeg Jets for a playoff spot. 

Thanks for reading! For more Leafs content, follow me on Twitter at ITR_Anselmo.

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Joshua Anselmo

A hockey mind that's always looking at new and insightful ways to bring different perspectives of the game we all love.

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