Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Tuesday, December 28th
Maple Leafs3
Game 2: Monday, January 24th
Maple Leafs4Final
Game 3: Thursday, February 3rd
Maple Leafs3
Game 4: Wednesday, March 16th
Maple Leafs3Final

Hurricanes 0

(25-21-6, 56 pts)

Maple Leafs 3

(21-25-5, 47 pts)

Coverage: TSN

7:00 PM ET, February 3, 2011

Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 T
CAR 0 0 00
TOR 0 2 13

J. Reimer (Maple Leafs - G): Saves: 27, Save Pct.: 1.000

T. Brent (Maple Leafs - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

C. Armstrong (Maple Leafs - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Hurricanes-Maple Leafs Preview


The Carolina Hurricanes are on the outside looking in at the Eastern Conference playoff race. A game against a Toronto team that's already supplied them with a few victories this season can change that.

Visiting Carolina looks for its third win against the Maple Leafs on Thursday night with a chance to move into the eighth spot in the conference standings.

The Hurricanes (25-20-6) remained one point behind division rival Atlanta for the East's final playoff spot after Tuesday's 3-2 loss to Boston. Cam Ward made 30 saves but was bested by fellow All-Star Tim Thomas.

"Their goalie made some big saves," forward Tuomo Ruutu said. "I think we played pretty well, but it's tough to lose after a game like that."

Sergei Samsonov and Erik Cole each had two assists. Jamie McBain scored and Joe Corvo's goal extended his point streak to six games.

"You've got to try to get into some overtimes in the games that you don't necessarily play your best," said Corvo, who has a goal and an assist against Toronto this season. "Especially at home, it stings a little bit (to lose)."

Each point is crucial with only 31 games remaining in the regular season, and a win against Toronto could leapfrog Carolina over the fading Thrashers if they fall to Calgary on Thursday night.

The Hurricanes could be shorthanded, however, as Jussi Jokinen left Tuesday's loss in the first period with a lower-body injury. Coach Paul Maurice said the injury didn't seem very serious.

Carolina has picked up all four points against the Maple Leafs, and has shown some offense in doing so. Eric Staal scored twice in a 4-3 victory Dec. 28, and a four-goal third period powered the Hurricanes to a 6-4 win Jan. 24.

Toronto (20-25-5) had lost six of seven before beating Florida 4-3 in a shootout Tuesday night. Coach Ron Wilson took advantage of Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen's weakness against right-handers in the extra session, riding the goals of Tyler Bozak and Colby Armstrong to victory.

Kris Versteeg, Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs, who have lost five straight home games to Carolina. Toronto last beat its conference rival at home Jan. 15, 2008.

Phil Kessel scored twice in the December loss to the Hurricanes, but he was stopped on a breakaway attempt against the Panthers to help extend his goal drought to eight games. His last goal came Jan. 11 against San Jose.

Kessel also took an elbowing penalty with less than four minutes remaining, and Florida's Corey Stillman scored the tying goal on the ensuing power play.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 30 saves to earn his first win since Jan. 20, when he beat Anaheim. He gave up five goals in Toronto's last meeting with Carolina, and is 1-3-0 with a 3.52 goals-against average in his last four starts against the Hurricanes.

Ward won both earlier meetings against the Maple Leafs and is 6-2-0 with a 2.86 GAA in his last eight against them.