Toronto will be looking for payback Friday night for a lopsided loss earlier this season to the Hurricanes as the Maple Leafs make their lone trip of the season to North Carolina.
Second of three meetings this season, with the Leafs hosting the Hurricanes on Dec. 19 in the “Next Century Game.” On Oct. 26 at Air Canada Centre, Carolina was a +137 underdog and rolled to a 6-3 victory, starting the Leafs on a season-long three-game losing streak. Teuvo Teravainen was the game’s No. 1 star with a goal and two assists, while Josh Jooris was No. 2 with two goals. The Leafs were able to rally from a 3-1 deficit to tie in the second period two goals but obviously never scored again. Auston Matthews, Dominic Moore and Zach Hyman found the net. Frederik Andersen made 32 saves in a rough outing.
Last year, Toronto was 2-0 at Carolina, winning 4-0 and 3-2 in overtime. Morgan Reilly had the OT winner, and Andersen made 25 straight saves after the Hurricanes took a 2-1 lead early in the second period.
The road team has won the past four in this series. The under is 5-0 in the past five at Carolina.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs (14-8-1) have followed a six-game winning streak with back-to-back losses. They opened a two-game road trip Wednesday with a 2-1 shootout defeat at Florida – Toronto’s first shootout loss of the season. Nick Bjugstad scored the Panthers’ only regulation goal and the game-winner in the shootout. Nazem Kadri tied the game at 1-1 for the Leafs at 13:58 of the third with his 11th goal of the season. He’s now just one behind team leader Auston Matthews. Andersen was the game’s No. 3 star with 42 saves.
Toronto plays again Saturday at home vs. Washington so Andersen will presumably sit one of the two out. Backup Curtis McElhinney has appeared in only three games (3.05 GAA, .910 SV).
The Hurricanes (9-7-4) had a two-game winning streak snapped Wednesday in one of their worst efforts of the season, a 6-1 home loss to the New York Rangers. The Blueshirts scored less than a minute in and never looked back. Scott Darling was on the hook for all six goals, including one from about 92 feet off his glove; the former Blackhawk has had a solid season otherwise. Sebastian Aho had the lone Carolina goal, his fifth of the season. Teravainen extended his point streak to five games wit an assist. Teravainen, who leads the team with 20 points, has 11 points in his last five games and Aho has 10. Carolina’s primary weakness is a power play that converts just 15.7 per cent of the time.
Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes Prediction