NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Carolina
(Thursday, November 19th)
Final Score: Carolina 6, Toronto 5 (SO)
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Erik Cole scored with 2.9 seconds left in regulation, and Tuomo Ruutu tallied in the shootout and added a career-high four assists, as the Carolina Hurricanes came back from a three-goal deficit to shock the Toronto Maple Leafs, 6-5, at RBC Center.
Tim Gleason tallied twice for his first-career multi-goal game for Carolina, which has won two of its last three after dropping the previous 14 contests. Matt Cullen registered a goal and an assist, while Stephane Yelle lit the lamp for his first goal in his last 31 games. Manny Legace allowed five goals on 32 shots.
"I think the fight on our end was good," Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice said. "We obviously weren't pleased with our first (period) and both teams' game plans are identical, build as much speed through the neutral zone and control the puck in the offensive zone. They did a great job in the first. We were really good with ours in the next two."
Alexei Ponikarovsky had a goal and a helper for the Maple Leafs, who have dropped five straight after a modest two-game winning streak. Ian White, Lee Stempniak, Matt Stajan and Mikhail Grabovski also tallied, while Jonas Gustavsson made 40 saves and also picked up his third career assist on Ponikarovsky's goal.
"All this stuff is all irrelevant if you don't compete hard all night, and we didn't," Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said. "First goal, last goal, you guys are focused on all the wrong things. We had guys who didn't get the job done when it mattered most."
With the game tied at 4-4 late in the third period, White got a measure of redemption for taking a questionable high sticking double-minor midway through the stanza when he scored with 30 seconds remaining. After taking a pass from Nikolai Kulemin, White beat Legace from in close.
However, with the goaltender pulled in the final seconds, Cole's rebound tally tied it.
After a scoreless OT, Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen both scored to give the Hurricanes a major advantage in the shootout. Then as Stempniak attempted to keep Toronto alive, he was stopped on a pad save by Legace that gave Carolina the victory.
Toronto got a gift goal 1:01 into the opening period when Joe Corvo coughed up the puck in front of his own net and Stajan was there to fire it home. Stempniak's slap shot from the top of the right made it 2-0 at 14:21.
Grabovski then scored on a rebound with 1:34 left in the first for a three- goal Leafs advantage after 20 minutes.
Then in the late stages of the second, Carolina tallied twice within 43 seconds to make it a one-goal game. First it was Yelle poking in a rebound after a goal-mouth scramble at 16:47, then Cullen put a wrist shot over the shoulder of Gustavsson from the low right circle at 17:30.
Early in the third period with the Leafs ahead 3-2, Ponikarovsky made it a two-goal game while on the power play. Gleason's point blast at 8:08 got through a maze of players and in to get the 'Canes to within a goal.
White was given a controversial double-minor at 8:51 for allegedly high sticking Tom Kostopoulos in front of the net, giving Carolina a gift four- minute power play. After the Leafs killed off half of it, Gleason moved in from his point position and scored from the low left circle on a feed from Brandon Sutter to tie the game at 4-4 at 11:56.
The Hurricanes placed forward Eric Staal (upper-body injury) on injured reserve and moved goaltender Cam Ward (leg) to long-term IR on Thursday...Carolina was also without defenseman Joni Pitkanen (lower-body injury) and forward Scott Walker (upper-body injury)...Toronto notched a 3-2 regulation win in Raleigh when the clubs met on November 6, but Carolina has won five of the last seven meetings with the Leafs.
11/19 23:06:30 ET