NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, October 9th (All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (1-1-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (1-1-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will continue an early-season homestand tonight, when they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to Air Canada Centre.
Toronto was swept in a season-opening home-and-home series with Ottawa, but did earn a point in last Wednesday's overtime loss to the Senators. The Maple Leafs then posted a dramatic home victory over the rival Montreal Canadiens on Saturday for their first win of the season.
Tomas Kaberle scored a power-play goal with 1:34 left in overtime to lead Toronto to a 4-3 home win over the Habs. The game marked the second portion of a four-game homestand for the Leafs.
With both teams skating three aside in the extra period, Francois Bouillon was assessed a two-minute minor for holding with 1:42 to play and the Leafs went on a 4-on-3 advantage. With the faceoff in the Canadiens' right defensive circle, Mats Sundin won the draw back to the left point to Kaberle. The defenseman passed to Sundin in the low left circle, got the puck back and one- timed the pass along the ice, beating Habs goaltender Cristobal Huet for the game-winner.
Alexei Ponikarovsky netted a pair of goals, while Sundin chipped in with three assists. Ian White also tallied for the Toronto, while Vesa Toskala stopped 25-of-28 shots for Toronto.
Sundin is now just one point shy of tying Darryl Sittler for the club's all- time point lead. The Toronto captain will also pass Sittler for the Leafs goal record with his next marker. Sittler, who played 12 seasons in Toronto, notched 389 goals and 916 points with the Leafs.
The Leafs received some troubling news on Monday, when forward Jason Blake revealed that he has been diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, which he described as "highly-treatable."
Blake signed a five-year, $20-million deal with Toronto this offseason after setting career-highs in goals (40) and points (69) last season with the Islanders. The 34-year-old doesn't expect to miss any time because of the illness.
Carolina, meanwhile, began a six-game road trip with Saturday evening's loss at Washington. Alexander Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season and Olaf Kolzig stopped all 23 shots he faced as the Capitals blanked the Hurricanes, 2-0.
Netminder John Grahame finished with 31 saves for the Hurricanes, who outshot the Capitals 12-4 in the third period to no avail.
The Hurricanes, who will next travel to Ottawa for Thursday's game, was 19-18-4 as the visiting club last season.
Carolina defenseman Bret Hedican (illness) and left wing Cory Stillman (upper body) are questionable for this evening's contest. Hurricanes defenseman Mike Commodore is probable with a hip injury.
The Maple Leafs went 3-1 against Carolina last season and have won five of eight and six of the last 10 meetings. The Hurricanes have also been defeated in three of their last four trips to Toronto.
10/09 13:33:25 ET