NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 15th (All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (22-21-4) at Toronto Maple Leafs (16-21-8), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of struggling teams meet tonight in Toronto, as the sliding Maple Leafs welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to Air Canada Centre.
The Maple Leafs have lost five straight, eight of nine and 11 of their last 13 contests. Toronto has just 40 points on the year and only Tampa Bay is behind the Leafs in the Eastern Conference standings.
Toronto's five-game slide is the longest for the club this season and the latest setback in the stretch came Saturday in San Jose. Patrick Marleau posted a goal and an assist to lead the Sharks to a 3-2 decision at HP Pavilion.
Nik Antropov and Pavel Kubina lit the lamp for Toronto on Saturday, while Vesa Toskala made 32 saves in his first game against his former team.
The Leafs are 8-8-5 as the host team this season and have dropped three of their last five outings at Air Canada Centre.
Carolina, meanwhile, has dropped two straight and six of its last eight games. The Hurricanes still have 48 points on the year and lead the Southeast Division by two points over Atlanta.
The Hurricanes were in action Saturday against visiting Colorado and were handed a close loss. Marek Svatos scored two goals in the third period, as the Avalanche continued their dominance of the Hurricanes with a 5-4 come-from- behind victory at the RBC Center.
The Avalanche haven't suffered a loss to the Carolina/Hartford franchise since February 9, 1996 at McNichols Sports Arena when the Whalers registered a 3-2 decision in overtime, a span of 15 games (12 wins and three ties).
Keith Aucoin recorded a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes. Erik Cole, Chad LaRose and Cory Stillman also scored, while Cam Ward allowed five on 29 shots in defeat.
Carolina led the game 2-0 after the first period and carried a 4-2 advantage into the third.
In injury news, veteran defenseman Glen Wesley is expected to be back in the lineup for Carolina tonight after missing the last three games with an illness.
The Hurricanes are 12-11-2 as the visiting team this season and are playing the first of two straight on the road tonight. Carolina will also make a stop in Ottawa on Thursday.
Carolina is 2-0 against the Maple Leafs this season and has taken five of the last nine encounters. The Hurricanes have also taken two of three and four of their last seven tests at the Air Canada Centre.
01/15 10:41:05 ET