NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, December 18th
(All times eastern)
Toronto Maple Leafs (14-13-6) at Carolina Hurricanes (17-14-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to win back-to-back games
for the first time in over a month when they welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs
to the RBC Center.
The Hurricanes are coming off Saturday's shootout victory in Philadelphia. A
victory tonight would give Carolina consecutive wins for the first time since
beating Atlanta and Florida from November 10-12.
Carolina was involved in a wild game against the Flyers and came away with the
victory despite allowing Philadelphia's Joffrey Lupul to notch his second hat
trick of the week. However, it was Rod Brind'Amour who came back to haunt his
former club with a stunning goal in the shootout to give the Hurricanes a 6-5
win at the Wachovia Center.
After Danny Briere missed high on Philadelphia's first attempt of the
shootout, Carolina's Matt Cullen beat Marty Biron five-hole. Mike Richards
answered for the Flyers before Jeff Hamilton went top shelf on Martin Biron.
Lupul scored to keep the game alive for Philadelphia before Brind'Amour
stepped on the ice for the Hurricanes. He skated in on Biron and fired a shot
that the Flyers netminder managed to deflect with his shoulder. However, the
puck went straight into the air, off the crossbar, off Biron's back, down his
leg and across the goal line inside the left post for the game-winner.
Niclas Wallin, Scott Walker, Cullen, Eric Staal and Trevor Letowski each
scored and John Grahame finished with 36 saves for the Hurricanes, who halted
a three-game losing streak.
The Hurricanes are 8-7-1 as the home club this season, but after tonight's
test they will begin a three-game road trip Thursday in Florida.
Toronto, meanwhile, lost for just the second time in eight games as it lost
Saturday in Montreal. Saku Koivu netted two goals to lead the Canadiens to a
4-1 triumph over their arch rivals.
Boyd Devereaux scored the lone goal for Toronto, while Vesa Toskala allowed
four goals on 25 shots in the loss.
In injury news, the Leafs will be without defenseman Bryan McCabe for the next
six to eight weeks after he underwent successful surgery Monday to repair
three broken metacarpals in his left hand.
In 27 games this season, McCabe has registered four goals and 12 points.
The Maple Leafs are playing the third test of a season-high seven-game road
trip tonight. Toronto is 7-7-1 as the visiting club this year and has won
three of its last four road tilts.
Carolina beat the Leafs, 7-1, in Toronto on October 9 in the only meeting
between the clubs so far this year.
12/18 10:46:26 ET