Staal, Hurricanes beat Maple Leafs 6-1
Jordan Staal had a goal and three assists, and Jeff Skinner extended his offensive surge with a goal and an assist to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
John-Michael Liles, Patrick Dwyer, Zach Boychuk and Elias Lindholm also scored for the Hurricanes, who won their fifth straight game. Liles was playing against his former team for the first time — Carolina sent defenseman Tim Gleason to Toronto for Liles on Jan. 1.
Skinner's goal was his 17th in his last 17 games, and he improved his point streak to a career-high six games, with seven goals and five assists in that stretch.
Lindholm had three points in his first game back with Carolina after playing for Sweden in the World Junior Championship.
Anton Khudobin made 25 saves for the Hurricanes to improve his record to 6-0-0. Khudobin missed more than two months earlier this season with an ankle injury.
Joffrey Lupul scored for the Maple Leafs. James Reimer made 30 saves.
Toronto has lost three in a row by a combined score of 18-5 after defeating Detroit in the Winter Classic on New Year's Day.
The Hurricanes took immediate control of the game.
Boychuk opened the scoring 2:33 in, when his backhand shot deflected off the stick of Gleason and beat Reimer. It was Boychuk's first goal of the year.
The Hurricanes made it 2-0 exactly 6 minutes later following a long stretch of sustained pressure on the power play. The puck eventually got to Elias Lindholm, who set up Staal for a one-timer in the slot. Reimer stopped that shot, but Skinner cleaned up the rebound.
Following lopsided losses to the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders in its previous two games, Toronto appeared lethargic for much of the night, but the Maple Leafs did manage to close the deficit to 2-1 a little less than 6 minutes after Skinner's goal.
Mason Raymond won the puck on the forecheck behind the Hurricanes net and centered to Lupul, who scored from the top of the crease.
Carolina reclaimed its two-goal lead with 2:27 left in the first period on Dwyer's goal. After another long stretch of offensive zone pressure, Dwyer scored when his wrist shot through traffic went through Reimer's legs.
The Hurricanes then made the score 4-1 early in the second when Liles scored on a snap shot on a 3-on-1 break. It was the first goal for the defenseman since he was traded to Carolina.
Staal added a short-handed goal 25 seconds into the third period, and Lindholm finished the scoring with a 5-on-3 goal in the final 70 seconds.
NOTES: Carolina played its second straight game without captain Eric Staal, who has a lower-body injury. . The Hurricanes were playing for the first time since Sunday after Tuesday's game in Buffalo was postponed because of a blizzard. . Gleason was honored with a video montage in the first period and received a hearty ovation from the crowd.