The Hurricanes (9-18-5) played one of their best games on their four game Canadian road trip against the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday night, but at the end of a hard fought battle, it wasn’t enough. Joffrey Lupul ripped a slap shot just 40 seconds into the overtime session that squeezed through Cam Ward‘s pads and sat along the goal line before it appeared that Justin Faulk tipped the puck out of harm’s way, but Tim Connolly was able to grab a loose puck and put it behind a frustrated Cam Ward. The two teams battled to a scoreless tie after 40 minutes, but the Maple Leafs scored rather late in the third period after Clarke McArthur wristed a shot from just in from the blue line and it got tipped by Connolly to make it 1-0 Leafs at 15:46. Just a few minutes later, Jiri Tlusty got a high stick to put Carolina on the third power play of the evening. Alexei Ponikarovsky received a beautiful pass from Eric Staal out in front of the net and got it past James Reimer at 18:06 to tie up the game.
Some observances from the overtime loss in Toronto:
- Brandon Sutter is a beast. He went down to block a shot that went off the back of his knee, limped off of the ice, came back and blocked another one a few shifts later. He may have an off game here or there (rarely), but he comes to play and sacrifices himself when need be.
- The Canes were actually on the plus-side in special teams. The power play was 1-for-3 and they killed off all 3 of Toronto’s power plays.
- Jiri Tlusty, Justin Faulk and Chad LaRose led the team with 3 shots on goal a piece.
- Carolina was extremely physical, registering 33 hits including 6 each from Alexei Ponikarovsky and Chad LaRose.
- Toronto dominated Carolina in the face-off circle 64% – 36% for the night overall.
- The Canes are now winless in 9 out of their last 10 games. The only win came against Edmonton last Wednesday.
The Canes are back in action Thursday at home against Vancouver. Make sure to check back in for your game preview!!
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