Andersen and Woll Put on a Show as the Hurricanes Hold on for a 2-1 Win over Toronto

The former Leaf haunts his old team by making 32 saves as Skjei and Aho score in the first period to extend the Canes' point streak to seven games.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Carolina Hurricanes
Toronto Maple Leafs v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

Friday night's loss to the Washington Capitals was one that the Hurricanes were probably hoping to forget. Despite a hat trick from Sebastian Aho, the Canes fell 7-6 in a shootout, losing their five-game win streak but keeping their point streak alive. With a meeting against the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second time in consecutive weekends, the home team looked to get back in the win column.

Frederik Andersen took his turn in the net as the rotation continued for the Hurricanes. Along with getting Andersen out against his former team, Jack Drury re-entered the lineup after missing the last eight games with a lower-body injury. Joseph Woll started for the Maple Leafs, who were coming off a 6-3 win the night before against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Hurricanes set the tone early, getting the opening goal just over a minute into the contest. Jordan Staal fanned on a shot, but he got just enough of the puck as he recovered to push it back to Brady Skjei. The defenseman stepped up and snapped one under Joseph Woll's glove to make it 1-0 just 66 seconds into the game.

After a successful penalty kill for the Canes, they'd get their first chance on the power play. Almost immediately, Joel Edmundson was guilty of covering the puck in the crease with his glove, giving the Canes a penalty shot. As we'd come to learn, Joseph Woll is hard to beat 1-on-1. Jake Guentzel tried to backhand one past the Toronto netminder, but he wasn't having it. Toronto would go on to kill the penalty.

The second power play would yield a much better result for the Hurricanes, albeit on accident. After Pontas Holmberg was sent to the box for slashing, the top unit doubled the lead. Sebastian Aho was trying to make a cross-seam pass to Andrei Svechnikov. Instead, the puck hit Jake McCabe's skate and snuck into the net to give Aho his 31st goal of the season. The Canes would finish the period with that 2-0 lead.

The ice felt like it started to tilt back in Toronto's favor at the beginning of the second period. They had over a minute of a power play that was killed off by the Canes but had a lot of early chances. One of their best flurries came from Auston Matthews. After Frederik Andersen turned the puck over, he recovered to make a sprawling stop on a Matthews one-timer before Skjei backed him up to take the rebound off the line. The flurry ended with Andersen making one more stop on Matthews' between-the-legs offer.

After Toronto's early bid to get back into the game, the Hurricanes started to find themselves getting some good chances. They had a very good power-play sequence late in the period as they tried to extend the lead. Nothing would come of it, and Toronto would get another late-period power play chance with Andrei Svechnikov being sent off for tripping. Frederik Andersen withstood the barrage, holding strong until the intermission horn against his former mates.

With the remainder of the power play being killed off, one of Toronto's best chances came shortly after. Noah Gregor made a great play to keep the puck in the Canes' end, setting up a 2-on-0. Bobby McMann was unable to get one past Frederik Andersen, keeping it a 2-0 game. Toronto would eventually get on the board before the midway point in the period. Auston Matthews made a great pass to Nicholas Robertson, who buried his third goal in as many games against the Hurricanes this season to provide a little more excitement.

Toronto would get one more power play with 3:15 left, and they'd pull Joseph Woll to make it a 6-on-4 advantage. The Canes' penalty kill dug in. Seth Jarvis came so close to extending his goal streak to seven games, banking the puck off the boards and the right post to keep it 2-1. Frederik Andersen made one more big stop with 30 seconds left to help his defense ice the final seconds of a tough one-goal win.

I'm not sure if you could find two more opposite games that the last two the Hurricanes have played. Friday's game against the Capitals featured little to no defense. Sunday was more of what we've grown accustomed to with the Hurricanes this season. At the forefront of it was their goaltender. Frederik Andersen continued his amazing stretch of play since returning to the lineup. He made a season-high 32 stops to give him at least 30 saves for his third straight start. It's not as if there was a long lull for him, either. Toronto pressed hard in the final 40 minutes, but they found little success.

Joseph Woll deserves his flowers, too. He was in Raleigh before the rest of his teammates, having been sent ahead of the team to prepare for this start. Clearly, he did something right because he finished with 41 saves. The Canes had three breakaways and a penalty shot against Woll, none of which they scored on. It took one good shot through traffic and some friendly fire to get the job done. Sometimes, that's just how the game goes.

As the Canes earned the season sweep against the Maple Leafs, the common thread was special teams. The penalty kill was a perfect 11-for-11 against Toronto this season, while the power play converted five times on 12 attempts. Their late power play in the last meeting helped kick off the comeback, and they provided the deciding goal in this one. The Canes earned their bounces to make sure they could get the job done.

Jake Guentzel will be the center of attention on Tuesday night as he makes his return to Pittsburgh in the final meeting of the season between the division foes. The Canes will be back at PNC on Thursday night to face the Detroit Red Wings before finishing the month in Montreal on Saturday.