The Carolina Hurricanes will face the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at 7:00 in the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina in their first home game since returning from a six-game road trip during which the team went 4-1-1. The Hurricanes have secured points in their last five games, and captain Eric Staal is currently riding a 10-game point streak during which he has tallied eight goals and added eight assists (16 points).
Dan Ellis will get the start in goal for the Hurricanes; Ellis has amassed a 2-1 record so far this season with a 1.99 goals-against average and .939 save percentage. Cam Ward led the way in goal for the Hurricanes during their road trip winning four games and securing points in five of the six.
The team could potentially be without two key defenders tonight; Joni Pitkanen has been ruled out due to a lower-body injury he suffered last game, and Tim Gleason missed morning skate due to a lower-body injury and is a game-time decision. Defenseman Michal Jordan has been called-up from Charlotte in the American Hockey League and could potentially make his NHL debut tonight if Gleason is out.
The Hurricanes will square-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are coming off a 5-2 home victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Phil Kessel leads the team in scoring in the early part of the season with two goals and nine assists (11 points), as the Maple Leafs have started the season with an 8-5-0 record (16 points).
The Hurricanes beat the Maple Leafs 4-1 in their only other meeting this season; Hurricanes' forward Jeff Skinner tallied three assists and forward Patrick Dwyer added one goal and two assists.Tags: Carolina, Carolina Hurricanes, Eric Staal, Hockey, Jeff Skinner, NHL, Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs