The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 in their first home game following a six-game road trip during which the team accumulated a 4-1-1 record; last night's win was the team's third in a row and the sixth straight game the Hurricanes have earned points in the standings. Defenseman Joe Corvo, who was wearing the "A" for alternate captain in Tim Gleason's absence, had one goal and one assist, and captain Eric Staal extended his consecutive point streak to 11 games with an assist on Corvo's goal.
Dan Ellis anchored the Hurricanes in net, making 22 saves on 23 shots faced. Ellis has done well in the few appearances he has made this season, totaling a record of 3-1 with a 1.74 goals against average and a .943 save percentage. Despite only facing five shots in the third period, Ellis stayed active and made saves when they counted to keep the Hurricanes in a position to win.
After neither team scored in the first period, Joe Corvo got the scoring started for the Hurricanes 6:06 into the second period. Corvo wisely joined the attack being led by captain Eric Staal, found a loose puck high in the slot in front of the net and fired a snap-shot past Leafs' starting goaltender Ben Scrivens to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead. The goal was Corvo's second of the season and was assisted by Eric Staal.
The Leafs tied the game a mere 1:45 later on a deflection goal by Nazem Kadri. Kadri was screening Dan Ellis in front of the Hurricanes' net when Dion Phaneuf fired a shot from the point that defected off Jami McBain and then off Kadri's pant-leg and past Ellis to tie the game 1-1. The goal was Kadri's fifth of the season and was assisted by Dion Phaneuf and Mikhail Grabovski.
Jussi Jokinen put the Hurricanes up 2-1 with a powerplay goal 12:58 into the second period. The Hurricanes brought the puck into the offensive zone with purpose and attacked the Maple Leafs' net behind forward Jeff Skinner. After Skinners' bid was blocked down by the Leafs' defense, Jokinen picked up the loose change and fired a wrist shot into the back of the net to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead. The goal was Jokinen's second of the season and was assisted by Jeff Skinner and Joe Corvo.
The Hurricanes would add one more goal 15:09 into the second period to extend the lead to 3-1 going into the final period of play. Jeff Skinner brought the puck into the offensive zone and took a shot that rebounded out to Jordan Staal who took a shot from the left face-off circle that beat Scrivens high. The goal was J. Staal's second of the season, first home goal as a Hurricane, and was assisted by Jeff Skinner and Jamie McBain.
The Carolina Hurricanes take to the ice again Monday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the PNC Arena against the visiting Montreal Canadians.
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