Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas
By Lauren Brownlow  |  Last updated 1/10/14
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The polar vortex put most of the nation in a deep freeze, and the Carolina Hurricanes (19-16-9) were worried that it would put their red-hot streak on ice.  They traveled to Buffalo for a game on Tuesday, only to have it postponed by a blizzard amidst said polar vortex that created conditions too dangerous to be outside in, let alone drive to a hockey game.  So the team sat in their hotel rooms with nowhere to go and nothing to do but wait. "It was a really slow day in Buffalo cooped up in your room and you couldn't do much, so it was different," Jordan Staal said.  What did they do with all that free time?  "A lot of cards, and that's about it," Staal said.  After all the card-playing, the team flew back to Raleigh on Wednesday afternoon and practiced right after returning in preparation for their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.  That paid off, as the Hurricanes downed Toronto (21-19-5) by a dominant 6-1 score.  "You could tell the leadership in this room told the guys to be ready yesterday, ready to have a good practice and be sharp for tonight's game, and you could tell everyone was ready to go," Staal, who tied his career high with four points (a goal and three assists), said. It was the fifth win in a row for the Hurricanes, and the team is as confident as it has been all season.  They started off strong and finished strong, which is not something the team had been doing consistently all season.  "Who knows, maybe that game cancelled in Buffalo gave us an extra day or two of rest," head coach Kirk Muller said. "I didn't know which way it was going to turn out tonight, but I think that really helped us. We had fresh legs. We had everyone contributing so I was able to use the full bench, which was great." The team knows success is somewhat fleeting in the grind of an NHL season. With nine games in the next 18 days, starting with a game at the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow night, nothing is going to come easy.  "I think it's just the NHL with our schedule -- as much as you're excited, and they should be. They played well. They had a really good game," Muller said. "But man, we've got to do it all over again tomorrow night. It's just kind of keeping everything clear and understand why we're doing well right now. But if you don't come and work tomorrow night and put the same effort in, you won't get the same result." "Every game is so important right now," Zach Boychuk, who got his first goal of the season, said. "You look at how tight the standings are in our division. Going into tomorrow's game, we're going to just try to play a similar style on the road with a back-to-back, just keep it simple." But the streak is not insignificant. It's the first time the Hurricanes have won five in a row since 2010 (they won seven straight that year).  "We're playing well. We're getting some great saves from (goalkeeper Anton) Khudobin when he needs to and at the same time, we're sticking with our game and pucks are going in and things are moving well," Staal said. "Hopefully, we'll just keep riding this as long as we can and keep this momentum going." Khudobin was one of the afterthoughts of the win, although perhaps he shouldn't have been. He went to 6-0 on the season and saved 25 of the 26 shots he saw.  "He's playing well. He's right now given our group a confidence. He's making big saves and he's solid in there," Muller said. "If you get that, you look around the league right now, goaltending is bigger than ever and he's done the job." He's fine with flying under the radar, though.  "Maybe it's just 6-0 right now, everybody is talking about it," Khudobin said. "But at the same time, every game I take as a regular game and I just move forward and try to do every game the same what I can, save my teammates, save pucks and just get that magic word -- 'W'."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker