Posted March 27, 2013 on AP on Fox
The Toronto Maple Leafs haven't enjoyed much success lately against the Carolina Hurricanes, but they look like the team to beat in this matchup. Toronto will try to extend its season-best point streak to seven Thursday night when it hosts a Hurricanes team looking to snap a season-worst six-game losing streak. The Maple Leafs (18-12-4) have dropped 10 of 13 in this series following a 4-1 home loss Feb. 4 and 3-1 defeat in Raleigh 10 days later. Toronto, though, is in a good position to make the postseason for the first time since 2004 and end the league's longest drought. The Leafs sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, with the ninth-place New York Islanders seven points back and Carolina (15-14-2) eight behind them. Toronto leading scorer Nazem Kadri has a team-best 10 points during the 3-0-3 stretch, while Joffrey Lupul has six goals in four games since returning from a broken forearm. Lupul has scored three times - twice in Tuesday's 3-2 win over league-worst Florida - after serving a two-game suspension for an illegal check against Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman. "We just have to enjoy this while it goes," Lupul said. "I'm not expecting it to last forever, so I just have to keep doing other things on the ice right and continue to be a factor in the game." The Maple Leafs are going for their first four-game home winning streak since a five-game run Dec. 22, 2011-Jan. 10, 2012. The Hurricanes are 7-1-1 in their last nine visits to Toronto, but they open a three-game trip with seven goals during an 0-5-1 skid. It's their worst stretch since an 0-6-1 slide Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2011. "This is playoffs right now," coach Kirk Muller told the league's official website following Tuesday's 4-1 loss to Winnipeg. Carolina is six points back of the Jets for the Southeast Division lead - with three games in hand - and hitting the road could help the Hurricanes make up some ground. They're 8-5-2 outside Raleigh. "We have no other choice but to play with more urgency," defenseman Jay Harrison said. Muller might not have much of a choice but to go with goaltender Justin Peters for the time being. Cam Ward hasn't played since March 3 due to a sprained knee ligament, while backup Dan Ellis was placed on injured reserve Monday with a leg laceration suffered in last Thursday's 4-1 loss to New Jersey. Peters, who made 31 saves Tuesday, stopped 32 shots in his only game against the Maple Leafs, a 5-1 road win March 2, 2010. It's uncertain if James Reimer will start for Toronto or if Ben Scrivens will be back in net after Tuesday's 40-save effort. Reimer dropped his second consecutive start to Carolina on Feb. 4 and was sidelined with a strained knee ligament in the most recent matchup. Scrivens stopped 30 shots in that game as Carolina ended Toronto's season-best four-game win streak. Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner has one goal and no assists in the last seven games, but he's assisted on five of the team's seven scores against Toronto this season. Jordan Staal has a team-best two goals in those contests, including his first with the Hurricanes on Feb. 4. Carolina is 5-0-1 against Toronto since a 3-1 home loss March 16, 2011.

Maple Leafs 3, Panthers 2

Joffrey Lupul scored twice in the third period, and Ben Scrivens made 40 saves in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. Lupul scored on a power play 22 seconds into the third to put Toronto ahead 2-1. Florida tied it 23 seconds later when Shawn Matthias banked in the puck off Leafs defenseman Mike Kostka, and Lupul brought the Air Canada...

Jussi Jokinen placed on waivers

With the Hurricanes currently in a tough losing streak, most people figured that there were going to be some changes to the roster very soon and we saw one of those moves today with Jussi Jokinen being placed on waivers. To most people, this move came as a surprise because Jokinen is known to most people as a "top-six player," a good face-off guy and a solid play-maker...

Hurricanes D Jamie McBain whiffs on clearing attempt, scores on own net (video)

During the team’s sixth-straight loss courtesy of dropping Tuesday night’s tilt against the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 4-1, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jamie McBain suffered an epic whiff for the ages. When trying to clear the puck out of the defensive zone, McBain whiffed horribly, missing the puck. As his stick returned to to the ice, he inadvertently propelled the puck...

McBain scores on his own net with backswing

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jame McBain had some very bad luck against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.  He went to clear the puck after Joni Pitkanen broke up Jets’ forward Evander Kane’s passing attempt.  McBain fanned on the first clearing attempt and then when he brought his stick back for a second attempt he fired it right past his own goalie.  The goal ended up...

Mike Murphy Returns To Charlotte Checkers On Try-Out by   Steven Ellis

The Charlotte Checkers announced today the team has signed goaltender Mike Murphy to a professional tryout contract. Murphy was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft with the 165th overall pick. On March 18, 2009, he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Hurricanes.In 2007-08, Murphy led the Belleville Bulls to the finals [...]

Richard Cloutier: Jokinen Clears Waivers

There's something funny about this. I know "collusion" is a strong word, but you can't tell me some team out there somewhere doesn't have an interest in Carolina Hurricanes forward Jussi Jokinen, who just cleared waivers. Maybe teams have agreed not to take each other's guys? No takers for Jokinen makes no sense to me. There still could be an Oilers...

Mike Augello: Shootout Specialist Wanted? Leafs Vs Panthers

In just over two weeks, the Maple Leafs have been in four shootouts and have come up on the short end in each instance. On March 9, James Reimer allowed two goals on two chances against Pittsburgh and the Leafs scored none. On March 16, Toronto and Winnipeg went 10 rounds before Zach Bogosian won it for the Jets. In Buffalo on March 21, Toronto had the lead thanks to Tyler Bozak...

Hurricanes collapse in third period to lose seventh straight game

If there was any optimism left among the Hurricanes fanbase then tonight's 6-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs probably killed all of that. We've been treated to the same story for the last two weeks with the Hurricanes getting outplayed by their opponents, showing no desperation and getting blown out. Tonight's game was a little different. They were certainly outplayed...

Panthers at Maple Leafs game preview

Game time: 7 p.m. ETTV: FOX Sports FloridaThe Toronto Maple Leafs keep scraping out points as they manage to find themselves in a number of tight games recently. But there's room for improvement as the team continues to struggle in shootouts.Nonetheless, they're certainly better off than the Florida Panthers, who own the league's worst record and are still sputtering...

Joffrey Lupul scores game-winning goal on end-to-end rush

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes were tied late in the third period when Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul decided to take matters into his own hands.  Lupul turned on the jets and skated by the Hurricanes in the neutral zone, who were making a bad change, and then right around Joe Corvo and tucked the puck far side past Justin Peters.  Lupul almost didn’t...

Carolina Hurricanes Jamie McBain scores on his own goal against Jets (Video)

Before taking the ice, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jamie McBain probably should have taken the day off since he ended up making a pretty memorable NHL blooper. The Hurricanes took on the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night and as McBain was trying to clear the puck to other side of the ice, he swung at the puck and missed. That miss caused Jamie's backswing to send the the...

Caps Miss Golden Opportunity to ‘Jussi’ Up Their Lineup

Jussi Jokinen could have been a good addition to the Caps, but they passed.
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