It's hard to imagine the Carolina Hurricanes playing a much better game than they did Thursday. Two days after having a game in Buffalo postponed by a blizzard, the Canes jumped on the Toronto Maple Leafs early in a 6-1 victory at PNC Arena, pushing their winning streak to five games. The Canes, playing a second game without injured captain Eric Staal, got a big game from his brother. Jordan Staal had a goal and three assists, and it was the big center's shorthanded score early in the third that appeared to fully deflate the Leafs. Rookie forward Elias Lindholm, who returned this week from the 2014 World Junior Championship in Sweden, had a goal and two assists. Add in Jeff Skinner's 21st goal of the season, a goal and assist from Zach Boychuk, and scores by Pat Dwyer and John-Michael Liles and the Canes put together their highest scoring game of the season. "We were excited to get going and it looked like everyone was ready tonight," Jordan Staal said. "We want to ride this as long as we can and keep this momentum going." Liles was a member of the Leafs until New Year's Day. That's when the trade was made that sent longtime Canes defenseman Tim Gleason to Toronto for Liles and a prospect. Gleason, who played against the Leafs on Dec. 29, was in the starting lineup for the Leafs in a return to PNC Arena that he called slightly surreal. He received a nice ovation from Canes fans, but it was Liles who had the fans roaring in the second period when he smacked a shot off the rush past Leafs goalie James Reimer for a 4-1 lead. Almost overlooked by game's end was another victory by goalie Anton Khudobin. He didn't get a lot of work, facing 26 shots, but was solid again and improved his record to 6-0-0, a franchise record to start a season.
Carolina Hurricanes overwhelm Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1
Raleigh News & Observer | Jan 10