Staal brothers power Hurricanes past Maple Leafs

Tue Feb 5, 2013 12:10am EST
 

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Carolina Hurricanes had a pair of goals from the Staal brothers and a stellar performance from goalie Cam Ward to thank for a 4-1 win over the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

Carolina erased an early one-goal deficit by dominating the second period, in which they outshot the host Maple Leafs 20-5 and got goals from Eric Staal and younger brother Jordan.

"Eric had a big goal to get us up and going again and he's been the star for us this year and it was nice for me to chip in as well," Jordan, 24, who was traded to Carolina from Pittsburgh last June, told reporters. "Hopefully there will be many more of those nights for us."

The Hurricanes (4-4) tied the game 81 seconds into the middle frame when Jordan, who was left alone in front of the Toronto net, received a pass from Patrick Dwyer and coolly deked goalie James Reimer for his first goal of the season.

Carolina captain Eric Staal, 28, scored what proved to be the game-winning goal when his pass from the side of the net deflected off a Toronto defender and into the Maple Leafs net midway through the second period.

It marked the first time in 27 years that brothers scored in the same game for the Hurricanes franchise, which was based in Hartford, Connecticut, when Dave and Wayne Babych accomplished the feat in 1986.

Third period tallies from Justin Faulk, who scored on a two-man advantage 43 seconds into the final frame, and Dwyer put the game out of reach for Toronto, who dropped to 1-4 at home.

The loss extended Toronto's worst start on home ice since dropping the first six home games in the 2009-10 season. It also proved dispiriting for the Maple Leafs fans as chants of "Let's go Blue Jays" rang through the packed arena in a show of support for the city's revamped Major League Baseball club.   Continued...

 
Carolina Hurricanes' Patrick Dwyer (L) celebrates his goal with teammate Jeff Skinner (C) in front of Toronto Maple Leafs' James van Riemsdyk during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Toronto February 4, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch