Staal brothers lead Hurricanes over Maple Leafs 4-1
Carolina Hurricanes centre Jordan Staal celebrates with teammate Patrick Dwyer (39) after scoring on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer (left) during second period NHL action in Toronto on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013. (The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, February 4, 2013 10:05PM EST
TORONTO -- Jordan Staal scored his first goal with the Hurricanes and his brother Eric added the winner Monday as Carolina defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1.
Patrick Dwyer, with a goal and an assist, and Justin Faulk also scored for Carolina, which got 41 saves from Cam Ward. Jeff Skinner added three assists for the Hurricanes.
Matt Frattin scored the only goal for Toronto, with James Reimer making 35 stops in defeat.
Trailing 1-0 after the first, the Hurricanes tied it just 1:21 into the second. After Skinner beat out an icing call, Dwyer fed an unmarked Jordan Staal in front for his first goal with the Hurricanes since coming over in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins at June's NHL draft. Staal also picked up an assist on Dwyer's third-period goal.
Eric Staal then hit the post a few minutes later as the Hurricanes rebounded from a sluggish opening 20 minutes to grab momentum with the first nine shots of the second period.
The Hurricanes' captain had better luck with his next chance to give Carolina (4-4-0) the lead with his seventh of the season at 10:21 on the power play. With Toronto's Jay McClement off in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct after giving Ward a snow shower, Eric Staal walked out from the corner and saw his cross-crease pass deflect in off Leafs defenceman Mike Kostka behind a helpless Reimer.
The Leafs (4-5-0) thought they had tied the score with 1:16 left in the second when Kostka's shot from the point deflected in off Tyler Bozak. But after video review, officials ruled the Toronto centre had kicked the puck in past Ward.
The Air Canada Centre crowd of 19,073 was further incensed as the Leafs were assessed back-to-back penalties to close out the period.
With Carolina on a 5-on-3 man advantage to start the third, Faulk finished off a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play 43 seconds into the period with a goal on a play that again went to video review.
Maple Leafs centre Phil Kessel, now goalless through the opening nine games of the season, had a great chance to open his account on a power play but was robbed by Ward with just over 13 minutes to go in regulation.
The Leafs continued to press, but Ward stopped Nazem Kadri and Bozak to maintain the two-goal edge, before Carolina put the game out of reach when Dwyer beat Reimer with a quick shot at 9:58.
Toronto had a number of chances early on before Frattin opened the scoring at 5:44 of the first. Kadri carried the puck over the blue-line on a 2-on-1, and, after fanning on his first attempt, fired a weak shot that Ward could only kick into the slot. Frattin pounced on the rebound to bury his fifth goal in six games since being recalled from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.
Frattin, who didn't make the big club out of training camp but joined the Leafs after Joffrey Lupul suffered a broken forearm against Pittsburgh on Jan. 23, has made the most of his opportunity on a line with Kadri and Leo Komorav.
Notes: Kadri was hurt after blocking a shot in front of Reimer in the first period but didn't miss a shift. ... Referee Marc Joannette was hit with a Dion Phaneuf clearing shot in the second. He left to the ice to get some attention from the Toronto training staff before returning later in the period. ... The Maple Leafs open a three-game road trip on Tuesday in Washington against the Capitals. ... The Hurricanes visit Ottawa to take on the Senators on Thursday. ... Scratched for Carolina were RW Andreas Nodl and D Joe Corvo. ... D Mike Komisarek, D Carl Gunnarsson and C David Steckel sat out for Toronto.