Lupul's shootout goal lifts Maple Leafs over Hurricanes 2-1
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) The Toronto Maple Leafs have struggled against the Carolina Hurricanes since they were the Hartford Whalers.
Toronto defied that history on Friday night.
Joffrey Lupul beat Cam Ward glove side in the fifth round of the shootout, giving the Leafs a 2-1 win over the Hurricanes for their fifth win in six games.
Carolina has won eight of its last 10 games against the Leafs in Raleigh and swept three meetings against Toronto last season. The Hurricanes lead the series 60-37-13-1, including 31-17-6-1 at home. Carolina even won in six games when the teams met in the 2002 Eastern Conference Final, and the Leafs haven't gotten that far in the playoffs since.
But coach Mike Babcock is now 1-0 against Carolina as the Leafs' mentor.
''It's not going to be pretty every night, especially on the road,'' Babcock said. ''I think you've got to stick with it, find ways to in and be resilient and get it done.''
After Brad Malone scored for the Hurricanes 7:47 into the third period, Toronto's Nazem Kadri tied it 1-1 with 3:33 left.
Toronto's James Reimer stopped 33 shots, and Ward had 24 saves.
The Hurricanes survived an overtime penalty to get to the shootout, but still lost their fifth straight.
''It opened up as the game went along,'' Carolina coach Bill Peters said. ''There were odd-man rushes - they had a 3-on-2 and we had a 2-on-1. I didn't think there was much room out there, but it opened up in spurts.''
Defenseman Jaccob Slavin made his NHL debut for Carolina. It was the first time in franchise history the club dressed six defensemen from the United States.
Carolina won the shots battle in the second period 10-3 and held a 22-11 advantage at the second intermission.
Carolina killed off two early power plays, but then came up dry in a 5-on-3 over the first 40 seconds of the second period.
Malone got his first goal of the season by beating Reimer on a tough angle from the right side with Justin Faulk and former Leaf Kris Versteeg getting assists. Versteeg leads the Hurricanes with nine assists, while Faulk - who has a four-game point streak - leads Carolina defensemen with seven.
Toronto tied the score on a power play when Kadri scored from the slot with the assist to Leo Komarov.
''It was a great job by my teamates keeping us in there and Leo winning that faceoff,'' Kadri said. ''I got to the net and found the puck. We needed a goal at a pretty big time and I was just the lucky one.''
''We won,'' Reimer said. ''I don't know if we're proud of everything we did, but we did enough to win.''
NOTES: Carolina closes its five-game homestand with a game against Anaheim on Sunday. ... The Leafs play at Boston on Saturday night before returning home against the Bruins on Monday night. ... D Ryan Murphy (concussion) missed his second straight game for Carolina, while C Andrej Nestrasil and D Michal Jordan were healthy scratches. ... C Nick Spalding (upper body) missed his second straight game while D Frank Corrado and D Scott Harrington were healthy scratches. ... Peters was an assistant to Babcock when both were with the Detroit Red Wings. Babcock was the coach when Peters played for the Red Deer College Kings of the Western Hockey League. ... The teams play three times this season, with Toronto hosting on Jan. 21 and Carolina at home on Feb. 25.