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The Carolina Hurricanes’ four-game winning streak came to an end tonight, as they fell 3-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Hurricanes came out strong and opened the scoring midway through the opening frame on a power play, with Stefan Noesen banking the puck in off Erik Kallgren from behind the net. It was a really strong opening period, with Carolina outshooting Toronto 11-4 and limiting the Leafs to almost no quality chances, as they took the lead into intermission.
Carolina started the second frame pretty well too, but the Leafs did start to build momentum and get chances later. Then with under two minutes to go in the period, the puck got out to Calle Jarnkrok, who beat Frederik Andersen to tie the game through 40 minutes.
The Hurricanes had a good start to the third period, sustaining quite a bit of offensive zone time. However, the Leafs managed to take their first lead halfway through the period, with Mitch Marner finding John Tavares in front, who beat Andersen on Toronto's first shot of the frame. Then later in the period, Jaccob Slavin found himself in a foot race against William Nylander to a puck in Carolina’s end and Nylander managed to just poke at the puck and somehow got it through Andersen, on a disastrous goal for the netminder to allow. The Hurricanes weren’t able to recover, and fell 3-1.
The effort was there for Carolina, outshooting Toronto by a 30-21 margin. The Hurricanes came out strong in the first period but even as the game went on, they were getting their chances.
In reality, part of it was the fact they lost the goaltending battle. I opted not to mention this while the Hurricanes were winning but as it became more apparent in tonight's loss, Frederik Andersen hasn’t been the same goalie so far this year. He’s posted a disappointing .891 save percentage so far and he looked terrible on the third goal against tonight.
As a quick note: the Hurricanes also wore their reverse retro jerseys for the game - I thought they looked better on ice than in the promo content, but wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a huge fan.
The loss ends Carolina’s four-game winning streak but can’t be classified as a poor outing for the team overall. Their next game comes on Wednesday, when they face the Florida Panthers.
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