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Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes pre-game notes

The Toronto Maple Leafs will face off against the Carolina Hurricanes for the second time this season tonight. Carolina won the first meeting of the season between the two teams 4-3 in Toronto on December 28th.


Last 10 games: 5-4-1

Phil Kessel scored two of the three Toronto's goals against Carolina a month ago, but is currently on a five game goalless streak. He has 19 goals and 14 assists in 47 games this season, good enough to put him on pace for 33 goals, 24 assists and 57 points in 82 games.

Leafs head coach Ron Wilson felt as though his team had a chance at beating the Washington Capitals on Saturday night despite their 4-1 loss.

"We missed empty nets, we had some great scoring opportunities in the first two periods," Wilson said. "We could have and probably should have had the lead."

Mikhail Grabovski has slowed down somewhat after a blazing stretch of games. The 26-year-old has three goals, no assists and a minus-3 rating in his last five games.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere will make his third consecutive start in goal for the Buds tonight. He has a goals against average of 2.50 and a save percentage of .914 in his last two games. In 22 games this season, Giguere has a GAA of 2.71 and a SV% of .900.


Last ten games: 5-4-1

Much like the Maple Leafs, Carolina has been relatively inconsistent over their last ten games. After winning four of six games, the Hurricanes have dropped three of their last four.

'Canes goalie Cam Ward has been outstanding this season. In 41 games, Ward has a GAA of 2.68 and a save percentage of .921 to go along with a 20-15-5 record. He will be making an appearance at the NHL All-Star game on January 30th in Carolina.

Eric Staal is averaging a point per game this season and has five points in his last five games, including two goals. Rookie Jeff Skinner also has five points in his last five while Tuomo Ruutu has four points over the same span.

Other notes: Leafs goalie James Reimer is expected to make his first start in net tomorrow night since being re-called from the Toronto Marlies ... Jay Harrison, Jiri Tlusty and Ian White, all former Maple Leafs players, will play against their former team tonight ... Both teams are expected to have healthy rosters tonight.


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