Sometimes a great first period, solid defensive play and bad goaltending by the opposing team is enough to win you a few games and that was the case for the Hurricanes tonight in their 3-0 shutout over the Maple Leafs. The Hurricanes played terrific for the first 20 minutes in outchancing the Leafs 5-1 and gaining a 2-0 lead and then finished things off by sitting back and letting their defense and Cam Ward do the rest of the work. They gave up 31 shots, but only 12 were registered as scoring chances by my count and Ward didn't exactly need to stand on his head for the Canes to win this game.
Taking advantage of a cold goalie also helped as all three goals that Jonas Gustavsson let in were very soft and he was given the hook less than a minute into the second period. Toronto's offense really could not generate much the rest of the way as the Canes managed to bottle them up in the neutral zone and keep most of their shots from outside of the scoring chance range. After getting hammered by Detroit on Saturday night, it was good to see Carolina's defense respond with a strong performance against Toronto. Albeit, it was against a much weaker team with one of their top scorers out of the lineup.
Carolina is likely going to get a high spot in the draft so I don't really care about "tanking" at this point of the season so I'm happy with the team winning.
Scoring chances & more after the jump