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NHL Carolina HurricanesToronto Maple Leafs

Carolina Hurricanes Continue Roll Against Toronto Maple Leafs

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes have been on a hot streak lately and that continued Thursday night as Carolina defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 to improve to 8-4-1 for the season. It was the third straight win for the Hurricanes and it helped them solidify their lead in the Southeast Division. This team is improving to a point where making the playoffs doesn’t seem so far-fetched now.

Jeff Skinner had two assists to improve to 14 points on the season and it is going to be nights like this from Skinner that keeps Carolina going in the right direction. One of the most positive signs for me in this game was Jordan Staal scoring his second goal on the year. If Staal can score scoring on a more regular basis, the Hurricanes can make a very real run into the playoffs. Toronto though could have used this win on the road while falling to 8-6 but could only get one shot past Dan Ellis for the night.

The Maple Leafs only managed 23 shots on goal and only five of those came in the final period and when you are already trailing by two goals, having only five shots in a period isn’t going to cause a comeback. It seems to me that Toronto is spinning its wheels right now while Carolina is going full steam ahead. These teams could both find themselves in the playoffs and could easily play each other at that point but right now, it is the Hurricanes who are on a streak that is hard to stop.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.