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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, December 29th (All times Eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (14-15-9) at Toronto Maple Leafs (19-16-5), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Despite some success this season, Toronto coach Randy Carlyle isn't a fan of shootouts.

The Maple Leafs have gone to the tie-breaking format in four straight games and on Sunday night try to pick up a rare recent victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Toronto has split its last four games, including a 4-3 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. Joffrey Lupul had the lone goal of the breakaway session, giving the Leafs two points after the club yielded a tying goal to the Sabres with 24.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Maple Leafs trailed 2-0 after the first period, but Jake Gardiner and Peter Holland scored within five minutes of each other in the second frame to even things up. Phil Kessel then put Toronto ahead on a goal with 17 ticks left in the second period.

Jonathan Bernier stopped 32 shots over the first 65 minutes, then turned away all three Buffalo chances in the breakaway competition as the Leafs moved to 6-4 in shootouts this season.

"It's not easy winning in the NHL. It's proven night in and night out. There are a lot of shootouts taking place. We're at four in a row now," said Carlyle.

"Do we like shootouts? No."

The Maple Leafs lost a 60-minute decision to the Hurricanes on Oct. 17 when the clubs met in Toronto for the first of three meetings this season.

James Reimer got the start for Toronto, but left 32 seconds in after getting hit in the head during a collision with teammate Josh Leivo. Bernier made 34 saves in relief, but his misplaying of the puck led to Carolina's go-ahead goal.

That came when the Hurricanes' Ron Hainsey cleared the puck out from his own end down the left wing. The puck then bounced off the backboards to the left of Bernier and slid towards the net. Bernier made an attempt to swipe it away with the stick, but missed and the puck bounced off his right skate and snuck in with 6:56 to play.

That gave Carolina 11 wins in its last 15 versus the Leafs overall and eight in the previous 11 played in Toronto.

Cam Ward made 24 saves in the win for the Hurricanes, who come into tonight's meeting having gone 0-2-2 in their last four games and 1-3-4 in the previous eight.

Carolina saw its winless streak extended with a 4-3 overtime setback to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. The Hurricanes pulled even on Drayson Bowman's goal with 2:29 to go in regulation, but the Pens' James Neal beat Justin Peters from the slot 63 seconds into overtime.

Nathan Gerbe had a goal and an assist for Carolina, while Peters stopped 22 shots.

"It would have been nice to get two points," Peters said following his third start in a row. "Getting a late goal was a big booster because you get that point."

It is unknown if Ward will finally return to net tonight. He has allowed at least three goals in six straight and in eight of his nine games since coming back from injury.

The Hurricanes are in danger of matching a season-high five-game slide from Oct. 24-Nov. 2 and face a Leafs team that is expected to have center Tyler Bozak back in the lineup.

Bozak has not played since Dec. 3 due to a strained oblique and has four goals and seven assists in 16 games this season.

12/29 10:23:22 ET

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Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
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MD 7
Final
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Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
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Final
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Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
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Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
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Final
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SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
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Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
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TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
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Final
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TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
 
4th
UTAH 17
USC 21
 
3rd
WASH 7
ARST 10
 
2nd
HAW 10
NEV 0
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
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CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
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1:00pm Today
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1:00pm Today
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STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14