Maple Leafs take tough loss despite strong start against Hurricanes

Sebastian Aho scored the game-winning goal with 2:26 remaining in the final frame, and dished an assist on the dagger empty-netter as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Sebastian Aho scored his team-leading 32nd goal of the season with 2:26 remaining to rescue the Carolina Hurricanes in a 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Aho’s goal came 32 seconds after Auston Matthews’ second goal for Toronto tied the game. Teuvo Teravainen added an empty-net goal.

Brent Burns, Jordan Staal and Stefan Noesen also scored for Carolina, which won for the fourth time in its last eight games to maintain in first place in Metropolitan Division. Jesper Fast and Martin Necas both two assists.

Pyotr Kochetkov made 41 saves for his first victory in his last three outings.

Calle Jarnkrok had Toronto’s first goal. Matt Murray made 23 saves. Matthews has 36 goals this season, including eight in the last nine games.

Jarnkrok and Matthews scored eight minutes apart in the second period as Toronto erased a 2-0 deficit.

Jarnkrok notched his 18th goal, including six this month. Matthews’ unassisted tally at 12:41 of the second period gave him his 35th goal of the season.

NOTES: Matthews registered nine shots on goal in the second period and 12 total entering the third period. He finished with 15 shots, tying the franchise single-game record. … Through two periods, Carolina had no player with more than three shots. … Toronto had 33 shots through two periods, marking the most for any Carolina opponent in a full game in the last 15 games.


Maple Leafs: At Nashville on Sunday.

Hurricanes: Host Boston on Sunday.

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