|TOR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Winning on Tobacco Road isn't anything new for Paul Maurice.
Three years to the day after Carolina fired him, the winningest coach in Hurricanes history got the best of his old team in his return to Raleigh.
Alexander Steen's goal with 6 minutes remaining gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 win over the Hurricanes on Friday night.
Maurice denied feeling any added satisfaction from defeating his former team.
"As hard as this is to explain, it's nice to win in here, but I don't have any enjoyment beating (Carolina general manager) Jim Rutherford's team," Maurice said. "I didn't know what to expect. It's great that we won, it's nice to win in here, but there's no joy in beating your friends."
Mats Sundin had two goals and an assist, and Bryan McCabe added a goal and two assists for Toronto, which blew a 3-1 lead in the third period but pulled away for its second straight victory since snapping a season-worst seven-game losing streak.
"We knew that they've struggled a little bit, just like us, and we knew they were going to come out hard, so we wanted to make sure that we matched their work ethic," Sundin said.
About 3 minutes after Carolina tied it 3-3, the Maple Leafs worked the puck to Steen in the right slot and he snapped it past Cam Ward from about 15 feet.
"We were still trying to score goals at 3-3. We didn't try to eke it out," Maurice said.
The Hurricanes pulled Ward in the final minute, but couldn't convert in the closing moments against Andrew Raycroft.
"When you haven't won, you've got to dig yourself out of it," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "Nobody's going to feel sorry for you. Nobody's going to have any sympathy for you throughout the league. You've got to work harder, and execute better, be a little more disciplined, play a little bit tougher."
Erik Cole, Justin Williams and Mike Commodore scored for Carolina, which lost its fifth straight.
Raycroft made 29 saves for Toronto, which snapped a four-game road losing streak and made Maurice a winner in his first game at the RBC Center as a visitor.
"Obviously, it feels good to win that for him," Raycroft said. "It was important to him. He has been here a long time, before now, and it means a lot to him. We know that. So it was nice to do that for him."
No coach in Hurricanes history has more victories than Maurice's 268 from 1995-03. But he was fired after a slow start to the 2003-04 season. He coached the Maple Leafs' top minor-league affiliate last season and is in his first season as Pat Quinn's replacement.
Ward stopped 21 shots for the Hurricanes.
"Any loss is unacceptable. Period," Laviolette said.
Carolina trailed by two entering the third period before Williams and Commodore led the Hurricanes' comeback attempt.
Williams pulled Carolina to 3-2 with a power-play goal with 13:57 to play when he lifted a wrister from near the goal line past Raycroft. Commodore tied it about 5 minutes later when he tapped a rebound from the slot past Raycroft, but Toronto held firm and denied the Hurricanes their third straight victory at home.
"I just kind of crept in there and the guy just kind of tried to clear it. It was a good feeling while it lasted," Commodore said.
Sundin scored consecutive goals to put the Maple Leafs ahead 2-1 midway through the second period. He first tied the game at 1 when he wristed the puck through Ward's legs late in the first period, then put Toronto ahead during a 5-on-3 advantage, scoring his 12th goal of the season.
Minutes later, McCabe also scored on a 5-on-3, blasting a one-timer from just outside the right circle past Ward to make it 3-1. It was the ninth power-play goal Carolina has allowed during its last three games.
Notes: Sundin has 858 points with the Maple Leafs and has moved ahead of Dave Keon into second place in franchise history. ... Hurricanes C Eric Staal has assists in three straight games. ... Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour (lower body) missed his third straight game. ... New North Carolina State football coach Tom O'Brien was greeted with cheers when he was introduced during a break.
|Erik Cole (13) ASST: Cory Stillman (2), Eric Staal (13)|
1 - 0 CAR
|Mats Sundin (11) ASST: Kyle Wellwood (20), Hal Gill (5)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Mats Sundin (12) ASST: Darcy Tucker (11), Bryan McCabe (20)|
2 - 1 TOR
|PPG - Bryan McCabe (8) ASST: Tomas Kaberle (20), Mats Sundin (14)|
3 - 1 TOR
|PPG - Justin Williams (14) ASST: Eric Staal (14), Cory Stillman (3)|
3 - 2 TOR
|Mike Commodore (4) ASST: Scott Walker (13), Eric Belanger (6)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Alexander Steen (2) ASST: Tomas Kaberle (21), Jeff O'Neill (12)|
4 - 3 TOR
|Bates Battaglia Hooking against Scott Walker|
|Mike Commodore Holding against Matt Stajan|
|John Pohl Holding against Glen Wesley|
|Wade Belak Holding the stick against Ray Whitney|
|Glen Wesley Interference against John Pohl|
|Anton Babchuk Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Ray Whitney Hooking against Hal Gill|
|Justin Williams Interference against Bryan McCabe|
|Bates Battaglia Interference against Keith Aucoin|
|Hal Gill Tripping against Erik Cole|
|Bryan McCabe Roughing against Eric Staal|
|Eric Staal Diving against Chad Kilger|
|Chad Kilger Interference against Eric Staal|
|Alexei Ponikarovsky Hooking against Eric Staal|
|Chad LaRose Too many men/ice - bench|
|Erik Cole Interference against Alexei Ponikarovsky|
|SA: 32||TOI: 59:38|
|Saves: 29||EV: 19 - 21|
|PIM: 0||PP: 8 - 9|
|SV%: .906||SH: 2 - 2|
|SA: 25||TOI: 58:48|
|Saves: 21||EV: 13 - 15|
|PIM: 0||PP: 7 - 9|
|SV%: .840||SH: 1 - 1|