RALEIGH, N.C. -- In the midst of a frustrating season in which little of what Eric Staal tried has worked, the Carolina captain leaned on his younger brother for advice after the Hurricanes faced Jordan Staal and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.
Employing an aggressive approach, Eric Staal scored two goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night, including the winner 3:09 into overtime that gave the Hurricanes a 4-3 comeback win.
BY THE NUMBERS
Leafs couldn't convert on any of their seven power-play chances.
Time it took the Hurricanes to tie the game after trailing 3-1.
Jordan had reminded him about all the ugly goals Eric had scored over the years.
``He was the first one last night to say, 'Just start shooting. Start shooting from everywhere. Make it ugly,''' Eric Staal said. ``I talked to him on the way to the rink, and said, 'I'll be firing it from all angles, and we'll see what happens.'''
Staal also added an assist and had a team-high five shots as the Hurricanes won their third straight game at home for the first time since March. Staal hadn't scored since Dec. 6 and didn't have a point in his last seven games.
``That is a big load off of him,'' Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. ``I know it is just one game, but that is a huge game mentally for him.''
Zac Dalpe and Brandon Sutter had the Hurricanes' other goals. Cam Ward made 21 saves for Carolina, which rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period.
Two days after allowing three goals on eight shots in a 5-3 loss to Florida, James Reimer made 30 saves for the Maple Leafs. Reimer entered with a 3-0 record against Carolina and had allowed only two goals to the Hurricanes in his career.
But he couldn't prevent the Maple Leafs from coughing up a 3-1 lead with a little more than 10 minutes left.
``Obviously, we wanted to win that one,'' Reimer said. ``We set ourselves up to win, but we made a couple mistakes that cost us.''
Staal scored the deciding goal while Tim Connolly was in the penalty box following a tripping penalty. Staal fired a one-timer from the right circle past Reimer's shoulder to end it.
Ron Wilson on the Leafs' downfall:
"On the back end we got caught up the ice. A partner didn't help his buddy out and he gave up a breakaway and that's right on the shift after we had made it 3-to-1. In hindsight, I should have called a timeout right there ... then we turned the puck over in our zone and didn't clear the front of the net on the third goal. The overtime you get stuck on a 4-on-3, you're looking at trying to kill off two minutes there and that's personally I think a puck you have to stop anyway but we didn't. At least we got a point but I'm not happy. I'm disappointed in the way once we got the lead is that our mental approach wasn't right."."
``I think that's a puck that I want to stop at least most of the time, but good for him. He's a good player,'' Reimer said. ``He's got a good shot. At least we got the point.''
That put the finishing touch on one of Carolina's most exciting victories of the season.
With the score tied 1-1 midway through the third period, Toronto's Darryl Boyce nudged the puck at Ward's left pad after taking a pass on the rush. Carolina's Alexei Ponikarovsky didn't wrap up Kulemin in front, allowing the Maple Leafs forward to tap in the rebound for his fourth goal.
Lupul made it 3-1 less than three minutes later when he deflected a shot from the point past Ward at the end of a Maple Leafs power play.
The Hurricanes responded quickly.
Staal beat Reimer between the pads during a breakaway 40 seconds after Lupul's goal, and Dalpe tied it when he finished off a scramble in front. That goal came a little more than two minutes after Staal brought Carolina within one.
``At least we got the point, but I'm not happy,'' Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. ``I'm disappointed in the way that once we got a lead our mental approach wasn't right.''
NOTES: It was the second NHL assist for Bowman. . After being short handed only five times in five home games, Carolina killed all seven Toronto power plays. . The Maple Leafs and Hurricanes split their two previous meetings this season.
Saturday, December 31
@ Winnipeg Jets
7 PM ET (CBC, AM640)
The Maple Leafs close out the four-game road trip with a stop in Winnipeg. This will be the Leafs' first visit to Manitoba since the 1995-96 season.
So far this season the Leafs are 1-0-0 against the Jets. Winnipeg defeated the Kings 1-0 in OT on Thursday and are 4-1-1 in their last six games. Both teams are tied in the standings with identical 18-14-5 records.