Leafs getting overtime winner to knock off Hurricanes, 3-2

Morgan Riellys goal helps Toronto keep pace in playoff hunt

James Guillory—USA TODAY Sports
Maple Leafs defensemen Morgan Rielly celebrates his game-winning goal on Carolina goalieCam Wardin overtime against the Hurricanes on Saturdayat PNC Arena.

RALEIGH — The Carolina Hurricanes played another tight game against a team jockeying for playoff position in the Eastern Conference, but they couldn’t play spoiler Saturday night at PNC Arena.Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly scored 2:13 into overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 win over Carolina. The Hurricanes outshot the Leafs 38-26, but again struggled to turn those chances into goals.”A little more finishing around the net, obviously, is what we’re needing and lacking right now,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said.The Hurricanes and Maple Leafs exchanged goals near the first period’s midway point, with Victor Rask scoring his 15th goal on a wrist shot that beat Frederik Andersen on the short side at 8:59, followed by Toronto rookie Mitch Marner zipping a one-timer past Cam Ward 53 seconds later to tie it.The Carolina power play picked up where it left off Thursday when it scored twice, by converting on its first chance.Toronto defenseman Nikita Zaitsev penalty for cross-checking carried over from the end of the first to the beginning of the second, and Teuvo Teravainen’s point shot was tipped and went past Andersen just 45 seconds into the period to push Carolina ahead, 2-1. The goal was originally credited to Jordan Staal, but was changed back to Teravainen before the third period.”It’s all about confidence,” Teravainen said of the power play getting its third goal in two games. “You want to feel good about yourself, you want to make some plays and have the confidence to make some moves. And either way you have to shoot the puck … like my goal, I just throw it in there and bounce it in.”But the Maple Leafs (31-22-14) responded again.Off a faceoff just outside the Carolina blue line, Toronto pushed the puck forward and it wound up bouncing to Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk in the slot. Van Riemsdyk released a quick shot that beat Ward at 7:37 of the second to tie the game.Carolina (27-27-11) outshot Toronto in all three periods, then possessed the puck to start overtime but couldn’t get another goal past Andersen (36 saves). Rask turned the puck over then chased Rielly around the Carolina zone. Rielly got to the middle and flipped a shot that Ward (23 saves) had clear view of but had bounce of his left pad and in to end it.”It’s definitely a tough pill to swallow on that one,” Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin said of the loss. “You’ve gotta give props to their goalie, he played a pretty good game. But we definitely had our opportunities to score and we just got to take advantage of that next time.”Slavin played a season-high 29:47 — seven seconds shy of his career high set in an overtime loss to Tampa Bay on March 5, 2016 — due in part to an injury to Hurricanes forward Valentin Zykov in the first minute of the game.Zykov — who scored in his NHL debut Thursday — lasted just 37 seconds against the Leafs after he was violently slammed into the boards by Toronto defenseman Roman Polak. Zykov went to the Carolina locker room favoring his right arm/shoulder and did not return. Carolina played the balance of the game with 11 forwards, using defenseman Ryan Murphy up front on the fourth line and playing with five defensemen.”It didn’t look good,” Peters said of Zykov’s injury. “It looked like it was a hard hit. He went in awkward, obviously. Tough one, tough play on a kid. First shift for Z in the game and obviously coming off a pretty exciting game for him in his last game.”Notes: Ward was called for interference in the second period after he was kicked over behind the net by Nazem Kadri, a call Peters said, “In the last decade that’d be the first [he’d seen].” … Noah Hanifin finished with 11 shot attempts, including six on goal. … Rask won 8 of 10 faceoffs, while Jay McClement lost 7 of 9.