TORONTO — The Carolina Hurricanes know they have the ability to score more goals this season and they proved it Thursday night.
With Josh Jooris leading the way by scoring twice, the Hurricanes had their biggest offensive outburst of the season with a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I think we are going to score, I think we have the ability to score but we haven’t done it,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “We have enough talent to score if we get committed and do the right things.”
The Hurricanes struck early and had a 3-1 lead but the Maple Leafs came back to tie it before Victor Rask notched the go-ahead goal in the second period.
“Noncompetitive right from the start until the end,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “They deserved to win, we didn’t deserve to win. We didn’t work, they worked. They were organized, we were unorganized. They were prepared, we were unprepared. We couldn’t fix one thing technically tonight because we didn’t work hard enough.”
The Hurricanes, who came into the game averaging about 2.5 goals per game, feel that the early goals were important.
“It’s big, especially on the road against a good team like this,” Jooris said. “Obviously, you don’t want to give it up like that, but we showed some resiliency.”
Teuvo Teravainen, Elias Lindholm and Brock McGinn also scored for the Hurricanes (4-3-1), who had lost their two previous games. Teravainen and Haydn Fleury each added two assists.
“Both teams are fast,” said Hurricanes goaltender Scott Darling, who made 31 saves. “We were working super hard the whole game, retrieving pucks, getting pucks deep, back-checking hard. They’re a really good team, really skilled and we did a good job of kind of trying to smother them.”
Auston Matthews, Zach Hyman and Dominic Moore scored for the Maple Leafs (7-3-0) and Frederik Andersen made 32 saves.
The Hurricanes struck for two goals within 33 seconds in the first three minutes.
Jooris snapped a one-timer for his first goal of the season at 2:20 of the first period and Teravainen scored from the slot for his third goal of the season.
“I thought we started on time, which is obviously important,” Peters said. “We haven’t done that on a consistent basis. And I thought we were disciplined. We did a good job of getting pucks to the net.”
“When you’re on the road and jump out to a quick lead it’s nice,” said Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner, who set up the second goal by Jooris.
The Maple Leafs cut the lead in half when Matthews scored his eighth goal of the season at 9:19 of the first while unchecked in the slot against a sloppy Carolina defense. Patrick Marleau made the pass.
“If we start like that we’re not going to win many games,” Matthews said. “I think it’s just a consistency thing with this team right now. We just played pretty similar teams, as far as their structure goes, and they definitely came out and they were flying and getting in on the forecheck and we weren’t very good defensively. So, like I said, when you start like that it’s going to be tough to win games.”
Carolina regained its two-goal lead when Lindholm tipped in his second goal of the season from a faceoff at 16:08 of the first. The goal came after Andersen made a glove save that drew an ovation.
Carolina had a 16-15 advantage in shots on goal in the first period.
The Maple Leafs tied the game at 3 with goals 1:24 apart in the second period.
Moore scored his third of the season knocking in a rebound with a backhand at 5:47 and Hyman scored his fourth on a backhand from the low slot.
Carolina regained the lead when Rask notched his second goal of the season from the slot at 13:37 of the second.
McGinn buried a wrist shot from the left circle at 10:15 of the third and Jooris scored his second of the game at 12:19 to put Carolina ahead by three.
“They did a good job,” Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly said. “We came out and they got us on our heels a bit. We were trying to make plays and trying to get going, but when they’re coming that hard it can be difficult. You kind of put yourself behind the eight-ball when you let a team like that get all over you early.”
NOTES: Maple Leafs LW James van Riemsdyk (leg) was a game-time decision after missing practice Wednesday and was in the lineup Thursday after testing the injury in the pregame skate. Carolina D Trevor van Riemsdyk is his brother. … Toronto D Connor Carrick, C Eric Fehr and LW Josh Leivo were not in uniform for the game. Leivo has not played in a game this season. … Carolina D Klas Dahlbeck and C Janne Kuokkanen did not dress for the game Thursday. … The Hurricanes return home to play the St. Louis Blues on Friday and the Maple Leafs will host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.