Nazem Kadri has dented the scoresheet in a career-high eight straight games, but the Toronto Maple Leafs have mustered just one goal in back-to-back losses after erupting for 21 during their six-game winning streak. Kadri looks to continue his streak while nipping that of the Leafs in the bud on Friday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes.
Kadri offered no apologies for increasing his point total to nine (five goals, four assists) during that stretch with a goal in Wednesday’s 2-1 shootout loss to Florida, but did show remorse for accidentally hitting a penalty box official with his stick in frustration during the late stages of the third period. “I feel terrible about it,” the 27-year-old Kadri said. “It’s an emotional game and I kind of got out of control. ... There’s no excuse for it. It won’t happen again.” Carolina coach Bill Peters wasn’t in the mood for excuses after watching his team’s momentum following a 5-1-1 run halted with a 6-1 setback to the New York Rangers on Wednesday. “We’re not going to win a whole bunch of games if we’re not the hardest-working team,” said Peters, who put his team through the paces on Thursday with a skating session.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN4 (Toronto), FSN Carolinas
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (14-8-1): After offering an ice-cold response earlier in the week, coach Mike Babcock apparently is warming up to the notion of pairing Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner on the same line on a more consistent basis. The 20-year-old forwards were linked together in Wednesday’s game and again during practice the following day. Fellow linemate Zach Hyman returned to practice on Thursday after exiting the contest versus the Panthers with a suspected concussion, although Matt Martin did not participate and told TSN that he expects to be a healthy scratch versus Carolina.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (9-7-4): Sebastian Aho scored for the fifth straight contest on Wednesday, raising his point total to 10 (five goals, five assists) during his five-game point streak. Fellow Finn Teuvo Teravainen set up Aho’s goal to push both his assist and point streaks to five games (five goals, six assists) as well, with Teravainen also scoring a goal and setting up two others in Carolina’s 6-3 win at Toronto on Oct. 26. Scott Darling made 31 saves versus the Maple Leafs to pick up the win, but owns an .881 save percentage in his last five starts overall.
1. Carolina C Josh Jooris scored twice in the first meeting versus Toronto for his lone goals of the season.
2. Maple Leafs G Frederik Andersen turned aside 42 shots in his last outing and boasts a .968 save percentage in his last six starts.
3. The Hurricanes have scored five power-play goals in their last five games after going 1-for-26 with the man advantage in their previous 10.
PREDICTION: Hurricanes 4, Maple Leafs 2