Carolina at Toronto

Wallin bails out Hurricanes in OT after team blows three-goal lead


TORONTO -- The Maple Leafs did all they could to rally back from a three-goal deficit. Toronto just didn't have enough to pull out the victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Niclas Wallin scored 1:52 into overtime as the Hurricanes blew a three-goal lead before pulling out a 5-4 victory over the Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

With the game tied in the third period, Toronto had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:13, but couldn't put home a goal.

"I thought after that, a little bit of the momentum left them," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "Not that we turned it on that much, but it became pretty even at that point. No team really dominated from that point on, so we did grab some momentum and settled things down with that kill."

Tuomo Ruutu, Dennis Seidenberg, Chad LaRose and Ryan Bayda also had goals for Carolina (7-3-2).

Mikhail Grabovski had two goals and Niklas Hagman and Mike Van Ryn also scored for the Maple Leafs (5-4-4).

There were 10 goals scored when the teams faced each other in Raleigh on Sunday, so it wasn't all that surprising to see the offense carry over to the second half of the back-to-back series.

"We've got to hammer it home," said Toronto coach Ron Wilson. "We've changed our focus a little bit -- we thought we had (defense) in the can and have gone more into the attack mode, more shots and focused on offense. We just have to hammer (defense) home."

The Hurricanes grabbed a 3-0 lead before the first period was half over.

Ruutu beat Vesa Toskala with a low shot at 2:20, Seidenberg scored on a power play at 5:06 and LaRose tallied his fourth goal of the season at 8:53 after the puck bounced out from the end boards.

Toronto started its comeback when Hagman finished a give-and-go with Nikolai Kulemin by beating Cam Ward with a high shot at 13:52 of the first period.

"We dug ourselves a hole in the first (period) and it was too big to get out of almost," said Toronto defenseman Jeff Finger. "We salvaged a point but I think everybody agrees that that's not good enough in the first. It pretty much cost us two points."

The Hagman-Grabovski-Kulemin unit was easily Toronto's best on this night, providing energy and the team's second goal after Bayda had made it 4-1 for Carolina. Grabovski got his fourth of the season at 3:40 of the second period by cashing in a great cross-crease pass from Hagman on a power play.

Van Ryn set up a dramatic third period by ripping a shot behind Ward at 14:32 to narrow the Hurricanes lead to 4-3. Toronto outshot Carolina 16-5 in the middle frame and carried all the momentum into the final 20 minutes.

That was evident early as Grabovski's second of the game at 1:29 of the third period tied things up. That gave the flashy Belarussian four goals in two games.


  • Toronto's Ian White dressed for the second straight game after being a scratch in the first 11.
  • Carlo Colaiacovo, Jonas Frogren and Ryan Hollweg sat out for the Leafs.
  • Toronto has outshot its opponents in nine straight games.
  • The Hurricanes have serious injury problems: Matt Cullen (leg), Brandon Sutter (concussion), Joni Pitkanen (knee), Frantisek Kaberle (leg) and Justin Williams (Achilles tendon) are all currently on the shelf.
  • Finger played his 100th career NHL game.
  • Announced attendance was 19,266.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Niclas Wallin (7) scores 1:52 into overtime to win it for the Hurricanes. (Getty Images)
Niclas Wallin (7) scores 1:52 into overtime to win it for the Hurricanes. (Getty Images)
Related Links
Carolina  (7-3-2) «40015
Toronto (5-4-4)12104
Three Stars
N. Wallin

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
M. Grabovski

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
C. Ward

Saves: 38
Save Pct.: .905

Related Video

August 28, 2017
2017-18 NHL preview: Carolina Hurricanes (0:41)
October 16, 2017
NHL Power Rankings (Week of 10/16)
September 7, 2017
2017-18 NHL preview: Toronto Maple Leafs
April 9, 2017
2017 NHL Playoff Picture
Scoring Summary
02:20Tuomo Ruutu (4), Slap Shot. Assist: LaRose
05:06Power Play - Dennis Seidenberg (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Corvo, Whitney
08:53Chad LaRose (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Babchuk, Melichar
13:52Niklas Hagman (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Kulemin, Grabovski
18:50Ryan Bayda (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Whitney
03:40Power Play - Mikhail Grabovski (4), Snap Shot. Assist: Hagman, Kulemin
14:32Mike Van Ryn (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Antropov, Stajan
01:29Mikhail Grabovski (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Kaberle, Kubina
01:52Niclas Wallin (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Ruutu, Samsonov
Penalty Summary
04:25Blake, 2 min, Tripping
02:09LaRose, 2 min, Holding the Stick
15:37Kubina, 2 min, Tripping
06:12Babchuk, 2 min, Holding
06:59Gleason, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
Shots On Goal
Cam Ward 61:42384
Vesa Toskala 61:52195
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 19266
Referees - Dennis LaRue, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen - Scott Cherrey, Steve Miller
Other Games
Min 1 Final
SJ 3
Ana 1 Final
LA 0
Pho 4 Final
Cal 2
NYI 2 Final
Wash 1 Final
Ott 2
Nash 0 Final
Van 4