The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Wednesday to keep the Hurricanes from moving into a tie for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Hurricanes needed a win to tie the Buffalo Sabres with 76 points for the eighth and last post-season slot, but the Maple Leafs scored three unanswered goals to check Carolina’s (32-29-10) playoff push and improved their own playoff outlook.
Dion Phaneuf scored two goals and Tyler Bozak added a third at 11:03 in the second after they had fallen behind 1-0 to a Chad LaRose powerplay goal in the first period.
Toronto’s rookie goaltender James Reimer made 36 saves as Toronto moved four points behind the East’s final playoff spot.
Reimer, who was called up to the NHL last December, had been benched when he allowed five goals in a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday and local media suggested he could be experiencing fatigue in his first NHL season, but his coach quickly dispelled those thoughts.
“I’m sick of hearing that,” Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson told reporters. “He’s going to have some nights where he’s not as good as he is on other nights. That’s like everyone in this league.”
Carolina goaltender Cam Ward made 16 saves.
He had recorded 40 stops in a win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, but the Hurricanes could not keep their momentum going.
In other games it was:
‧ Detroit 3, Washington 2
‧ Vancouver 4, Colorado 2
‧ Anaheim 2, St Louis 1