The first period of the game was nothing new for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they played the third and final game of their season series against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Leafs were almost perpetually hemmed into their own end, and the Canes would record two goals in the opening 10 minutes.
Joffrey Lupul cut the Carolina lead in half with seven minutes remaining in the frame, sending home a Mason Raymond pass from behind the net. But Patrick Dwyer answered for the Canes when he sent a wrist shot through a crowd of Leafs as James Reimer struggled to locate the puck.
John-Michael Liles stretched the Carolina lead to three with a well-placed wrist shot early in the second period, the first point for the former Leaf since being traded to Carolina.
Jordan Staal scored Carolina’s eighth shorthanded goal of the season at the start of the final frame, freezing Reimer with a laser beam of a shot.
Elias Lindholm would finish things off in the dying minutes of the game, scoring a power play marker as the clock ran down.
Carter Ashton returned to the Leafs lineup after being called up from the Marlies. Ashton recorded 10 goals in his 12-game stretch with the AHL team. Jake Gardiner was a healthy scratch and replaced by Mark Fraser.
With the loss the Leafs fell out of a playoff position for the first time in close to a calendar year.