Skip to main content

The Toronto Maple Leafs would be well-served by bringing home their road performance when they play against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

The Maple Leafs have often played better on the road this season as they showed Thursday night in a 6-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Toronto has posted a 20-7-6 record in 33 games away from home this season. Only the 2018-19 team (32 games) reached 20 road wins faster.

“I do feel we’ve done better on the road than at home this season,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “It’s hard to pinpoint why. The mindset is a little different than at home. We’ve had some good, gutsy-type efforts on the road in tough circumstances and at home, we’re less consistent with our play with the puck, some defensive play and how we’ve managed games, for some reason.”

The Maple Leafs are 18-12-2 at home this season.

In the win at Philadelphia, Auston Matthews scored his league-leading 55th goal of the season. He also had an assist. William Nylander, Tyler Bertuzzi, Pontus Holmberg and Timothy Liljegren also had a goal and an assist.

Toronto had not played since defeating the host Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on Saturday and took two days off during the week.

“We were fresh tonight and felt that throughout the locker room. Obviously, a positive,” Matthews said.

“I thought we were really good in all three zones,” Bertuzzi said. “Rest is a weapon late in the season.”

The Maple Leafs played without Mitchell Marner (lower-body injury). During the second period Thursday, Calle Jarnkrok left the game and did not return after sliding into the boards. The versatile Swede, who recently returned to the lineup after missing 13 games with a broken knuckle, is out week-to-week with a hand injury.

The Hurricanes also won Thursday, 4-0 at home over the Florida Panthers.

Former Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen earned his first shutout of the season as the Hurricanes won their 40th game.

“Everyone played well,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “That’s what you have to do against a team like [the Panthers]. Obviously, they were missing a couple of guys, so that helped us, that’s for sure, but overall, that’s a good effort.”

At Raleigh, N.C., Andersen made 21 saves in his third game since missing 50 with a blood-clotting issue.

“It feels good, obviously a nice little cherry on top,” Andersen said. “I’m having fun. I don’t show it too much, but I’m loving it out there. It’s really fun being in this room with everyone.”

The Hurricanes have won four of their past five games.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his first goal for the Hurricanes. It was his fourth game since being acquired from the Washington Capitals.

Jake Guentzel, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 7, got his first assist in his second game with Carolina.

“I understand why I’m here and why this team brought me,” Kuznetsov said. “They need us to perform, and they need us eventually to get the points and goals to help the team. I felt like today was the day we had to step up. It was a dry three games for me, so it was very important. I had fun tonight.”

The Hurricanes previously defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 on Dec. 30 at Toronto.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe