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Carolina Hurricanes at Toronto Maple Leafs: Thursday game preview

From The Star

Hurricanes at Leafs

Air Canada Centre

Puck drop: 7:30 p.m.

TV: Sportsnet

Radio: TSN Radio 1050

Key matchup: Dan Winnik vs Justin Faulk. The Leafs’ penalty killers, led by Winnik, will undoubtedly key on Faulk, who has 14 goals this season, 12 of them on the power play. Faulk has three game-winning goals and is one of the true power-play talents in the NHL.

Need to know: The Hurricanes had climbed to within five points of the top wild-card spot, and to within three points of the second berth, after a 4-0-1 stretch prior to Sunday’s 5-0 loss in Pittsburgh . . . Carolina is without goaltender Cam Ward, who was placed on injured reserve Sunday with a concussion. Ward last played Friday against Vancouver. He is 14-11-5, with a 2.42 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage . . . Eric Staal can be a free agent at the end of the season, triggering questions about his future in Carolina. Staal, a 20-plus goal scorer nine times in his career, has just nine goals and 19 assists this season. While trade talk follows him, he has an $8.25-million (U.S.) cap hit this season (pro rated to any team that acquires him), and a no-trade clause.

Up next: Saturday, vs Montreal, 7 p.m.

Source: Carolina Hurricanes at Toronto Maple Leafs: Thursday game preview

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