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Leafs ‘half a step behind’ in loss to Hurricanes

Feb 14, 2013, 11:16 PM EDT

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The winds that brought the Toronto Maple Leafs a four-game winning streak changed direction, at least for one night, in Raleigh.

The Leafs gave up a trio of goals in the second period and dropped a 3-1 decision on the road to the Carolina Hurricanes. It was a result that drew the criticism of Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle.

“We were half a step behind all night,” Carlyle told the Toronto Sun. “The level of hockey being played was no where near high enough from our standpoint.”

Hurricanes captain Eric Staal recorded an assist on Joe Corvo‘s goal, which opened the scoring in the second period, and, in doing so, extended his current point streak to 11 games.

Staal started the season without a point in his first two games.

The Hurricanes now have five wins in their last seven games, and points in six of those games. The Hurricanes also completed a six-game road trip Tuesday.

“That’s a common trend (and) the coaches did a really good job of addressing that in our meetings,” Hurricanes goalie Dan Ellis, told the Raleigh News and Observer.

“They constantly made us aware that, ‘Guys, it’s almost like an extra road game. Let’s approach it with the mentality you want to finish the road trip strong, even though you’re at home.’

“That’s what we did. We gave a good push and got a good win against a hot team.”

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