Maple Leafs kick off new century with blowout win over Hurricanes

Maple Leafs kick off new century with blowout win over Hurricanes

Marner and Bozak each had a goal and three assists, and the Toronto Maple Leafs stopped a three-game slide by routing the Carolina Hurricanes 8-1 on Tuesday. This contest was Toronto's Next Century Game, celebrating the Leafs franchise's first-ever NHL game - and the first game in league history - a century ago, and it began at the extremely rare start time of 2 p.m. The power play is also struggling with just one goal in 17 opportunities so far in December.

On Dec. 19, 1917, the Montreal Wanderers beat the Toronto Arenas 10-9 on the opening day of the National Hockey League.

Toronto was playing its fifth straight game without star centre Auston Matthews because of an upper-body injury.

The Leafs are in second place in the Atlantic Division with 41 points (nine points behind Tampa Bay) and lead third place Boston by four points, with the Bruins having three games in hand.

James van Riemsdyk - named the 100th best player in Maple Leafs history past year - fittingly scored the 20,000th goal in franchise history, part of a four-goal first period.

The Leafs offence had mustered just four goals in their last four games before exploding against the Hurricanes.

NOTES: The four points for Marner were a career high.

A turnover at the Leafs blue line turned into Toronto's first short-handed goal of the season, as Komarov chose to keep the puck in transition on a 2-on-1 and beat Darling upstairs 2:52 into the game. But forward Patrick Marleau got in on the scoring at 9:25 of the third when he craftily fired the puck from behind Carolina's net, off the skate of blueliner Justin Faulk and past the goal line for his 12th of the year and a 5-1 lead.

Andersen made a couple of big stops in the second and Toronto put it away with two goals in six seconds in the third.

For the game the Leafs will be wearing throwback uniforms based heavily on the design worn by the 1918-19 Toronto Arenas, a blue jersey with a white "T" on the chest and "ARENAS" across it, six thin white stripes on either sleeve and a single white stripe at the waist.



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