NHL On Tap: Matthews looks to stay hot for Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes

Welcome to the NHL On Tap. Three NHL.com writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from three games Sunday.

Matthews, Maple Leafs roll into Raleigh without Samsonov

Austin Matthews is heating up and, not surprisingly, so too are the Toronto Maple Leafs (6-4-2). But they’re heading into a game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Sunday (5 pm ET; ESPN, TVAS, TSN4) down another goalie. Ilya Samsonov sustained a knee injury in a 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins on Saturday and is on injured reserve. Erik Kallgren, who made seven saves in relief of Samsonov on Saturday, will start against the Hurricanes. Toronto signed Keith Petruzzelli to a two-year, entry-level contract to back up Kallgren because Matt Murray and Joseph Woll are also injured. Matthews scored both goals against Boston to help Toronto win its second straight game after losing four in a row (0-2-2). The Maple Leafs center has goals in three straight games and four of five. Matthews, who scored 60 goals last season, was bound to get on a hot streak. Good goal scorers don’t stay dormant for too long. But more importantly, Matthews’ hot streak has helped the Maple Leafs right themselves. Matthews, Kallgren and the rest of the Maple Leafs won’t have it easy against the Hurricanes (8-2-1), who have won four in a row, including 5-3 against the Buffalo Sabers behind forward Sebastian Aho‘s hat trick on Friday. — Dan Rosen, senior writer

Video: [email protected]: Matthews puts home pass in front for PPG

Wheels are turning for Red Wings

So far, so good for the Detroit Red Wings and their offseason renovation. They’re 6-3-2 and visit Madison Square Garden to play the New York Rangers (5 pm ET; SN360, MSG, BSDET, ESPN+, SN NOW) coming off a 3-0 win against the New York Islanders at home Saturday that ended their opponent’s five-game winning streak. Free agent forwards Andrew Copp, Dominik Kubalík and David Perronand defensemen Ben Chiarot and Ollie Maatta are contributing. Kubalik has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 11 games and showing the form of his 30-goal season with the Chicago Blackhawks that made him a finalist for the 2020 Calder Trophy given to the NHL rookie of the year. Defenseman Ryan Lindgren did not practice for the Rangers (6-4-2) on Saturday because of an upper-body injury, but Philip Chytil could return after the forward missed six games with an upper-body injury. — Jon Lane, staff writer

Video: [email protected]: Kubalik scores in 3rd period

Ducks look to continue to roll

The Anaheim Ducks are on a bit of a roll heading into their home game against the Florida Panthers (9 pm ET; NHLN, SN, BSSC, BSSF, SN NOW). The Ducks (4-7-1) have won three of their past four games, including a 5-4 shootout win against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. It’s a turnaround from a seven-game losing streak that ended with a 4-3 overtime win against the Maple Leafs on Oct. 30. Forward Trevor Zegras has a four-game point streak (three goals, four assists) for Anaheim, as does forward Troy Terry (one goal, six assists). Florida (6-5-1) hopes to rebound after a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at Crypto.com Arena on Saturday. They are 2-4-0 in their past six games. Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe has five goals in his past five games, including two in the loss to the Kings. — William Douglas, staff writer

Video: [email protected]: Zegras scores twice to lift Ducks to win

Sunday games

Detroit Red Wings at New York Rangers (5 p.m. ET; SN360, MSG, BSDET, ESPN+, SN NOW)

Alex Nedeljkovic will likely start for the Red Wings after Ville Husso made 26 saves Saturday against the New York Islanders. Red Wings forward Philip Zadina was helped off the ice after being hit in his right leg by a shot with 5:19 left in the third period Saturday and was placed on IR after the game. New York has earned at least one point in six consecutive games against Detroit (5-0-1), including four in a row (3-0-1) and six of seven at home. Mike Zibanejad has points in four straight games (two goals, four assists) and the Rangers are 6-1-0 this season when he gets a point.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Carolina Hurricanes (5 p.m. ET; ESPN, TVAS, TSN4)

Mitchell Marner had assists on each Auston Matthews goal against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, giving him consecutive multi-assist games and points in five straight (one goal, seven assists). Hurricanes forward Martin Necas had another goal and an assist against the Buffalo Sabers on Friday, giving the forward a team-high 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists). Necas has a point in 10 of 11 games. The Hurricanes are 3-1-0 at home. Toronto is 2-3-2 on the road.

Florida Panthers at Anaheim Ducks (9 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, BSSC, BSSF, SN NOW)

Spencer Knight likely will start for the Panthers after goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves in a 5-4 loss at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Florida is 31st in the NHL on the power play (10.2 percent); Anaheim is 30th (12.1 percent). The Ducks are allowing 4.58 goals per game, tied for worst in the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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