RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Joe Corvo's confidence is growing for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Corvo opened the scoring and assisted on the go-ahead goal in Carolina's 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
The Hurricanes have won three straight and have gone 8-2-1 since starting the season 0-2.
Corvo was a healthy scratch for three consecutive games earlier this month, but since then the defenseman has responded with five points in four games.
``When you try to get involved, good things happen, you get chances,' Corvo said. ``There's a big difference between playing safe and playing confident. Obviously, right now I'm playing pretty confident.'
Jussi Jokinen scored the go-ahead goal, and Jeff Skinner had two assists for Carolina, which played at home for the first time since Feb. 1.
Jordan Staal added a goal for the Hurricanes, and brother Eric Staal extended his point streak to an NHL-leading 11 games with an assist on Corvo's goal, the first of three for the Hurricanes in the second period.
Corvo kept the puck in the Toronto zone and then took advantage of several misplays by the Toronto defense. Eric Staal was knocked off the puck as he attempted to pass from behind the net, but the puck drifted into the slot for Corvo, who scored to Ben Scrivens' right side at 6:06 of the second period.
``I'm not a big defenseman that's physical. I have to bring something to the team,' Corvo said. ``If I don't bring some sort of offensive edge, then I'd be sitting on the bench, playing 12 to 14 minutes, and I'm not effective doing that.'
After Toronto's Nazem Kadri got his fourth goal of the season to tie the score at 7:51 of the second, Jokinen gathered in a loose puck in front of a sprawling Scrivens at 12:58 of the second period. Corvo and Skinner set up the score with a rush on the power play, and Skinner also assisted on Jordan Staal's goal at 15:09 of the second.
Dan Ellis made 22 saves for the Hurricanes, who stopped Toronto's four-game winning streak.
Ellis, Cam Ward's backup, has won three of his four starts this season.
Scrivens made 30 saves for Toronto, which fell to 6-2 on the road.
``They've got some good hockey players up front,' Kadri said of the Hurricanes. ``We figured we'd get the puck in deep and kind of try and use their D-men as their weak point, but they did an excellent job today, and we just weren't good enough.'
Carolina's Bobby Sanguinetti was whistled for a penalty 22 seconds after Corvo's goal, and Toronto took advantage. Dion Phaneuf's shot bounced off Carolina's Jamie McBain and then off the shin of Kadri for his fourth goal of the season.
Carolina outshot Toronto 33-23, including 13-10 in the second period and 12-5 in the third.
NOTES: The teams met for the second of three games in the lockout-shortened season. Carolina won the first meeting 4-1 in Toronto on Feb. 4, part of a 4-1-1 road trip. ... Defenseman Michal Jordan made his NHL debut for Carolina after getting called up from Charlotte of the AHL. ... The Hurricanes played without injured defensemen Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason, and forward Chad LaRose was a healthy scratch. ... Carolina's Skinner has a six-game point streak (two goals, seven assists). ... Toronto's Scrivens has been playing after James Reimer went out with a knee injury in the second period of the Leafs' win over Philadelphia on Monday. ... Kadri leads Toronto in points (12).
The Associated Press News Service
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