RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Paul Maurice was able to breathe a little sigh of relief after the Carolina Hurricanes played their best game of the week Sunday.
``I'm just trying to get on the plane (for Monday night's game at Philadelphia),' the beleaguered coach said with a wry smile after a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist, and Jay Harrison and Jussi Jokinen also scored as the Hurricanes broke a two-game streak of shutouts and won for only the second time in nine games.
They found their offense against Toronto, with captain Eric Staal contributing a pair of assists. Cam Ward had 23 saves for Carolina, which peppered Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens with 41 shots.
``This is big,' Staal said. ``No one likes the situation we're in and no one likes to lose. It was nice to have the same type of effort we had against Buffalo (in Friday's 1-0 loss), and we were rewarded with some goals.'
Phil Kessel scored both goals for the Leafs, giving him an NHL-leading 16 goals and 29 points this season.
Carolina has won 12 of the last 17 meetings with Toronto.
``We scored with plenty of time left,' Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. ``We had our chances but couldn't find a way to finish.'
Carolina led 1-0 after the first period after outshooting the Leafs 10-4, then 2-0 after tying its season high with 19 shots in the second.
``We knew we played a good, solid game the way we wanted to but you have to have something good come from that,' said Maurice. ``Everybody was understanding and playing the same game.'
Harrison gave Carolina the lead with 29 seconds left in the first period, picking up a loose puck at the top of the left circle on a rebound of a Skinner shot and blasting it past Scrivens to the glove side. The goal ended a scoring drought of nearly 155 minutes.
Jokinen made it 2-0 on the power play at 7:05 of the second, throwing the puck at the net from the right circle and getting a lucky ricochet off the skate of Luke Schenn. Justin Faulk had the primary assist for his first NHL point on the goal, which snapped Carolina's 0-for-23 slump on the power play.
Kessel cut it to 2-1 on a 4-on-3 at 4:31 of the third, picking up the loose puck on the left doorstep and slamming it home with Dion Phaneuf on the primary assist.
The Hurricanes got the clincher on a rush with just under 7 minutes to go when Skinner followed a rebound of a Staal shot and slid it in on the glove side.
``Everyone wants to win, and the biggest pressure is the pressure you put on yourselves,' Skinner said. ``Especially when you've been going through what we've gone through the last few games. It's not fun.'
Kessel scored his second on a 6-on-5 with a minute remaining, with John-Michael Liles getting the assist.
Notes: Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice was the Leafs' head coach from 2006-08. . Leafs LW Clarke MacArthur (upper body) and RW Mike Brown (undisclosed) each missed his third straight game. . Carolina D Joni Pitkanen (lower body) missed his fourth straight. . Hurricanes D Tomas Kaberle played for Toronto from 1998-2011, while teammates C Tim Brent, LW Alexei Ponikarovsky, C Jiri Tlusty and D Jay Harrison are also former Leafs.
The Associated Press News Service
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