HURRICANES AT MAPLE LEAFS PREGAME NOTES: Andersen is 8-4-3 at home this season with a 2.67 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. – Has made 10 career appearances against the Hurricanes and is 6-3-0 with a 2.89 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.- Leads the NHL in wins (18).- Third in the NHL in saves (823) and second in even-strength saves (694).- Tied for third in the NHL in shootout saves (11).

CAROLINA HURRICANES (22-12-2 – 46 Points) vs.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (19-14-4 – 42 Points)

DECEMBER 23, 2019 ▪ 2:00 PM EST

SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON) ▪
TV: SPORTSNET ONTARIO ▪ RADIO: SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus CAROLINA

ALL-TIME RECORD:46-58-11-7 (122 Games)
ALL-TIME AT HOME:23-31-5-2 (61 Games)
2018-19:1-2-0
LAST FIVE:3-2-0
LAST 10:6-4-0

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus CAROLINA

GAMES PLAYED:Jason Spezza (42), John Tavares (37), Morgan Rielly (18)
GOALS:John Tavares (25), Jason Spezza (19), Tyson Barrie (3), Cody Ceci (3)
ASSISTS:Jason Spezza (21), John Tavares (19), Morgan Rielly (6)
POINTS:John Tavares (44), Jason Spezza (40), Morgan Rielly (8)
PENALTY MINUTES:John Tavares (26), Jason Spezza (20), Three players tied (6)

MAPLE LEAFS – HURRICANES TEAM STATS

 TORONTOCAROLINA
GOALS FOR (Rank):124 (3rd)116 (t-10th)
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):       114 (t-21st)94 (t-3rd)
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):21/100 [21.0%] (13th)27/113 [23.8%] (5th)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):84/110 [76.3%] (26th)110/130 [84.6%] (4th)
SHOTS (Rank):1232 (4th)1219 (5th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):1881 (t-1st)1725 (6th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):52.7% (5th)55.3% (1st)
FACEOFF % (Rank):52.4% (t-3rd)50.2% (16th)

MAPLE LEAFS – HURRICANES NOTES

FIRST MATCHUP BETWEEN CLUBS:October 31, 1979 vs. Hartford (Hartford 4, Toronto 2)
ALL-TIME RECORD:46-58-11-7 (122 Games)
ALL-TIME RECORD AT HOME:23-31-5-2 (61 Games)
ALL-TIME RECORD ON THE ROAD:23-27-6-5 (61 Games)
LAST WIN VS. OPPONENT AT HOME:December 19, 2017 (Toronto 8, Carolina 1)

MAPLE LEAFS MILESTONES vs. HURRICANES

Frederik AndersenOriginally selected by Carolina in the seventh round (187th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.
200th NHL game (Oct. 26, 2017 vs. CAR)
Travis Dermott100th NHL game (April 2, 2019 vs. CAR)
John Tavares700th NHL game (Dec. 11, 2018 at CAR)
  

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADER
GOALS23 (Matthews)
ASSISTS22 (Marner)
POINTS41 (Matthews)
POWER PLAY POINTS12 (Matthews)
SHORTHANDED POINTS(Engvall, Kapanen)
PIMs30 (Muzzin)
SHOTS135 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN%59.3% (Gauthier)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %55.4% (Matthews, Nylander)
BLOCKED SHOTS63 (Muzzin)
TAKEAWAYS39 (Marner)
HITS84 (Muzzin)
TOI PER GAME24:23 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME2:53 (Marner)
SH TOI PER GAME3:06 (Ceci)


MAPLE LEAFS PLAYER NOTES

Frederik Andersen– Is 8-4-3 at home this season with a 2.67 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage.
– Has made 10 career appearances against the Hurricanes and is 6-3-0 with a 2.89 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.- Leads the NHL in wins (18).- Third in the NHL in saves (823) and second in even-strength saves (694).- Tied for third in the NHL in shootout saves (11).
Tyson Barrie– Averaging 14.3 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time, which is the seventh-highest average among NHL defencemen who have appeared in 30 games.
– Has been on the ice for the sixth-most shot attempts for (715) among NHL skaters.
– Has an on-ice shot attempt differential of plus-124, which is eighth among NHL defencemen.
Cody Ceci– Has an on-ice goal differential of plus-eight at even-strength, which is tied for the second highest even-strength goal differential among Toronto skaters.- Ninth among NHL skaters in shorthanded time on ice (114:39).- Has played 61.7 percent of Toronto’s shorthanded ice time, which is tied for the 11th-highest shorthanded time on ice percentage among NHLers who have appeared in at least 30 games.
Justin Holl– Has started his 44.7 percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which is the lowest mark among Toronto defencemen who have appeared in at least 10 games.- Has an unblocked shot attempt percentage of 53.0 percent at 5-on-5, which is the second-highest percentage among Toronto defencemen who have appeared in at least 10 games.
Michael Hutchinson– Fourth among NHL goaltenders who have appeared in 10 or fewer games in saves (226).
Zach Hyman– Tied his career-high for points in a game with three (2-1-3) on December 21 vs. Detroit
– Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 53.7 percent, which ranks ninth among Toronto skaters who have played 10 games.
– Averaging 15:30 per game in even-strength ice time, which ranks seventh among Maple Leafs.  
Kasperi Kapanen– Seventh among Toronto skaters in even-strength points (6-8-14).- Has played 35.9 percent of the Maple Leafs’ shorthanded ice time, which ranks fourth among Toronto forwards.
Alex Kerfoot– Seventh among Toronto skaters in even-strength goals (5).- Lone Toronto forward to have recorded at least 20 hits (28) and 20 blocked shots (23) this season.
Mitch Marner– Averaging 0.54 primary assists per game, which is tied for eighth among NHLers who have appeared in at least 20 games.- Tied for 15th in the NHL in primary assists (14). – Third in the NHL in takeaways (39). Averages 4.43 takeaways per 60 minutes of ice time, which ranks second among NHLers who have skated in at least 20 games.- Ninth among NHL forwards in shifts per game (25.5).
Auston Matthews– Third among NHL skaters in goals (23).- Second among NHL skaters in even-strength goals (17).- 11th among NHL skaters in even-strength points (17-12-29).-  Tied for eighth in the NHL with 135 shots on goal.- Has an on-ice goals-for percentage of 61.4 percent at 5-on-5, which is second among Toronto skaters.
Ilya Mikheyev– Averaging 9.1 shots on goal per 60 minutes of shorthanded ice time, which is the fourth-highest average among NHLers who have played at least 60 shorthanded minutes.- Leads all NHL rookies in shorthanded ice time (72:22).- Leads NHL rookies and is third among Maple Leafs in even-strength points (6-14-20).
Jake Muzzin– Has drawn nine penalties this season, which leads Toronto defencemen and is tied for ninth among NHL defencemen.- Averages 0:47 in ice time per shift, which is tied for the fourth-lowest average shift length among defencemen who average at least 21:00 per game in ice time.
William Nylander– Has recorded nine primary assists, which is tied for fourth among Toronto skaters.  – Averages 2.23 points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which ranks fifth among Maple Leafs skaters.- Has recorded five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in eight career games against Carolina.
Morgan Rielly– Tied for 16th among NHL defencemen in points (3-21-24).- Tied for eighth among NHL defencemen in even-strength points
(3-15-18).- Fourth among NHL defencemen in assists recorded at 5-on-5 (14).- Tied for 13th among NHL skaters in TOI per game (24:23).- Tied for 11th among NHL skaters in shifts per game (28.4).
Jason Spezza– Averaging 2.37 points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which is tied for third Toronto skaters.- Averaging 1.31 primary assists per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time in 2019-20, which leads the Maple Leafs and is the seventh-highest average among NHLers who have appeared in at least 20 games.
John Tavares– Has 44 points (25 goals, 19 assists) in 37 career games against Carolina, which is the third-highest point total against the Hurricanes since 2009-10.- Averaging 16.98 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which is the fourth-highest average among NHL centres who have appeared in 20 games.- Averaging 8.88 shots on goal at 5-on-5 per 60 minutes of ice time, which ranks 16th among NHL centres who have appeared in 20 games.- Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 54.9 percent, which ranks fourth among Toronto skaters who have appeared in at least 20 games. 

CURRENT POINT STREAKS

Mitch MarnerHas points (4-8-12) in seven consecutive games.
Auston MatthewsHas assists (3) in two consecutive games and points (4-3-7) in three consecutive games.
  

UPCOMING MILESTONES

Alex KerfootThree points from 100 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES

None 
  

INJURY REPORT

Andreas Johnsson (Leg)On injured reserve.
 Man Games Lost: 75

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

December 21Loaned forward Adam Brooks and defenceman Martin Marincin to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
Activated forward Trevor Moore from the injured reserve.
December 19Recalled forward Adam Brooks and defenceman Martin Marincin from the Toronto Marlies (AHL) on an emergency basis.
December 18Loaned forward Adam Brooks and defencemen Timothy Liljegren and Martin Marincin to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
December 17Recalled forward Adam Brooks from the Toronto Marlies (AHL) on an emergency basis.
December 16Recalled defencemen Timothy Liljegren and Martin Marincin from the Toronto Marlies (AHL) on an emergency basis.

Wizards’ Isaiah Thomas suspended two games for entering stands, 76ers fans banned for a year — Daily Republic

By Candace Buckner, The Washington Post PHILADELPHIA — The NBA issued a two-game suspension to Washington Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas for entering the stands to confront fans in Philadelphia, the league announced Sunday night. The two 76ers fans who made obscene gestures and directed profanities at Thomas during Saturday night’s game, causing the player to […]

Wizards’ Isaiah Thomas suspended two games for entering stands, 76ers fans banned for a year — Daily Republic

Whicker: How many ways to miss LeBron James? Lakers counted them in Denver loss — Daily News

Los Angeles Lakers injured guard LeBron James cheers his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. James sat out the game because of a thoracic muscle strain. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker) Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony…

Whicker: How many ways to miss LeBron James? Lakers counted them in Denver loss — Daily News

RAPTORS 110, MAVERICKS 107 QUOTES: RICK CARLISLE: “It’s pretty clear what happened and it’s an aggression thing. Give them credit, give their fans credit, they kept a lot of energy going. But when you get hit with that kind of force you’ve got to respond with equal or greater force, and we just didn’t do it soon enough.” TIM HARDAWAY JR.: “They played hard and their bench guys, (Rondae) Hollis-Jefferson and (Chris) Boucher, and all those guys did a phenomenal job of coming in and giving them that spark. Hats off to them.”

(19-10) DALLAS MAVERICKS, 107 VS. (21-8) TORONTO RAPTORS, 110 SCOTIABANK ARENA SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2019

TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES

NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)

On Kyle Lowry in the fourth quarter … He was unbelievable and he really didn’t have a good game going until that point. He started firing, making and driving and and-oneing, he was doing it all. I am not sure I have seen anything like it.

On the swarming, trapping defence in the fourth quarter… We stayed with it a long time, we probably called it off a little bit early, to honest with you. There wasn’t really any reason, I think they had one quick dunk out of it, early on it, right when we got in it. They were pulling back so we really were at no risk to try and steal in the backcourt, because when they crossed they were waiting for us to get re-matched up anyway. It is usually a (more) little short-lived than that though, normally.

On the length of Chris Boucher and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to run the press … They played with tremendous energy, I think, more than anything and when you are doing that, we just said anything but the rim. If the ball started heading to the rim, we wanted to swarm it and make them kick out and then try to do our best to get back out there. Other than I think it was the second possession, where they came down and dunked it, I think we did a good job. All the other ones were fouls that were almost good defensive plays at the rim anyway. Rondae and Chris, Rondae at the front and Chris at the back was a good combination there.

On why Kyle Lowry and the bench work so well … I think in that scenario, you know I am always talking about going through your primary guys first, and then those guys have to be opportunity scorers and I think that’s really what it turned into. Kyle makes the play, take the shot or find the cutter, or find the kick out or whatever. I think that just organizes you, they were all like, do your thing and we will chip in where we can and we had just enough cuts and Terence (Davis) makes a three, Rondae here, Chris on a tip in, just enough plays off of Kyle’s initial actions I think would be my answer to that.

On most teams shutting it down, being down 30 with a game tomorrow … I think I would say historically we have always been a team that fights. In my time here, we hardly ever mail it in and it is a good characteristic to have. That thought barely came into my head there, and I said ‘we are going to give it a go to start the fourth’. The game is too long and there have been a lot of leads this year that have disappeared on people. We do it sometimes ourselves, it happens so you might as well take a shot at it sometimes.

CHRIS BOUCHER (21 points, seven rebounds, four blocks)

What’s it like to be part of a game like that? It’s one of the craziest games I’ve ever been in. I’m still realizing we were down 30 and what we had to do to come back. I’m definitely going to go watch the game again, just to see how exciting this game was and how the fans helped us so much just cheering with us. We feel it down to the court.

At what point did you think the comeback was possible? I don’t know. Me and Rondae, we’re talking on the bench and he was saying how he just wants us to be a plus because we were at minus something. At this point all we could do was bring energy and try to get back to this game. Every time we kept chipping in, we were like let’s make another push and Nick Nurse did a good job of keeping us doing different defensive drills. The schemes were pretty good for us, especially me and Rondae. The way that we play, he really helped us out with that.

On the trust from Kyle Lowry… When somebody gets hurt, we all know that we have to step up and it’s easier when you have somebody like Kyle, that’s been there for years and always has a way to tell us what to do or what he needs from us and he was exceptional today, with all the plays he did and all the shots that he hit. A lot of people have been hard on him this year. We always had confidence in him and always knew he would lead us some way, somehow and today he just showed to everybody how he does it. For us it was a way to follow the leader and do what we are capable of doing to help the team.

TERENCE DAVIS II (nine points, five rebounds)

What was it like watching Kyle in the fourth quarter? It’s amazing. I kept telling him that he hit some big shots. Just staying in his ear and I mean he’s a vet, he’s a 14-year pro. That’s what he does.

KYLE LOWRY (32 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists)

Did you feel like you had to take control in the fourth? No, because I didn’t do it. We had a great team effort and Malcolm (Miller), Terence, Rondae, and Chris Boucher, I give them all the credit, they won that game for us. Malcolm got a few steals, TD hit some big threes, Chris with his deflections and shot blocks, Rondae with his putbacks and hustle effort. Give those guys the credit, seriously.

At what point did you think the comeback was possible? When he (Kristaps Porzingis) threw that last shot and he missed it. Honestly, that’s one of those games where you just can’t take anything for granted, because we used so much energy to get there. You just have to hold on until that last buzzer goes off and once that ball went sailing right, I was like wow, that was a fun game.

(19-10) DALLAS MAVERICKS, 107 VS. (21-8) TORONTO RAPTORS, 110 SCOTIABANK ARENA SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2019

DALLAS MAVERICKS QUOTES

RICK CARLISLE (HEAD COACH)

On tonight’s game… Very disappointing loss. I take full responsibility for it. We got to a point where we lost our aggression. Give them credit, they did a great job with the trap but we didn’t respond well enough to it, and that’s on me.

Was there a point in the comeback where you started to feel uncomfortable? I’ve told you what I’m going to tell you about it. It’s pretty clear what happened and it’s an aggression thing. Give them credit, give their fans credit, they kept a lot of energy going. But when you get hit with that kind of force you’ve got to respond with equal or greater force, and we just didn’t do it soon enough. I liked the way we got it back together at the end, gave ourselves a chance, had a shot to probably win the game. It’s a disappointing loss and we got to learn from it.

On the recent rough schedule and coming out of it in pretty good shape… We’re not looking to be a little better than expected; we’re looking to do exceptional things. So that’s why this is really disappointing. We’ll learn from it. I don’t know that we’ll see a situation quite like this – Toronto’s unique with the guys they can put out there, the speed and this part of what they do. There’s always things to learn from difficult situations and that’s what we’ll do.

DWIGHT POWELL (17 points, nine rebounds)

How tough is a loss like this after so much momentum coming into tonight’s game? It’s really tough. Hopefully we can learn something from it and not let it be for nothing.

What did you see defensively from Toronto in the fourth quarter? They picked up the intensity, they pressed full court. They did a good job of getting us to throw ill-timed passes and getting in the lanes. They turned us over a little bit. They also executed well on offense. They got to the free throw line and knocked down a lot of their shots.

What went wrong for the Mavericks? We didn’t defend to the level that we needed to in that period of time. They made some tough plays, but we obviously needed to make some more stops during that stretch while they were making their run because we weren’t able to execute as well as we wanted to offensively.

On the Toronto press… We work on it. It’s part of the game. Whether it’s done in long stretches or not, I think every team has a press. Every team has the ability to put players out there who can get in the passing lanes, so that’s something we prepare for. We just didn’t execute well in that situation tonight.

How do you feel overall about how the team played tonight? I think we have look at the film and learn from this game. This is a great team and they have some great players and they definitely proved that tonight. We need to figure out a way to maintain the good things that we have been doing through 48 minutes.

TIM HARDAWAY JR. (16 points, eight rebounds, five assists)

Does today take away at all from what the team has accomplished recently? I think today was actually the best thing that could’ve happened to us. It’s a tough loss, being up as much as 28 or 30, but it shows that whenever you’re up that much you can’t let up. You can’t back down from the competition. You can’t ease yourself into the win because the game isn’t even over yet. I think that moving forward this will put an anger and a killer instinct mentality even more into our guys. We’re going to move on from this, learn from this. I think this is the best thing that could happen to us, especially earlier on in the season.

What was it about their press that bothered the team so much? Just like when we go into the zone and the other teams get tentative, I think that’s what happened to us. We didn’t attack it like we should have. It helps when they’re making baskets and the crowd is getting into it, the court starts to shake a little bit, so it gets pretty intense. Most importantly, we have to learn from this. We have a young group of guys. Like I said, I’m happy it happened early on in the season more so than later on in the season when we will be fighting for our lives. I’m happy if we learn from it and move on.

Rick Carlisle said, “it’s on me” and he said he told you guys that. Do you buy into that? No, no. BS. BS, man. It’s not on him at all. It’s all on us. We’re going to take it on the chin, move on from it. It should leave a sour taste in our mouth moving forward cause we know we should’ve had the win, but we have to credit them. They never stopped playing. They played hard and their bench guys, (Rondae) Hollis-Jefferson and (Chris) Boucher, and all those guys did a phenomenal job of coming in and giving them that spark. Hats off to them.

KRISTAPS PORZINGIS (19 points, 12 rebounds)

What can you learn from that fourth quarter and improve? Maybe that we folded a little bit under pressure. That zone defence that they did maybe caught us off guard a little bit, but it was really good. They have long guys. They got the crowd into it, high energy, got a few steals, got a few buckets and I don’t know what happened. It’s kind of weird. It is what it is.

What got you the lead after a slow start? Just playing our game. We didn’t really do anything special, just played our game. We played good defence, got out, got some shots. We got ourselves into the game. We did what we do. Then we didn’t react the right way to their pressure and their energy. That was it. They made their huge run and we didn’t respond.

Are you surprised that you didn’t respond? Every game is different. Tonight was a weird, weird game, honestly. I still can’t process what happened.

What was so weird about their zone? It was good. Honestly, it was good. We were on our heels a little bit. Against an aggressive zone like that your mindset has to be attack first, don’t take your time. You also have to stay aggressive. We got a hit a little bit and then were like, “I don’t want to make a mistake. I don’t want to rush it or turn the ball over.” That got us out of our rhythm a little bit and it took too long for us to start playing better against it. With five minutes left they’re already back in the game. At the end of the game it could’ve gone either way. It’s a championship-level team. They know how to play. They have experience and they were able to close the game.

RAPTORS 110, MAVERICKS 107 POSTGAME NOTES: A record 47-point fourth quarter leads to the biggest comeback win in team history.

FINAL SCORE: TORONTO RAPTORS 110, DALLAS MAVERICKS 107

DATE: DECEMBER 22, 2019 ATTENDANCE: 19,800 (Sellout).

FINAL SCORE RECORD HIGH POINTS HIGH REBOUNDS HIGH ASSISTS

Dallas 107 19-10 Brunson – 21 Porzingis – 12 Brunson – 9

Toronto 110 21-8 Lowry – 32 Hollis-Jefferson – 9 Lowry – 10

KEY RUN Trailing 86-63 after three quarter, Toronto outscored Dallas 47-21 in the fourth quarter … The Raptors shot 56 per cent (14-for-25) from the floor in the frame, including 6-for-11 (.545) from three-point range … Kyle Lowry scored 20 of his game-high 32 points in the final quarter.

KEY STAT Tonight marked the largest comeback victory in Raptors franchise history … Toronto trailed by as many as 30 point late in the third quarter, before outscoring Dallas 47-21 in the fourth quarter … The Raptors’ 47 points were also a franchise record for the fourth quarter.

RAPTORS NOTES: • With the win, Toronto improves to 21-8 this season and 13-3 at home … The Raptors have won five in a row (Dec. 14-22), including four straight games at Scotiabank Arena … Toronto is now 7-4 in the month of December. • Toronto and Dallas split the season-series for the second time in the last three seasons … The Raptors have won eight of the last 10 meetings between the two teams. • The Raptors’ bench outscored Dallas’ reserves 48-20. • Toronto is the first team since Sacramento (Dec. 21, 2009 vs. Chicago) to have a 30-point comeback. • Kyle Lowry led the Raptors in scoring for the second straight game with 32 points – his second 30- point outing this season … Lowry added eight rebounds and 10 assists in 42 minutes for his fourth double-double on the year and third in the last four games (Dec. 16-20). • Chris Boucher recorded a career-high 21 points (6-12 FG, 9-12 FT) and seven rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench … Boucher scored in double digits for the seventh time this season. • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored a season-high 18 points in 29 minutes as a reserve … Hollis-Jefferson scored in double figures for the second straight game and ninth time this season … Hollis-Jefferson is averaging 16.0 points off the bench over the last two games (Dec. 20-22). • The Raptors had four players score double figures – Lowry (32), Boucher (21), Hollis-Jefferson (18) and Fred VanVleet (10). • Rookie Terence Davis ll is the only Raptor not to miss a game this season.

MAVERICKS NOTES: • With the loss, Dallas falls to 19-10 on the season and 11-3 on the road … The defeat ends the Mavericks’ seven game winning streak on the road (Nov. 24 – Dec. 20). • All five starters scored in double figures for Dallas, combining for 87 points. • The Mavericks had five players score in double digits – Brunson (21), Kristaps Porzingis (19), Dwight Powell (17), Tim Hardaway Jr. (16), Dorian Finney-Smith (14). = 2019-20 SEASON-SERIES ALL-TIME RECO