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Aston-Reese scores twice as Maple Leafs snap 2-game skid with win over Hurricanes

Aston-Reese scores twice as Maple Leafs snap 2-game skid with win over Hurricanes

Zach Aston-Reese scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the visiting Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 on Friday night.

Morgan Rielly, with a goal and an assist, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner provided the rest of the offence for Toronto (41-18-9), which got 32 saves from Ilya Samsonov. John Tavares added two assists.

Brady Skjei and Martin Necas replied for Carolina (44-15-8). Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 19 shots.

Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn played his first game at Scotiabank Arena as a member of the organization in nearly 4,000 days after he was reacquired from the Vancouver Canucks ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

The 33-year-old was selected fifth overall by Toronto in the 2008 draft.

Schenn was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for James van Riemsdyk in 2012.

The Leafs sported their green and white Toronto St. Pats jerseys — a nod to the franchise’s moniker from 1919 through 1927 — on St. Patrick’s Day.

Toronto opened the scoring early in the first period when Aston-Reese tipped an Erik Gustafsson point shot for his sixth goal of the season.

WATCH | Aston-Reese scores pair of goals to help Leafs beat Hurricanes:

Aston-Reese scores twice, Leafs defeat Hurricanes

Zach Aston-Reese scores a pair of goals heping Toronto defeat Carolina 5-2 Friday night.

Marner made it 2-0 when he stepped around Necas and ripped home his 25th off the post.

Skjei got one back for the visitors two minutes later when he fired his 14th on a shot that squeaked through Samsonov.

The Leafs made it 3-1 later in the period on a power play when Tavares saw his effort hit a Carolina stick and bounce in off Matthews for his 32nd — the first goal surrendered by Carolina’s second-ranked penalty kill in 13 games.

The Hurricanes crept back within one midway through the second period when Necas snapped his 26th past Samsonov.

But Aston-Reese, who entered with one goal in his last 23 games, bagged his second of the night on a 2-on-1 with Sam Lafferty off a Carolina turnover in the neutral zone for his first two-goal performance since Oct. 13, 2019, when he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Rielly then roofed his fourth of the season, and second in as many games, midway through the third to put things out of reach.

Schenn had his best shift of the night on a penalty kill late in the third period when he delivered hard check on Sebastian Aho along the boards.

Acciari exits game after hit to the head

Toronto lost centre Noel Acciari late in the first period when he took a blow up high in a collision…

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