TORONTO -- While his players and Leaf Nation might be looking forward to Wednesdays Winter Classic against Detroit, Toronto coach Randy Carlyle is playing the role of Scrooge when it comes to the holiday season outdoor game. Roquan Smith Jersey . "I wasnt waving the pom-poms to be involved with it to start with," Carlyle said after a 5-2 win over Carolina on Sunday night. "Its been a trying time. "Specifically we havent played as well as wed like to hang our hat on. Our group, we believe, has got lots of room to grow, so that always put added pressure on. And then youre much more under the microscope if you can believe it. Were under the microscope with you (media) guys alone and then you add the element of HBO and then the event, theres a lot of factors. "Again were here to win hockey games and thats the most important thing and our focus is going to be on the game." Friends and family will be enjoying the event more than the actual participants, he suggested. The Leafs (20-16-5) head to Ann Arbor, Mich., on a winning note and having picked up points in their last five games. But they needed a pair of goals from sniper Phil Kessel, solid goaltending from Jonathan Bernier and a few lucky bounces to dispose of the Hurricanes before a crowd of 19,452 at the Air Canada Centre. Carolina (14-16-9) outshot Toronto 43-27 on the night, only to see its winless streak stretch to five games. The Hurricanes have won only one of their last nine outings (a stretch that has featured four OT losses). "We had enough chances to win a hockey game," lamented Carolina coach Kirk Muller. "The chances were there. They scored and we didnt." Carlyle agreed it had been a loose performance from the Leafs. "I thought at times we seemed like we were overmatched in a lot of areas," he said. The Hurricanes followed a popular, simple strategy against Toronto -- dumping the puck in and forcing the Leafs to play defence. "We havent been able to handle that or manage the game properly in that area and we have to get better at it," Carlyle said. Kessels second goal allowed him to reach the 20-goal plateau for the sixth straight season and he could have had more on the night, missing on two breakaways. Toronto also got goals from Nikolai Kulemin, Paul Ranger and Dion Phaneuf, with an empty-net goal with eight seconds remaining. Nathan Gerbe and Justin Faulk replied for Carolina. Centre Tyler Bozak returned to the Leafs top line after a 12-game absence due to an oblique injury. He showed off some of his playmaking skills with three assists and made an important backcheck, snuffing out a Hurricanes threat. The Leafs were loose on defence and were fortunate the Hurricanes did not punish them more. "We had some lapses in the D-zone," said Bozak. "We got some good bounces as well ... The puck was kind of following us around tonight." The game marked the halfway point of the season for Toronto, while setting the table for playing in front of an expected crowd of 100,000-plus at the Big House. "Its going to be a pretty cool event," said Bozak. "I know most guys have lots of family here, including me. Im excited to get to Detroit and see what its all about." Added Ranger: "I think its going to be fun ... Backyard rinks, thats where I spent most of my childhood. Its just a bigger backyard rink." Leafs forward David Clarkson went to the dressing room in the second period to have his elbow stitched up but returned in the third healthy enough to smash Tuomo Ruutu to the ice. "Probably the best period of hockey hes played for us," said Carlyle. The Leafs previous four games were shootouts -- a club-record streak that featured two wins and two losses. After surviving a horrendous start against Buffalo to win via a shootout Friday, it seemed like more of the same Sunday for the Leafs. Leading the league in giveaways with 475 going into the game, Toronto coughed it up 15 more times against the Hurricanes. Toronto also did not manage a shot on net until 11-plus minutes into a first period that saw the Leafs wobble at times in their own end. Bernier seemed the lone defender on duty and Toronto was lucky not to go down. The Leafs went ahead after a faceoff when Bozak dug the puck out to Kessel, whose backhand from behind the goal-line somehow went in off goalie Cam Ward for his 19th of the season at 16:56. It was perhaps payback for the freak goal that gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 win in Toronto in October when a bad bounce off the boards on a shoot-in bounced in off Bernier with the Leafs thinking icing might be called. The five-foot-five Gerbe tied it up at 1:36 of the second period after talking a pass from Alexander Semin in the corner and beating Bernier from near the faceoff dot. Semin outmanoeuvred Jake Gardiner to set up Gerbes ninth goal. Toronto pulled ahead with two goals in 76 seconds in the second period. A pretty passing play between Kessel and James Van Riemsdyk made it 2-1 at 13:42 with JVR unselfishly sending the puck back to Kessel from in-close. Kulemin then beat Ward with a shot from the top of the circle at 14:58 to make it 3-1, prompting Muller to call a timeout in a bid to stop the bleeding. It was Kulemins fifth of the season. A four-on-three helped the Carolina cause with Faulk scoring his third of the season on a slap shot with 2:17 remaining in the period to close the gap to 3-2. Ranger added an insurance goal at 4:58 of the third, firing a low shot through traffic that eluded Ward for the defencemans second goal of the season and the 100th point of his NHL career. For Toronto, it was Berniers 28th appearance of the season, compared to 18 for James Reimer. Bernier has started nine of the last 15 games, with Reimer pulled during two of his six starts during that stretch. Carlyle refused to interpret the numbers when asked what it meant that Bernier had started three straight. "Hes played three straight games. That what it says." Taylor Gabriel Bears Jersey . Bibeau, Torontos sixth-round pick at No. 172 overall in last years draft, was named the outstanding goaltender of the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup. Joel Iyiegbuniwe Jersey .5 million, four-year contract with the Texas Rangers that could be worth $32. http://www.bearsrookiestore.com/Bears-Aaron-Lynch-Jersey/ . Kansas City became the first team in baseball history to win four extra-inning games in a single postseason on Friday, as Alex Gordon crushed a leadoff homer in the 10th and Mike Moustakas added the deciding two-run blast in the Royals 8-6 win. LAS VEGAS -- Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored 51 goals last season to capture his second consecutive and fourth career Maurice Richard Trophy, an award hell collect at Tuesday nights NHL Awards in Las Vegas. But it was a dinner meeting he had over the weekend that created the buzz at Mondays informal media event at the Wynn Country Club. Ovechkin and Barry Trotz finally had a chance to meet face to face for the first time since the former Nashville Predators coach was named Capitals coach on May 26. "It was a good meeting, I think hell be happy," said Ovechkin, who leads the NHL in goals (422), points (814), power-play goals (151) and game-winning goals (69) since entering the league in 2005. "We talked about the system, how he wants to coach." The Capitals star made it a point to avoid discussing the details of his conversation with Trotz, but did acknowledge that the coach said there would be some changes. "Hes going to explain to everybody, its not about just me, everybody will have to change," said Ovechkin, who became the 11th player in NHL history to record five 50-goal campaigns. "We just talked about how he wants to play with me and how he wants to play with the team. We talked about good things -- lots of good things, lots of bad things -- he sees what he can change with the team and what he can change with my game." Trotz, who has never coacheed a 40-goal scorer, instilled a defensive scheme in Nashville. Custom Chicago Bears Jerseys. He was the only coach of the Predators since they joined the league as an expansion franchise for the 1998-99 season. The 51-year-old Trotz was fired at the end of last season, after compiling a career record of 557-479-60 in 15 seasons. His 1,196 regular-season games coached ranks him 14th on the all-time coaching list. "Hes a straightforward coach and thats the best thing you can expect from a new guy," said Ovechkin. "Hes going to bring some new stuff for me and my teammates. Its going to be a new season and its going to be a brand new day for me. We still have the same team, the same group of guys right now. The new coach is going to bring a new system and well see how it goes." When Trotz was named coach, the Capitals also promoted Brian MacLellan to general manager, making him the sixth GM in team history after he spent the past seven seasons as the teams assistant general manager. "The whole organization is making a big step; they fired (former GM) George (McPhee), fired (former coach) Adam (Oates) and the organization wants to make improvements," Ovechkin said. "Just glad they havent fired me yet. Im still here with a Capitals jersey. ... New coach, a new GM and well see whats going to happen with the team, the system and all kind of stuff. Its going to be an interesting year." Cheap Ducks Jerseys Cheap Coyotes Jerseys Cheap Bruins Jerseys Cheap Sabres Jerseys Cheap Flames Jerseys Cheap Hurricanes Jerseys Cheap Blackhawks Jerseys Cheap Avalanche Jerseys Cheap Blue Jackets Jerseys Cheap Stars Jerseys Cheap Red Wings Jerseys Cheap Oilers Jerseys Cheap Florida Panthers Jerseys Cheap Los Angeles Kings Jerseys Cheap Wild Jerseys ' ' '