Raleigh, N.C. Toronto's Alexander Mogilny and Jonas Hoglund scored and Curtis Joseph turned away 31 shots as Toronto ruined Carolina's first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals, beating the Hurricanes 2-1 in Game 1 Thursday.
The Maple Leafs came into the best-of-seven series with Carolina dragging and depleted after a pair of tough seven-game series against the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators.
Tie Domi and Paul Healey became the eighth and ninth regulars out of the lineup as the Toronto enforcer was scratched with a leg injury and Healey played just two shifts after taking a shot off his knee.
But Toronto gave the Hurricanes a lesson in grit and determination by killing seven penalties in the first 28 minutes and scoring when it counted.
Carolina, the third seed as the Southeast Division champions, won its opening games against New Jersey and Montreal, but now heads into Game 2 on Sunday trailing a team that just won't give in.
After a 1-1 first period, Toronto killed off four Carolina power plays before getting one of its own with 7:15 left in the second.