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NHL Game Summary - Calgary at Carolina

(Friday, March 6th)

Final Score: Carolina 6, Calgary 1

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Ray Whitney notched the third hat trick of his career as the Carolina Hurricanes crushed the Calgary Flames, 6-1, at RBC Center.

Sergei Samsonov had a goal and an assist while Scott Walker and newly acquired Erik Cole each lit the lamp for the Hurricanes, who have won six of their last eight games. Cam Ward stopped 21 shots in the victory.

Carolina dealt forward Justin Williams to the Kings for forward Patrick O'Sullivan and a second-round pick in the 2009 draft and then sent O'Sullivan and its own 2009 second-round draft selection to the Oilers in exchange for Cole and a fifth-round pick in 2009.

Cole returns to the club which he called home for the first six years of his NHL career. The 30-year-old was dealt to the Oilers in the offseason in a deal which saw defenseman Joni Pitkanen come to the 'Canes.

Carolina now has 73 points and is just one point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference chase.

Jarome Iginla scored the lone goal while Curtis McElhinney was lit up for six goals on 33 shots for the Flames, who had won six of seven coming in.

Calgary holds a comfortable 10-point lead over Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division.

Carolina came storming out of the gates and Calgary was able to initially weather the barrage, including a beautiful diving save by McElhinney on a Rod Brind'Amour shot at an open net about six minutes in.

However, the Hurricanes got the first goal of the game on the power play to open up the floodgates. Samsonov wound up with the puck at the right side and he fed it over to the left for a wide open Whitney, who calmly wristed it into the open net with 5:09 left in the first.

Carolina then scored two goals in 42 seconds to take a 3-0 lead into the first intermission.

The first goal came when Samsonov picked off a bad pass in the neutral zone, skated in on net all alone and faked to the forehand before lifting the puck into the net with 2:20 left in the frame.

Moments later, Cole slammed the puck into the net during a scrum in front off of a rebound.

"The good thing we did was battle through early and got the first goal and then got two quick ones before the end of the first period," said Whitney.

The Hurricanes made it a 4-0 contest on a 5-on-3 power play as Whitney fired a slap shot from the slot that went over the glove of McElhinney at the 7:58 mark.

With 2:43 left in the second, Carolina took a 5-0 advantage as Walker's wrister beat McElhinney to the glove side.

Whitney completed the hat trick at the 4:08 mark of the third on the power play as his quick wrist shot from the slot found the back of the net for his 300th career goal.

Iginla scored with 3:49 to play to spoil Ward's shutout bid.

Game Notes

Carolina plays in Tampa Bay on Saturday...Calgary plays in Atlanta on Sunday...The Flames had won the past three games against the Hurricanes...Whitney's last hat trick came on February 8, 2007 at Boston...Carolina went 3-for-7 on the power play while Calgary failed on all three of its chances.

03/06 21:49:06 ET

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