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NHL Game Summary - Washington at Carolina

(Thursday, November 9th)

Final Score: Carolina 5, Washington 0

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Erik Cole's hat trick and Cam Ward's 20 saves led the Carolina Hurricanes to a dominant 5-0 win over the Washington Capitals at the RBC Center.

Eric Staal collected a goal and one assist, Scott Walker chipped in with two assists while Trevor Letowski notched a goal in his second game back from a three-week absence.

Ward showed no signs of fatigue in his eighth straight start, picking up his first career regular season shutout for the Hurricanes, winners in four of their last six games.

The win opened a four-game homestand on a positive note, and enabled the 'Canes to creep within eight points of Southeast Division-leading Atlanta.

Brent Johnson stopped 34-of-39 shots for the Capitals, who had their two-game win streak halted.

"Johnny was great again tonight," said Capitals head coach Glen Hanlon. "From our standpoint I think we'll look back at this night as a good night as far as our progress is concerned. With the exception of Johnny, because I know how it is to have goals scored on you, this is a lot better for us to lose this game 5-0 than for Johnny to make four more incredible saves and walk out of here kidding ourselves that it was a 1-0 hockey game.

Cole got things off on the right foot for the Hurricanes, tipping home a Walker feed just 5:47 into the first. Carolina went up 2-0 with under two minutes left in the second period, on Cole's second of the night, a tip-in from the slot on the man advantage.

In the third, Staal's nifty wrister on a 2-on-1 break, and Letowski's five- hole goal off another odd man chance upped the lead to 4-0, with the goals coming three minutes apart. Cole's sixth of the year with a little more than five minutes left in regulation brought a trickle of hats from the crowd, along with an end to the scoring.

I think he's played well," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "I go back to those first four games of the year, I think a lot of our guys picked up their play. On any given night somebody chips in and has a big night for us. He looks confident after the injury he came back and looks like he's hitting his stride a little bit."

Game Notes

Washington has dropped four of the last five meetings...Johnson dropped to 4-1 lifetime against the Hurricanes...Cole's hat trick was his fourth of his career...Letowski's goal was his first point in a Carolina uniform...Carolina was 1-for-7 on the power play, while Washington was 0-for-4.

11/09 23:50:15 ET

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