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NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Carolina

(Sunday, March 16th)

Final Score: Carolina 5, Ottawa 1

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Joe Corvo registered the first hat trick of his career, as the Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Ottawa Senators, 5-1, at the RBC Center.

Scott Walker posted a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, who recovered from Friday's 7-1 drubbing by Buffalo to win for the sixth time in their last seven games. Eric Staal collected a season-high three assists and Sergei Samsonov had two helpers.

Cam Ward stopped 16-of-17 shots to pick up his 33rd win of the season. Ward has started 12 consecutive games, going 9-2-1 over that span.

"Points are the most important thing," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "They certainly are for us right now. It was nice the way it turned out that Joe (Corvo) had three goals and Patty (Eaves) had one. They both played good games but we needed everybody to do the same thing."

The Hurricanes have 83 points on the season and hold a five-point lead over Washington and Florida -- both of whom won on Sunday -- for first place in the Southeast Division.

Dany Heatley scored the lone goal for the Senators, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Martin Gerber allowed five goals on 32 shots in defeat.

Ottawa currently sits fifth in the Eastern Conference with 87 points, two behind Montreal for first place in the Northeast Division.

The Senators had a 5-on-3 power play 2:48 into the game and quickly capitalized to grab an early 1-0 lead. As Ottawa moved the puck around the offensive zone, Jason Spezza threaded a pass from the left circle through the crease to Heatley, parked at the right post, and he tucked the puck under the left pad of Ward at the 3:16 mark.

Carolina countered with a pair of power-play goals by Eaves and Corvo and held a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.

The Hurricanes acquired the pair in a trade on February 11 that sent defenseman Mike Commodore and forward Cory Stillman to Ottawa.

Eaves tied the score at one when he parked himself in front of Gerber and redirected a point shot by Frantisek Kaberle between the goaltender's legs at the seven-minute mark. Corvo then gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead with 9:36 remaining, as he fired a slapper from the point that beat Gerber low to the glove side.

Ironically, both tallies came with Commodore in the penalty box.

At the 5:54 mark of the second period, Walker blistered a shot past the blocker of Gerber to expand the Hurricanes lead to 3-1.

Corvo netted his second goal of the game -- again on the power play -- when he wired a slap shot from the top of the right circle behind Gerber at 2:09 of the third. The defenseman then roofed a backhander over a sprawled Gerber to complete the hat trick with 2:10 remaining in regulation.

"We sat in the penalty box," Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said. "They (Hurricanes) were quicker than we were and we took penalties as a result. They were more ready to play at the start of the game it appeared. We had the five- on-three score and it looked like we were going to play okay. Then they really forced our defense all night and carried the momentum from that point on."

Game Notes

Carolina tied the four-game season series against the Sens. In all four games, the winning team scored at least five goals...Carolina has now earned points in 12 of its last 13 home games (11-1-1) dating back to January 29...Ottawa falls to 19-14-4 on the road...The Hurricanes finished 3-for-10 on the power play. The three power-play goals allowed by Ottawa tied a season high...The Senators went 1-for-5 with the man advantage...Spezza extended his point streak to four games (three goals, three assists).

03/16 19:41:21 ET

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