NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Carolina
(Saturday, December 5th)
Final Score: Carolina 5, Vancouver 3
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Erik Cole netted his first hat trick of the season, as the Carolina Hurricanes snapped a five-game slide with a 5-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
Ray Whitney added a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes, who earned just their sixth win of the season. Sergei Samsonov also tallied, while Manny Legace made 33 saves.
Alex Burrows, Steve Bernier and Jannik Hansen had the goals for Vancouver, which had won two in a row and four of five. Andrew Raycroft gave up four goals on 27 shots in the setback.
The Canucks got a pair of goals in the third to threaten a three-goal Carolina lead, as Bernier's wrist shot got past Legace at 10:07. Nearly five minutes later, Burrows' nine goal of the season got Vancouver within one.
Vancouver had a chance to even the contest when Samsonov was whistled for high-sticking with 2:57 to play, but Carolina killed the penalty. Cole's empty-netter with 14 seconds left completed his hat trick and sealed the victory.
"I think in this first two weeks after his broken leg, he was feeling it still," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice, speaking about the injury Cole suffered in the second game of the season. "But I think in the last week and a half you really see what he looked like at the start of camp, why we were so optimistic for him for that line. When he skates like that he is a handful, and it opens up the ice for everybody."
Hansen got the Canucks on the board first, after he intercepted a tipped pass in the neutral zone, raced to the right circle and beat Legace glove side at 12:02 of the first period.
Just 20 seconds later, Whitney scored to even the contest, and begin a string of four consecutive Hurricanes goals.
Cole got his first at 3:55 of the second period, when he took a feed from Whitney in the slot, then snapped a shot by Raycroft. Samsonov's wrister at 6:06 made it a 3-1 game, and Cole tallied again with 1:01 left while on the power play to push the lead to three.
"Really disappointed with our second period," Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault said. "It's tough to understand, especially with our top players making the type of mistakes and putting us behind the eight ball, and playing that way in front of Raycroft is really disappointing."
The hat trick is the sixth of Cole's career...Henrik Sedin had two assists for the Canucks, while Eric Staal had two for Carolina...The Hurricanes play at Pittsburgh on Monday...The Canucks visit Nashville on Tuesday.
12/05 19:00:16 ET