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NHL Game Summary - Washington at Carolina

(Wednesday, October 12th)

Final Score: Carolina 7, Washington 2

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Eric Staal netted a goal for the fourth consecutive game and assisted on three others to lead Carolina to a 7-2 whipping of Washington at the RBC Center.

Rod Brind'Amour and Bret Hedican added a goal and two assists while Cam Ward compiled 26 saves for the Hurricanes, who rebounded from a 3-2 defeat to the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Carolina, which hadn't scored in 15 chances on the power play over its first three games of the young season, lit the lamp three times in seven chances with the man advantage en route to the highest scoring output of the year.

"We had been doing some good things on the power play, and when you don't see the results it can be frustrating," said Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette. "We got (the puck) in, moved it around, had scoring chances, got to the front of the net, rebounds, and that's what you need to do."

Rookie sensation Alexander Ovechkin scored in the defeat, the Capitals' third in their five games.

Capitals goaltender Olaf Kolzig was lifted with 12:03 left to play after yielding six goals in 25 shots.

Staal set up the eventual game-winning score when he rushed up ice after corralling a loose puck and feeding an open Hedican, who blasted a shot past Kolzig for a 3-2 Carolina lead with 1:24 remaining in the second period.

The Hurricanes then put the contest out of reach with three goals in the first eight minutes of the third.

Less than two minutes elapsed in the final frame, Staal threw a cross-ice pass to Cory Stillman, who then fed Erik Cole in front for his first marker of the season.

"I thought it was a good game until the fourth goal," said Washington head coach Glen Hanlon. "That was kind of a backbreaker."

Justin Williams made it a 5-2 advantage 3:57 into the third when he ripped a shot home from the right circle off a pass from Brind'Amour.

Kolzig was yanked after allowing an easy tap-in by Brind'Amour after stopping a rocket blast from Hedican on the power play. Staal recorded his third helper of the night on the score.

Niklas Nordgren's first career NHL goal, which came with 5:15 to play, closed out the scoring.

"It was one of our better third periods, in my opinion," stated Laviolette. "We came out (in the first) real flat and that was a bit of a concern for me. There was a big difference (in intensity) between the third period and the first period."

Ovechkin's team-best fourth goal of the year put the Capitals up 1-0 midway through the first period. The dynamic young Russian raced down the right side on an odd-man rush, then cradled a pass from Andrew Cassels and flipped the puck under the arm Ward.

Matt Cullen banged home the Hurricanes' first power-play goal of the night 3:11 into the second to tie the game. Brind'Amour and Oleg Tverdosky received the assists.

Washington would move back ahead just over a minute later on a crucial mistake by Hurricanes defenseman Niclas Wallin. After the Caps' Steve Eminger was whistled for a delayed penalty, Ward skated to the bench for an extra attacker. However, Wallin accidentally flipped the puck from center ice back into the empty net to give Washington a 2-1 edge. Dainius Zubrus was credited with the tally.

However, Carolina would cash in on the ensuing power play to draw even once again, as Staal wristed a close shot between the legs of Capitals defenseman Mathieu Biron and by Kolzig at the 5:58 mark of the second period. It was his fifth goal of the season.

Game Notes

Staal's three assists and four points are both career-highs...Brent Johnson relieved Kolzig and stopped 10 of 11 shots in his first appearance of the season...Washington captain Jeff Halpern missed the game in observance of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur...Cole and Cullen also added assists in the win...Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle, a healthy scratch for the Hurricanes' opening three games, recorded an assist on Staal's goal in his first game in a Carolina uniform...Washington finished 0-for-4 on the power play in the first period and 0-for-6 for the game...The Capitals had been 2-0-1 in their last three visits to Raleigh coming in.

10/12 23:06:32 ET

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