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Cole, Staal help Hurricanes tune up for title defense

Oct 1, 2006 - 8:19 PM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Erik Cole and Eric Staal appear ready to defend the Stanley Cup.

Cole and Staal had a hand in all of the goals for the Carolina Hurricanes, who ended their preseason slate with a 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.

Staal had a goal and three assists and Cole had a goal and two assists. Goaltender Cam Ward did not allow an even-strength goal for the Hurricanes, who open defense of their championship Wednesday vs. Buffalo.

Staal had an assist on Cole's first goal of the preseason, a power-play tally at 5:27. Staal and Cole assisted on Ray Whitney's goal just over 10 minutes later.

After a scoreless second period, the Capitals scored a pair of goals less than three minutes apart early in the third period. But Whitney was set up again by Staal with 12:53 to play and Staal scored his first preseason goal off a feed from Cole.

Jamie Heward scored on the power play and Ben Clymer scored a shorthanded goal for the Capitals, who open Thursday at the New York Rangers.

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