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Brind'Amour, Whitney lead Hurricanes past Thrashers

Nov 2, 2006 - 2:40 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Rod Brind'Amour's on-ice leadership moved him closer to a major career milestone.

Brind'Amour and Ray Whitney collected two goals and two assists apiece to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to their third win in four games, a 5-2 triumph over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Coming off a three-assist game Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Brind'Amour recorded his fifth multi-point contest of the season. The team captain and reigning Selke Trophy winner is one point shy of 1,000 for his career.

"This team, we just seem to have their number," Brind'Amour said.

Brind'Amour helped get Carolina on the scoreboard with 9:46 left in the first period by making a spinning pass from the right faceoff circle off a defender's skate to Whitney, who lifted the puck over goaltender Kari Lehtonen's right shoulder.

After Scott Walker beat Lehtonen with a slap shot from the right circle to give the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead, Marian Hossa halved the deficit with his 11th goal of the season and 500th career point. His quick shot deflected off goaltender Cam Ward and into the net at 3:58 of the second period.

Brind'Amour widened the margin to 3-1 nearly five minutes later when he wristed Whitney's centering pass from behind the net inside the right goalpost for his third tally of the season.

"We scored timely goals," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "We had the right opportunities at the right times and we made good on our chances."

With 4:51 left in the second session, Brind'Amour and Chad LaRose set up Whitney's second goal of the contest and third of the season, which ended Lehtonen's night. He was replaced by Johan Hedberg.

"We just got outplayed most of the game," Thrashers center Bobby Holik said. "You're not going to win games playing like that. We have to get ourselves together and figure things out."

Brind'Amour added an empty-net tally with 1:26 left and Ward made 40 saves for the Hurricanes, who defeated the Thrashers for the third time in as many meetings this season.

"We don't want to get caught in the kind of game where we give up 42 shots a game," Ward said. "We capitalized on our opportunities. We earned (it) today."

"I think the game was definitely played in the nets tonight and Cam Ward was the best player on the ice and gave his team the chance to win the game," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said.

Defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski netted his second goal of the campaign and Lehtonen stopped just nine shots and fell to 1-5-1 lifetime against Carolina.

"That's just the way it goes," Lehtonen said. "I think they were good shots. They shouldn't have gone in. ... It wasn't my night. I thought (the loss) was (on) me. I couldn't hold this team at all."

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