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Cole scores twice as Hurricanes top Canadiens

Dec 1, 2006 - 3:03 AM
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Erik Cole helped the Carolina Hurricanes snap out of their recent slump.

Cole scored two goals and Cam Ward stopped 25 shots to lead the Hurricanes to a 4-2 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens.

With the game tied at 2-2, Justin Williams beat goaltender Cristobal Huet to the glove side with a backhander at 7:33 of the third period to put Carolina ahead. The tally proved to be the difference for the Hurricanes, who had dropped three of their previous four contests.

"It's tough for a goalie to make a save when he's going side to side, especially when it's in the air," Williams said. "I just tried to grab it and throw it to the net in one motion."

Cole singlehandedly erased a 1-0 deficit, scoring in each of the first two periods. He flipped his own rebound past Huet in the first to forge a tie before putting a wrist shot under the netminder's right pad at 8:23 of the second for a 2-1 lead.

"It just seemed like every time we came across the line with the puck, things were opening up for us," Cole said. "It was great. It was fun and a great effort by all four lines. The D-men and Cam were great again, too."

"From start to finish, (Cole) was powerful - in his stride, on the puck, driving to the net," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "He was really strong out there."

Michael Ryder and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens, who were outshot, 20-8, in the third session.

"Well, I thought the cheap penalties are the thing that hurt us," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We were able to kill all three of them, and with eight minutes to go, it was still 2-2. But I don't know what happened there. Two weak plays and it was two goals. That was the turnaround right there."

Despite falling to 7-2-0 in November, Huet was strong in net for Montreal, turning aside 44 shots.

The Canadiens, who were 0-for-3 on the power play, lost for only the second time in their last six contests.

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