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Cole scores twice as Hurricanes end slide

Jan 7, 2007 - 4:55 AM
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Erik Cole made up for a pair of early misses.

Cole scored twice early in the second period and Ray Whitney and Justin Williams added a goal and an assist as the Carolina Hurricanes halted a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 triumph over the New York Islanders, who have dropped six in a row.

After being stopped on both a penalty shot and a breakaway in the first half of the opening period, Cole redeemed himself in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the middle session.

With the Hurricanes already ahead, 1-0, Cole tallied 37 seconds into the period to double the lead. Following Trent Hunter's goal that halved the deficit for New York, Cole cashed in during a 5-on-3 power play at 4:28, restoring Carolina's two-goal bulge.

"I don't know if you can really put your finger on it," Cole said of his team's recent skid. "Maybe you're pressing so hard when things aren't going in, and when things do go in, everyone is rocking back and forth on the bench and they get that feeling back."

The two-man advantage was created for the Hurricanes when Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after defenseman Bruno Gervais was called for holding.

"I can't believe it. I did use the (bleep) word in frustration," DiPietro said. "I said, 'Are you (bleeping) serious?' I didn't feel like I came after (the referee) or anything about the call.

"It was something I said out loud to myself. He said I said it too loud, so he gave me two minutes. It's just frustrating in a close game like that, for not verbally attacking somebody, to get a penalty."

It was the third multi-goal effort of the season for Cole, who is tied for second on the team with 18 tallies.

Eric Staal also scored and Ray Whitney and Cory Stillman recorded two assists apiece for Carolina, which was shut out in each of its previous two games.

"Something has got to work," Cole said. "Things have been pretty stale the last couple of games. For whatever reason, every line had it going tonight, and that's good. The depth we showed reminded me of last year."

Miroslav Satan also tallied for the Islanders, who are winless since posting consecutive shutouts on December 23 and 26.

"We're definitely struggling, there's no question about that," DiPietro said. "I don't know what to say. ... Right now, it's tough sledding, but there have been plenty of teams that get stuck in ruts and lose some games. It's up to us. It's nothing anyone else can do."

After losing control before getting off a shot on his penalty-shot attempt just 2:52 into the game, Cole was stopped by DiPietro on a partial breakaway with 9 1/2 minutes to go in the first period.

"It jumped up on me early and I had to regroup to grab it," Cole said of the penalty shot. "I went in and just whiffed on it."

But Carolina still managed to take the lead when Williams scored a power-play goal with one second to go in the session.

"You could see it was just a relief," said Hurricanes netminder Cam Ward, who made 33 saves. "And you could see it inside the building, too. They were so excited to be able to do a Ric Flair 'Whooooo' again. It was a huge confidence builder to get that first goal, especially the way things have been going the past few games."

"It was good because we haven't had the lead, scored goals or won a period lately," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette added. "To get that one and go in with the lead was good for us."

Cole made it 2-0 early in the second, deking DiPietro while alone in front and sliding in a backhander. Hunter netted his second goal in as many games at 2:05, but Cole knocked in the puck from near the right goalpost at less than three minutes later for a 3-1 advantage.

Whitney notched his 100th point as a Hurricane with an assist on the tally.

Staal scored from the low slot with 5:20 left in the third, ending a nine-game drought. Scott Walker recorded his 200th career assist on the play.

"It's been a few games since I put it in the back of the net," Staal said. "It doesn't get any easier, so it was nice to get that off my back. ... I think our line got rewarded for the work we did, and fortunately for me, it was an empty net. But it was hard work before that."

"After someone goes for a little bit without scoring, you're happy for them," Laviolette said. "Tonight, for sure, (Staal) battled, and it's nice to see him get rewarded with a big goal."

Islanders coach Ted Nolan made an example of Alexei Yashin, benching the star center for the entire second period. Yashin has failed to record a point during the team's six-game slide.

"He's got to play better. He knows he has to play better," Nolan said. "In this league, your best players have to play their best night after night. It's the price you pay being an elite player, and that comes with the territory. He is one of our premier players."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 1 1 2
    CAROLINA 1 2 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) JUSTIN WILLIAMS 20 (CORY STILLMAN, ANDREW
    HUTCHINSON) 19:59
    2ND PRD: CAR - ERIK COLE 17 (RAY WHITNEY, ROD BRIND'AMOUR) 0:37
    NYI - TRENT HUNTER 7 (MIKE SILLINGER, FREDDY MEYER) 2:05
    CAR - (PP) ERIK COLE 18

    Jan 6 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    CAROLINA 4 0:00 LEFT, 3RD PRD

    Jan 6 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    CAROLINA 4
    3RD PRD: NYI - MIROSLAV SATAN 11 (BRENDAN WITT) 17:52

    Islanders vs. HurricanesJan 6 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    CAROLINA 4
    3RD PRD: CAR - ERIC STAAL 18 (SCOTT WALKER, JUSTIN WILLIAMS) 14:40

    Islanders vs. HurricanesJan 6 9:22 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 1 1
    CAROLINA 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) JUSTIN WILLIAMS 20 (CORY STILLMAN, ANDREW
    HUTCHINSON) 19:59
    2ND PRD: CAR - ERIK COLE 17 (RAY WHITNEY, ROD BRIND'AMOUR) 0:37
    NYI - TRENT HUNTER 7 (MIKE SILLINGER, FREDDY MEYER) 2:05
    CAR - (PP)

    Jan 6 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    CAROLINA 3
    2ND PRD: CAR - (PP) ERIK COLE 18 (CORY STILLMAN, RAY WHITNEY) 4:28

    Islanders vs. HurricanesJan 6 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    CAROLINA 2
    2ND PRD: NYI - TRENT HUNTER 7 (MIKE SILLINGER, FREDDY MEYER) 2:05

    Islanders vs. HurricanesJan 6 8:07 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    CAROLINA 2
    2ND PRD: CAR - ERIK COLE 17 (RAY WHITNEY, ROD BRIND'AMOUR) 0:37

    Islanders vs. HurricanesJan 6 8:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 0
    CAROLINA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) JUSTIN WILLIAMS 20 (CORY STILLMAN, ANDREW
    HUTCHINSON) 19:59
    MISSED PENALTY SHOTS: CAR - ERIK COLE, 2:52 1ST.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 10

    Jan 6 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    CAROLINA 1
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) JUSTIN WILLIAMS 20 (CORY STILLMAN, ANDREW
    HUTCHINSON) 19:59

    Islanders vs. HurricanesJan 6 7:43 PM