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Colorado
Avalanche
32-45-5
Carolina
Hurricanes
45-30-7

19 SOG
39 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
COL
CAR
game recap

Hurricanes 5, Avalanche 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Hurricanes 5, Avalanche 2
Colorado Avalanche 2, Carolina Hurricanes 5

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -The Carolina Hurricanes are playing playoff hockey just to get into the postseason.

"We've been playing some pretty good playoff hockey, I think," Matt Cullen said after scoring three goals in the Hurricanes' 5-2 victory over Colorado on Sunday.

"I think the guys have realized the opportunity that we have in front of us. We're right on the doorstep. We've talked a lot about bringing a playoff mentality right now, and we've seen that the last few games and gotten results."

Carolina has won three straight and four of five to move within a point of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes also are just four points out of fourth place.

Cullen had the first hat trick of his 11-year NHL career. He scored in each period, the last an empty-netter to delight the sellout crowd of 18,860 at the RBC Center.

Joni Pitkanen and Ryan Bayda also scored for Carolina.

"We had eight power plays and we didn't get any goals, so that was disappointing," Pitkanen said. "But we got two points, so that's what's most important."

Carolina coach Paul Maurice said the key to making a run at the playoffs was keeping an even keel. He's been all the way to the Stanley Cup finals with this team in 2002, during his first stint as Carolina's coach.

"You look at the standings and you say, 'You're always chasing eighth,"' Maurice said. "But we're four points out of fourth. ... We've won four of the last five games. Had we not, it'd be over. Then you're sitting eight points back, and you're in a world of trouble. Being able to handle that, and not getting too excited about a win like today, that's the key to this time of the year."

Cam Ward made 17 saves for Carolina, which outshot the Avalanche 39-19. Darcy Tucker and Wojtek Wolski scored for the Avalanche. Colorado, playing the second game of a six-game trip, had won three straight.

Cullen recorded his 400th career NHL point with his second goal, which came early in the second period and gave Carolina a 2-1 lead.

Pitkanen followed up Tuomo Ruutu's shot with 2:54 left in the second period to give the Hurricanes a lead they would not relinquish.

Notes: Andrew Raycroft made 34 saves for the Avalanche. ... Chad LaRose had two assists for Carolina ... Cullen now has 19 goals for the season, moving him past Ray Whitney for second on the team behind Eric Staal (27 goals). ... Hugh Shelton, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was part of the Military Appreciation Day crowd.

scoring summary
1st Period
00:59
COL
Wojtek Wolski (14) ASST: NONE
1 - 0 COL
07:00
CAR
Matt Cullen (17) ASST: Chad LaRose (7), Joni Pitkanen (20)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
01:19
CAR
Matt Cullen (18) ASST: Chad LaRose (8), Ray Whitney (32)
2 - 1 CAR
02:12
COL
Darcy Tucker (6) ASST: Chris Stewart (7), Brett Clark (10)
2 - 2 Tie
17:06
CAR
Joni Pitkanen (6) ASST: Tuomo Ruutu (21), Dennis Seidenberg (18)
3 - 2 CAR
3rd Period
08:49
CAR
Ryan Bayda (5) ASST: Jussi Jokinen (12), Anton Babchuk (11)
4 - 2 CAR
19:28
CAR
EN - Matt Cullen (19) ASST: Ray Whitney (33)
5 - 2 CAR
penalty summary
1st Period
01:10
COL
Milan Hejduk  Hi-sticking against  Tim Gleason
03:55
CAR
Tim Conboy  Fighting (maj) against  Chris Stewart
03:55
COL
Chris Stewart  Fighting (maj) against  Tim Conboy
08:32
COL
Milan Hejduk  Tripping against  Sergei Samsonov
12:16
COL
Cody McCormick  Roughing against  Chad LaRose
15:40
CAR
Jussi Jokinen  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Darcy Tucker
15:40
COL
Darcy Tucker  Slashing against  Jussi Jokinen
17:54
COL
Cody McCormick  Hi-sticking against  Dennis Seidenberg
2nd Period
07:58
CAR
Chad LaRose  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
15:12
CAR
Anton Babchuk  Holding against  Ryan Smyth
16:14
COL
Wojtek Wolski  Tripping against  Eric Staal
19:31
COL
Ben Guite  Hooking against  Tuomo Ruutu
3rd Period
01:41
COL
Ian Laperriere  Tripping against  Joni Pitkanen
11:27
COL
Darcy Tucker  Slashing against  Patrick Eaves
13:19
CAR
Tuomo Ruutu  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
goalie stats
Andrew Raycroft
SA: 38TOI: 58:48
Saves: 34EV: 23 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 10
SV%: .895SH: 1 - 1
Cam Ward
Cam Ward
25-19-3
SA: 19TOI: 59:49
Saves: 17EV: 14 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .895SH: 1 - 1