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'Canes make it two in a row

by Brian Compton
It had been more than a month, but the Carolina Hurricanes once again figured out how to put wins together.

Four different players scored and Cam Ward made 31 saves as the Hurricanes made it two in a row with a 4-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators at the RBC Center on Sunday afternoon.

Tom Kostopoulos, Brett Carson, Eric Staal and Rod Brind'Amour scored to help Carolina win consecutive games for the first time since early December. On Tuesday night in Toronto, the Hurricanes will attempt to win three in a row for the first time this season.

''I don't think we've had any all year,'' Brind'Amour said. ''I can't remember the last one.''

Chris Kelly scored for Ottawa, while Pascal LeClaire made 29 saves. The Senators, opening a five-game trip, have lost four in a row.

''Right now it seems what can go wrong is going wrong,'' Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said. ''We've just got to suck it up and move forward.''

Making his 12th consecutive start, Ward was sensational on Sunday. His best saves came in the first period, when the 'Canes were outshot 16-5.

''It it wasn't for Cam Ward, it could've been 5-0 easily after the first,'' Kostopoulos said.

Ottawa finally got on the scoreboard at 7:04 of the second, when Kelly took a pass from Anton Volchenkov and ripped a shot that beat Ward between the legs as the Sens grabbed a 1-0 lead.

But Carolina responded just 40 seconds later, as Kostopoulos finished off a 2-on-1 with Brandon Sutter by diving to poke the puck past Leclaire for his fifth goal of the season. Brind'Amour put the Hurricanes in front with 2:08 left in the period for his second goal in three games after a 35-game drought.

Ward shut the door the rest of the way and stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period. The Hurricanes' goaltender has allowed only seven goals in his last four games.

''That's what goaltending does for you,'' Brind'Amour said. ''It seemed like he was just on tonight. The first period was all him.''

Carson scored his first career NHL goal on a rush at 13:32 of the third period, when he took a feed from Ray Whitney and wristed it through a crowd in front of the net and past Leclaire to make it 3-1. Staal -- who missed the previous game to attend his sister-in-law's funeral -- rounded out the scoring just over two minutes later off another nice pass by Whitney.

"We didn't have a great start in the first period, but Cam was ready to go," Staal said. "He was tested a lot in the first five minutes. He really hung in there for us. We responded well in the second and got the result we needed and wanted."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
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