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Erik Cole scores twice in Hurricanes' 5-3 win over Senators

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OTTAWA - The Carolina Hurricanes managed to do what the Ottawa Senators' previous opponents, exhibition or regular season, had failed to accomplish.

Erik Cole scored his first two goals of the season and Eric Staal added a goal and two assists Carolina beat Ottawa 5-3, handing the Senators their first defeat before a Scotiabank Place crowd of 18,268.

"When we're skating and we're playing that style of game that's up-tempo and everyone's jumping, I think we're a pretty tough team to beat," said Staal after the Hurricanes (3-1-1), in the midst of a six-game road trip, won for the second straight outing.

Carolina trounced the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-1 on Tuesday, and two nights later it managed to solve Ottawa's tough penalty killing en route to spoiling the Senators' attempt at a franchise record-tying sixth victory in a row to start the season.

After going 7-0 in the pre-season, Ottawa (5-1-0) hadn't been beaten since Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final in June.

The Senators will try to avoid their first losing streak Saturday when they meet the Rangers in New York

"It's inevitable obviously in this game, so we've got to get back on the winning ways on Saturday. That's our mindset," Senators defenceman Wade Redden said.

Matt Cullen and Rod Brind'Amour also scored for Carolina, which had to withstand a furious final rally by the Senators that turned a 4-1 game into a

4-3 one entering the final moments.

Chad LaRose chipped in with three assists.

Cam Ward turned in a strong performance in goal, finishing with 27 saves.

Dany Heatley had a goal and an assist, while Mike Fisher and Joe Corvo scored late goals for Ottawa.

Jason Spezza added two helpers.

Ottawa goaltender Martin Gerber also stopped 27 shots in a good performance.

"We were facing a good team," Fisher said. "We gave them far too many chances and odd-man rushes.

"We can't play our best every night I guess, but at the same time, we've got to play a lot better than that."

Fisher called the Hurricanes the best team the Senators have faced so far.

"Their D are pretty quick and their forwards skate hard," Fisher said. "They're a good team."

The Senators entered the game with a 13-3-3-1 record in the previous 20 meetings between the teams.

But the Hurricanes took the lead when Cole scored the only goal of the first period at the 17:33 mark while the Hurricanes enjoyed a man advantage.

It was the first power-play goal the Senators had given up on the season in 22 opportunities for the opposition.

Cullen and Heatley traded goals minutes later, but Brind'Amour restored the two-goal advantage barely more than two minutes after that with his first goal of the season.

"Through the second period, I thought we went to work and did a good job and started to control the pace," said Cole.

After a shattered pane of glass meant the teams were sent to their dressing rooms with 43.6 seconds still remaining in the second, Cole started the third by scoring what turned out to be the game-winner when he beat ex-teammate Gerber six minutes in.

Fisher and Corvo scored less than two minutes apart late to make it an interesting finish before Staal sealed it with an empty-net effort.

"They didn't give us a lot of room," Redden said. "They were jumping on pucks and turnovers and we didn't answer."

Notes: Before the game, the Senators announced that goaltender Ray Emery was being sent to Binghamton of the AHL on a two-game conditioning assignment. Emery, who underwent off-season surgery to repair torn cartilage in his wrist, hasn't played since a pre-season game on Sept. 25. He's scheduled to start for Binghamton on Friday and Saturday. ... The Senators next game is Saturday at New York against the Rangers. ... The Hurricanes continue their trip with a contest Saturday in Montreal.

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