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Matt Cullen scores first career hat trick as Hurricanes beat Avs 5-2

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RALEIGH, N.C. - Matt Cullen had his first career hat trick and the Carolina Hurricanes extended their winning streak to three games with a 5-2 victory against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

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.

Colorado had its three-game winning streak snapped and lost for the first time in 16 games to Carolina. The Avalanche entered 12-0-3 against the Hurricanes, last losing to the franchise in 1996, when the Hurricanes were the Hartford Whalers.

Darcy Tucker scored for Colorado at 2:12 of the second to tie the game at 2-2, but Joni Pitkanen scored off a rebound with 2:54 left in the second period to give the Hurricanes a lead they would not relinquish.

Ryan Bayda's third-period goal made it 4-2, and Cullen added an empty-netter.

Carolina moved to one point out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Colorado's Wojtek Wolski scored less than a minute into the game, stealing a pass and skating in the right side to beat Cam Ward at 19:01.

The shots after that were scarce for the Avalanche, playing the second game of a six-game road trip. The Hurricanes outshot the Avalanche 39-19.

Colorado's Andrew Raycroft made 34 saves, and Cam Ward made 17 for Carolina.

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