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Whitney's hat trick leads Hurricanes in rout of Flames

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Ray Whitney recorded his

third career hat trick with three power-play goals Friday as the

Carolina Hurricanes blasted the Calgary Flames, 6-1.

Sergei Samsonov, Erik Cole and Scott Walker also scored as

Carolina continued its playoff surge, winning for the sixth time

in its last eight games to pull within one point of a three-way

tie for sixth place.

Florida, Pittsburgh and the Rangers are all tied in the sixth

spot with 74 points.

Matt Cullen and Eric Staal each assisted on a pair of goals and

goaltender Cam Ward stopped 21 shots as the Hurricanes continued

their offensive onslaught of late.

Calgary captain Jarome Iginla ruined Ward's bid for a shutout

with 3:49 left in the third period, putting the Flames on the

scoreboard.

During its stretch over the last eight games, Carolina has

scored four goals or more five times and have won four straight

contests on home ice.

Whitney opened the scoring with 5:09 remaining in the opening

period. Samsonov and Cole scored 42 seconds apart before the

end of the session as the Hurricanes took a 3-0 lead into the

first intermission.

Curtis McElhinney made 27 saves for the Flames, who lost for

just the second time in their last eight contests.

Whitney extended the lead to 4-0 7:58 into the middle period and

Walker pushed the advantage to five late in the session.

The Hurricanes only managed four shots in the third, but Whitney

scored his 300th career goal 4:08 into the third before Iginla

spoiled the spotless night for Ward.

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