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Williams notches hat trick as Hurricanes trounce Lightning 5-1

Williams scored twice during a three-goal second period that put Carolina up 4-0. He made it 2-0 on a rebound goal at 3:11 and added a power-play goal with 2:39 left. The right wing completed his first career hat trick with a rebound power-play goal from the low left circle 37 seconds into the third.

Ward stopped Martin St. Louis on two breakaways in the first. He also made second-period saves on in-close shots by St. Louis and Brad Richards.

Rod Brind'Amour and Eric Belanger also scored for Carolina. The defending Stanley Cup champion Hurricanes have won three straight after starting the season 0-3-1.

Nikita Alexeev scored the Lightning goal with 2:13 left in the third. Tampa Bay goalie Marc Denis was pulled after allowing four goals on 19 shots through two periods.

The Lightning have lost four of five.

Brind'Amour put the Hurricanes ahead 1-0 at 4:28 of the first when Erik Cole's pass went off his skate and into the net. Belanger scored on the power play midway through the second.

Notes: Carolina D Glen Wesley and D Bret Hedican both missed their second consecutive game with lower body injuries. ... The Lightning have been outscored 9-2 in the first period this season. ... Hurricanes RW Trevor Letowski, sidelined by a concussion, is expected to be re-examined this week.

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