RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - Joe Corvo delighted the home crowd with a hat-trick against his former team as the Carolina Hurricanes crushed the Ottawa Senators 5-1 in an Eastern Conference match-up on Sunday.
“If I had to write the storybook ending, this would be it,” Corvo, who was traded from Ottawa last month, told reporters after his first NHL hat-trick.
The victory enabled the Hurricanes to keep a five-point lead in the Southeast Division and snapped a three-game winning streak by the Senators, who trail Montreal in the Northeast Division.
It came two days after the Hurricanes were beaten 7-1 in Buffalo.
“It was real important to put that out of our minds,” Corvo said. “That was a beating. You can’t hang on to games like that. You just have to leave them there.”
After Dany Heatley’s powerplay goal 3:16 into the first period gave Ottawa the lead, Carolina scored five unanswered goals, three of them on the powerplay.
Patrick Eaves, who also came to Carolina from Ottawa in the Corvo trade, tied the score with a powerplay tally about four minutes after Heatley’s goal.
Corvo, a defenseman, took over from there, scoring three of the Hurricanes’ next four goals.
His breakout game began with a powerplay score 10:24 into the first period off the first of three assists by Eric Staal.
Scott Walker made it 3-1 with a second-period tally and Corvo completed the hat-trick with two third-period goals.
The win improved the Hurricanes to 12-3-1 in the past 16 games.
“Everybody really paid the price, whether it was blocking shots or fighting, sticking up for each other,” Carolina coach Peter Laviolette told reporters. “We were on a mission to get to their net. That was a big difference from the game before.”
Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said penalties and the Hurricanes’ quickness hurt the Senators.
“They just really forced our defense all night and basically carried the momentum,” Murray told reporters.
As for Corvo?
“He had lots of opportunity,” Murray said.
“We know he can really shoot the puck, and he did that.”
* The Edmonton Oilers ended the San Jose Sharks’ 11-game winning streak with a 2-1 shootout victory. Dwayne Roloson made 48 saves in regulation and overtime, before Fernando Pisani scored the deciding shootout goal in the fourth round.
* The Florida Panthers tied a franchise record with their seventh consecutive victory, a 3-1 home win over the Atlanta Thrashers.
* Alexander Semin and Viktor Kozlov scored shootout goals as the Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 2-1.
* Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora each had two goals and two assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins routed Philadelphia 7-1.
* The Calgary Flames climbed into a three-way tie for the Northwest Division lead with a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Calgary, Minnesota and Colorado all have 84 points.
* Fredrik Norrena made 43 saves and Manny Malhotra scored twice in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 4-3 home win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Writing by Gene Cherry; Editing by Peter Rutherford