Eric Staal scored three goals in his first game
since becoming Carolina's captain and the Hurricanes beat the
Atlanta Thrashers 5-2 on Thursday night for a rare road victory.
Cam Ward stopped 32 shots to tie Arturs Irbe's franchise record
with 130 career wins.
The Hurricanes were last in the NHL with 35 points and had lost
three straight when Staal took over as captain Wednesday for Rod Brind'Amour.
Staal didn't take long to show his leadership on the ice.
The 25-year-old All-Star center scored on a pass from Jussi Jokinen to open the scoring 3:31 into the game.
The Hurricanes stretched the lead to 4-0 with power-play goals
by Sergei Samsonov, Jokinen and Staal.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)