RALEIGH, N.C. – Kevyn Adams scored his first three goals of the season for his first career hat trick, Eric Staal added his 13th before leaving with an injury and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 5-1 Thursday night.

Martin Gerber made 28 saves as the Hurricanes (14-3-1) won for the 11th time in 12 games and extended the best start in franchise history. Even with captain Rod Brind’Amour sitting out with a groin injury, Carolina dominated almost from the start with surprising contributions from a host of players.

Justin Williams had a goal, and Radim Vrbata added a pair of assists, but no one was bigger than Adams, a solid veteran who eats up minutes on the penalty kill and rarely gets scoring chances. He gave the Hurricanes the lead for good early in the second period at the end of a nifty give-and-go with Vrbata, a healthy scratch 10 times already this season.

Sabres 8, Capitals 5

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Taylor Pyatt recorded his second career hat trick, and Brian Campbell had two goals to help the Buffalo Sabres to a 8-5 win over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

Ales Kotalik, Dmitri Kalinin and Tim Connolly also scored for the Sabres, who won their third straight at home and second overall.

Rookie standout Alexander Ovechkin had a goal and an assist, and Chris Clark, Andrew Cassels, Brian Sutherby and Ben Clymer also scored for the Capitals, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

Washington fell to 1-8 on the road.

Buffalo scored on its first shot 37 seconds in as Campbell beat Brent Johnson with a shot that went between the goalie’s legs.

Lightning 3, Islanders 2

TAMPA, Fla. – Martin St. Louis scored a tiebreaking, rebound goal with 1:43 left, leading the Tampa Bay Lightning past the New York Islanders 3-2 on Thursday night.

St. Louis was back in the lineup less than a week after breaking a bone near the tip of his left ring finger. It was first thought that St. Louis, who sat out two games, would miss two-to-four weeks.

The 2004 NHL MVP also damaged his nail bed after being hit in the hand by defenseman Darryl Sydor’s shot in practice last Sunday.

St. Louis scored from in-close after Vincent Lecavalier, who lost his stick, kicked a loose puck toward the goal. The sequence started on Pavel Kubina’s shot from the point.

Senators 4, Panthers 1

OTTAWA – Daniel Alfredsson scored power-play goals 20 seconds apart midway through the third period and the Ottawa Senators beat Florida 4-1 on Thursday night, extending the Panthers’ season-high losing streak to 10 games.

Dany Heatley assisted on Alfredsson’s 18th goal – his second of the game – to extend his point streak to 17 games.

Dominik Hasek made 31 saves, and Bryan Smolinski also scored for Ottawa, which trailed 1-0 through two periods.

Florida captain Olli Jokinen scored his sixth of the season 15:43 in. The Panthers, who gave up the winning goal Tuesday in Montreal with four seconds remaining in overtime, are 0-7-3 during the team’s longest losing streak since a club-record, 13-game slide in 1998.

Oilers 6, Red Wings 5

EDMONTON, Alberta – Jarret Stoll scored the winning goal 33 seconds into overtime, and the Edmonton Oilers pulled out a 6-5 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

Trailing 3-1 heading into the third period, Edmonton scored four times in the final 20 minutes on a pair of goals from Ryan Smyth, and single goals from Marc-Andre Bergeron and Ethan Moreau.

Edmonton’s Shawn Horcoff tied a team record with four assists to leave the Red Wings winless on a three-game swing through Western Canada.

Brendan Shanahan brought the Red Wings to 5-4 with a power-play goal, and Steve Yzerman tied it with his second of the season with 2:18 left in regulation.


‘Wolves 109, Wizards 98

MINNEAPOLIS – Kevin Garnett had 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists and Richie Frahm hit key shots in the fourth quarter to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 109-98 victory over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night.

Wally Szczerbiak scored 17 points, and Frahm and Troy Hudson added 16. Six Timberwolves players scored in double figures as Minnesota snapped a two-game losing streak.

Gilbert Arenas had 33 points and Caron Butler added 15 for Washington, which has lost two straight. The Wizards had five players in double figures.

After building a 15-point lead, Minnesota let Washington back in the game in the third quarter. But, two hustle plays and Frahm’s shooting, restored the Wolves’ double-digit lead midway through the fourth.

Mavericks 87, Hawks 78

DALLAS – Josh Howard had 25 points and five blocked shots, and Dirk Nowitzki added 20 points and 13 rebounds, helping the Dallas Mavericks beat Atlanta 87-78 Thursday night and extend the Hawks’ season-opening losing streak to eight games.

Keith Van Horn added 14 points for the Mavericks, who improved to 3-0 at home and 6-2 overall.

Zaza Pachulia led the Hawks with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Atlanta and the Toronto Raptors are the league’s only winless teams – both at 0-8.

Joe Johnson scored 18 points, and Al Harrington added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta.

Dallas held a 65-57 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Hawks got within 81-77 on Johnson’s three-point play with 2:12 left, but the Mavericks finished with a 6-1 run over the final 1:36 to seal the victory.

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