RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Matt Cullen had his first career hat trick and the Carolina Hurricanes extended their winning streak to three games with a 5-2 victory against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday afternoon at the RBC Center.
Cullen recorded his 400th career NHL point with his second goal, which came early in the second period and gave Carolina a 2-1 lead.
Colorado had its three-game winning streak snapped and lost for the first time in 16 games to Carolina. The Avalanche entered 12-0-3 against the Hurricanes, last losing to the franchise in 1996, when the Hurricanes were the Hartford Whalers.
Darcy Tucker scored for Colorado at 2:12 of the second to tie the game at 2-2, but Joni Pitkanen scored off a rebound with 2:54 remaining in the middle frame to give the Hurricanes a lead they would not relinquish.
Ryan Bayda's third-period goal made it 4-2, and Cullen added an empty-netter with 32 seconds remaining to complete the hat trick.
Carolina moved to one point out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
The Avalanche jumped out of the gate quickly, as Wojtek Wolski scored only 59 seconds into the contest after stealing a pass and skating in on the right side to beat Carolina netminder Cam Ward. It was the third straight game in which Wolski has recorded a goal.
The shots after that were scarce for the Avalanche, playing the second game of a six-game road trip. The Hurricanes outshot the Avalanche 39-19.
Colorado's Andrew Raycroft made 34 saves, and Cam Ward made 17 for Carolina.