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Hurricanes blow away Senators behind Gelinas Carolina debut

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) Martin Gelinas and Kirk McLean called their new teammates accountable. So were the pair in their Carolina Hurricanes debuts.

The newly acquired Gelinas scored a goal and an assist, and McLean, who was also traded over the weekend from Vancouver, stopped 22 of 23 shots as Carolina defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-1 Monday night.

"These guys play their position very well, especially in the defensive zone. They don't gamble or anything," said McLean, who allowed a meaningless third-period goal after entering the game with the worst goals-against-average (3.68) in the NHL. "Everybody seemed to be accountable. It was a different game to watch."

McLean, a 12-year veteran, said it took him about five minutes to realize he was in a different - and better - defensive situation than with the Canucks.

"The quality shots are limited compared to what I was going through there in Vancouver," he said. "It's a little easier on the mind when you know you're only going to face a quality chance maybe every five or six shots at the max and the team is only letting up 20 shots a game."

The Hurricanes scored two goals or less in 26 of their first 42 games, but tallied four in the second period - the team's highest-scoring 20-minute span of the season.

Sami Kapanen scored his first goal in 14 games to start the scoring.

Kapanen, who last scored on Dec. 3, made a great individual effort around defenseman Janne Laukkanen on the right wing 1:31 into the second period to record his 16th goal of the season.

"I didn't get too much wood on that shot. The puck was pretty close to my feet, but I just wanted to shoot it and cross my fingers and hope that something goes in," Kapanen said. "Finally I got it. My heart was beating like it was my first NHL goal."

Kapanen then assisted on Robert Kron's 20-foot slap shot from the slot less than three minutes later. It was also Kapanen's first two-point game since he scored two goals against the New York Islanders in early December.

Later in the period, Gelinas dug a puck out from a crowd in front of Ron Tugnutt and beat him from close range over his left shoulder.

Gelinas then assisted on Keith Primeau's breakaway goal with 2:02 left in the period and the rout was on for Carolina. Primeau has now scored a goal in four straight games after going through a 15-game streak that rivaled Kapanen's drought.

Tugnutt came into the game with a 1.88 GAA, but gave up four goals to the Hurricanes for the second time this season and was pulled after two periods in favor of Damian Rhodes.

"I thought we had a very good first period," said Ottawa's Randy Cunneyworth. "We were in the game right off the bat - where it went after that, I'm not sure."

Ottawa was 0-for-3 on the power play and has now extended its scoreless string to 16-straight man-advantage opportunities. The Hurricanes were 0-for-2 on power plays and are now 0-for-17 over a four-game span.

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