Originally created 09/27/03

Hurricanes batter Thrashers



RALEIGH, N.C. -- The new guys helped the Carolina Hurricanes put together their best offensive showing of the preseason Friday night.

Marty Murray scored two goals and rookie Eric Staal added one in a 6 1/2 -minute span of the second period as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Atlanta Thrashers 5-1.

Rod Brind'Amour and Ron Francis added third-period goals for the Hurricanes (2-4), while Danny Markov and Craig Adams each had two assists.

Carolina acquired Murray from Philadelphia in June for a sixth-round draft pick in 2004, while the team took Staal with the second overall pick in this year's draft. The team acquired Markov from Phoenix in a draft-day trade.

On Friday, the trio helped the Hurricanes take a 38-21 edge in shots. Carolina had scored nine goals in its previous five preseason games.

"We would've been concerned had we not put some numbers up considering the lineup we had in," coach Paul Maurice said. "We started to see line chemistries and some guys had good nights."

Staal, who came into the game tied for the NHL lead with four preseason goals, got the chance to center the line with captain Ron Francis and Jeff O'Neill. Francis moved to the left wing.

"We were just trying different things," Staal said. "I think I did a little more thinking out there tonight than just kind of playing. But anytime you're playing with two great players like that, you're going to want to get them the puck because one of them's going to create something."

Murray centered a line with Joey Tetarenko and Jesse Boulerice, and scored both of his goals playing with Craig and Kevyn Adams.

"There's obviously a few things up in the air yet as far as the final roster and line combinations and things like that," Murray said. "But we're all professionals and take it in stride, and we have to come out and do the job every night regardless of what role we're in."

Kirill Safronov scored in the first period to give Atlanta (2-3) an early lead, but the Hurricanes took control in the second period.

Murray tied it when he corralled a shot from Kevyn Adams and poked it by Pasi Nurminen at 10:31 of the second period.

Five minutes later, Markov found Staal on the right side, and Staal beat Nurminen from a tough angle at 15:47 for the power-play goal.

After taking a pass from Craig Adams between the circles, Murray twisted to his left and backhanded the puck into the net for a 3-1 lead at 16:59.

Carolina outshot Atlanta 17-6 in the second period.