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Hurricanes 7, Maple Leafs 1

Hurricanes blow away Maple Leafs

TORONTO - Matt Cullen scored for the first time since returning to the Hurricanes, and six others added goals in Carolina's 7-1 rout of the Toronto Maple Leafs last night.

Cullen, traded back to Carolina during the summer after one season with the New York Rangers, scored a power-play goal that gave the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead in the second period.

Justin Williams, Cory Stillman, Ray Whitney, Scott Walker, Jeff Hamilton, and Eric Staal also scored against goalie Vesa Toskala. Williams, Stillman, Cullen, and Rod Brind'Amour each had two assists.

Bryan McCabe scored the only Toronto goal.

Mats Sundin's assist on McCabe's goal was his 916th point with the Maple Leafs, tying him with Darryl Sittler for the club record. But that was long forgotten once Carolina scored seven consecutive goals.

"It was a flat effort by the whole group and that's it," Sundin said. "Really, there's no excuses to have an effort like that.

"It's not like we're in the middle of a tough schedule. We just weren't good and that's the bottom line. It was bad, it was frustrating."

The thoughts of both teams and the announced crowd of 19,224 were with Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake, who played his first game since going public with the news Monday that he is battling chronic myelogenous leukemia - a rare form of the disease.

He is being treated with medication and doesn't expect to miss any playing time. Blake, who looked strong when he checked Tim Gleason against the end boards in the opening minute, didn't speak to reporters after the game.

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