RALEIGH, N.C. - Rod Brind'Amour scored the winning goal in the second period and Tom Kostopoulos, Brett Carson and Eric Staal also had goals to help the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.
Cam Ward made 31 saves, keeping Carolina in the game when Ottawa dominated the first period.
"It it wasn't for Cam Ward, it could've been 5-0 easily after the first," Kostopoulos said.
"We played very well the first half," Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said. "It made a difference with Ward - he was real good. It allowed them to get their game going."
Brind'Amour, one of the heroes of Carolina's Stanley Cup run in 2006, has had a tough season, ranking last in the NHL in plus/minus and going 35 games without a goal. But he scored for the second time in the last three games, slapping a shot past Leclaire's outstretched left leg late in the second period.
That was enough for Ward, who started his 12th straight game and has allowed seven goals in his last four contests.
Ward's best saves came early, when the Senators outshot the Hurricanes 16-5 in the first period. But Ottawa didn't get on the scoreboard until early in the second, taking a 1-0 lead when Kelly took a pass from Anton Volchenkov and snapped the puck through Ward's legs.
Carolina answered 40 seconds later when Brandon Sutter broke up the left boards on a 2-on-1. As he neared the left faceoff circle, Sutter backhanded the puck to Kostopoulos, who dove to smack it past Leclaire for his third goal in four games.
Carson scored his first career NHL goal on a rush late in the third period. Ray Whitney found Carson trailing on the play, and Carson wristed it through a crowd in front of the net.
Staal added another insurance goal, taking another nice pass from Whitney and outwaiting Leclaire before sliding it underneath the goalie.
"Right now it seems what can go wrong is going wrong," Clouston said. "We've just got to suck it up and move forward."
Both teams were without a number of their top players.
Ottawa's Milan Michalek missed his second straight game because of an upper-body injury, joining Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson on the sideline. The Senators were also without forward Jesse Winchester, who suffered a knee injury in Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Florida Panthers and could be out for a month. Defenceman Filip Kuba (upper body) also sat out and is listed as day-to-day.
Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu sat out because of an upper-body injury sustained in a fight against Colorado's Darcy Tucker on Friday night. Erik Cole, Sergei Samsonov, Joe Corvo and Scott Walker also missed the game for Carolina.
NOTES: Staal missed Carolina's previous game while attending his sister-in-law's funeral ... Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play ... The Senators road trip continues Tuesday night in Atlanta against the Thrashers (7 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200).