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10/25/2006 10:22:16 PM


RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) - While it was not nearly as exciting as the Carolina Hurricanes' last home victory, Anton Babchuk sent the RBC Center crowd home with a collective smile.

Babchuk scored 71 seconds into overtime as the Hurricanes posted a thrilling 5-4 triumph over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Just over a minute into the extra session, Justin Williams intercepted a clearing attempt by Atlanta defenseman Greg de Vries and held the puck in the left corner. He spotted a streaking Babchuk in the slot and hit the Russian blue-liner, who shifted to his backhand and slipped the puck past goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

It was the first goal of the season for Babchuk, who entered with just five tallies in 51 career games. Before Wednesday, the 22-year-old never had scored a game-winner in his three-year career.

Babchuk's nifty goal gave the Hurricanes their first win in three home games this season. They had not won at the RBC Center since capturing Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals with a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in June.

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