Tracking the Storm

Ward Passes Early Test

Saturday, 04.3.2010 / 11:58 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Ward Passes Early Test
Paul Branecky
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The Hurricanes and Cam Ward felt it was important for the goaltender to play again this season, if only to test out his injured back. So far, so good.

Ward has won both games since his return, posting a 1.00 goals-against average and a .968 save percentage along the way. After taking a breather for the Canes’ most recent game in Ottawa Thursday night, he will again get the start tonight against the New Jersey Devils at the RBC Center.

”I was really, really impressed with the way he was able to get right to his game, and that’s no easy thing to do,” said coach Paul Maurice. “With any player, most injuries even when they come back it’s there mentally in their head that they don’t want to have a reoccurrence and sometimes it affects those first two or three games, so that was really good sign for him to block that out and compete the way he did.”

Besides benefiting from his strong performance on the ice, the team has also taken a great deal of comfort in the fact that Ward has not experienced any further problems with his back, which has been an issue on and off all season. Getting the goaltender healthy for next season remains a top priority, and the team remains cautious.

“If there had been any (problems), even in the slightest, we would have shut him right down, so there hasn’t been any reoccurrence,” said Maurice.

The Hurricanes have long needed every single point they could get in the standings, which made the shootout loss in Ottawa so damaging. The team earned five out of a possible six points in what would be a stellar road trip under any other circumstances, but the manner in which they dropped the final point, giving up a goal with 8 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, stings to be sure.

“If we win that game, I’m not concerned about the emotional level coming into this game at all, but it is a concern right now,” admitted Maurice. “We had some key players on the ice (for the tying goal), and to have that happen … we’ve got to find a way to wind that back up.”

If the Hurricanes have an advantage tonight, it’s that the Devils suffered a last-gasp loss very similar to Carolina’s on Friday while the Hurricanes enjoyed a day off. Starting goaltender Martin Brodeur took the loss for New Jersey, making it more likely that the Canes will face backup Yann Danis tonight. Of course, that is never a given, with Brodeur starting 71 of a possible 77 games this year.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72