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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 - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81