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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Record-Setting Night for Ward, Canes

Friday, 02.03.2012 / 2:30 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Record-Setting Night for Ward, Canes
It was a record-setting night for the Carolina Hurricanes in Boston on Thursday.

Michael Smith
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Not only did the Canes sweep the season series from the Bruins for the first time in franchise history, but Cam Ward’s 47-save performance set a franchise record for saves in a shutout. It broke his own previous record of 42, set in April of last year against Detroit.

“I felt really comfortable,” Ward told the media after the game. “I felt like I was seeing the puck well, and for the most part, I was really happy with my rebound control.”

Thursday marked Ward’s third shutout of the season and the 19th of his career. His season high for shutouts is six, set in 2008-09, five of which came in the calendar year 2009 portion of that season. The shutout earned Ward first star honors in the game and second star honors in the National Hockey League for the night.

“You know you have to be sharp against them because they’re so skilled and talented,” Ward said. “You take a break against them mentally, and it could be in the back of your net.”

Head coach Kirk Muller credited the team’s defense for fishing loose pucks out around the front of the net. Though Boston was credited with 47 shots on goal, Muller said the Canes limited the Bruins to just 12 total scoring opportunities.

“That is our goal,” he said. “Going into Boston and limiting them to that is a good sign we’re doing a lot of things well without the puck.”

Boston put 22 shots on Ward in the first period, seven of which came from defensemen. The Bruins’ D-corps had 14 shots in the game, half of which came in the first period. The Hurricanes tightened up in the second period, limiting the home team to just five shots. Down three goals early in the third period, the Bruins poured on 20 more shots in the final frame as they searched for a way past Ward.

“Certain teams play that way. Their [defensemen] are great at getting shots through, and they take a lot of shots,” Muller said. “What I thought was really good was our defense did a great job at limiting the second and third opportunities around the net against probably the best team in the league for forwards.”

Muller was quick not to take anything away from Ward’s outing.

“Don’t get me wrong, Ward played really well,” he said. “That was one of the best games I’ve seen him play, as far as his focus. He made it look easy, and he made some big saves at the right times.”

With his shutout, Ward closes the book on a stellar season series against Boston that saw him win four games and stop 139 of 144 shots faced (.965 save percentage).

“It’s no secret they’re once again Stanley Cup contenders, and to beat them four times is a compliment to our team,” Ward said. “We’ve got to play every team like it’s the Boston Bruins, because they seem to bring out the best in us.

“When we play like that, we’re capable of beating very good teams.”

The Canes' netminder has played his best hockey of the season in his last 12 starts. When, in that stretch, Ward's worst performance was 21 saves on 24 shots, you know he’s been good. He’s faced 406 shots in those 12 games (an average of 33.8 per game) and stopped 386 of them, a .951 save percentage. In 10 of those 12 starts, Ward has surrendered two goals or less.

“When your goalie has that confidence in his body language and in the way he’s playing, it gives everyone a lot of confidence, and it’s easier to play. It really is,” Muller said. “He seems to have his game in the right state of mind as far as his of his mental approach. The break was probably better for him, even though he was playing well before. He seems to be tracking the puck well right now. Last night, they had good scoring chances, and he made it look easy.”

When he plays like that, he’s going to give us a chance to win every night.”

And with Ward playing so well, it’d be kind of hard to sit him at this point.

Does he go Saturday against Los Angeles? Without hesitation, Muller answered, “Yes.”



SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 61 12 28 -16 40
E. Staal 56 18 19 -10 37
E. Lindholm 60 11 16 -16 27
J. Skinner 56 16 10 -16 26
R. Nash 58 7 15 -9 22
N. Gerbe 57 7 15 -11 22
V. Rask 59 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 61 6 12 3 18
J. Staal 25 4 12 -2 16
A. Nestrasil 33 4 10 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 19 4 .913 2.37
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60