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CanesVision Online: Flavor of the Game Postgame Quotes
The Canes looked refreshed, from goaltender Cam Ward to captain Rod Brind’Amour to a defensive crew that has been maligned recently, rallying for a decisive 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
“I just relaxed and did the best I could to take my mind away from the game,” said Ward. “I think everybody is in great shape so you don’t need the physical rest, but to have some mental rest and not think about things is always beneficial. I came back with a purpose to try to do what we can with these last 30 games and give ourselves a big push to make the playoffs.”
Ward’s form reminded many of his October start, stopping 34 of 35 shots, while Brind’Amour notched his third game winner of the season and the defense blocked 15 shots.
“It’s easy to respond when you’ve got guys working extremely hard in front of you,” said Ward. “You want to give them the best effort you can. I realize I’ve got to come up with key saves in key situations of the game to give our team a chance, and fortunately I was able to make some.”
“If we don’t stand up now there will be no spring,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “We talked about a starting point, and that starting point was tonight.”
“We know what’s at stake, we’re a desperate hockey club,” added Brind’Amour. “I thought we were ready to play and played hard.”
The Canes got goals from Sergei Samsonov and Brind’Amour about two minutes apart on odd-man rushes to rally after falling behind by a goal in a penalty-filled opening 20 minutes.
Samsonov scored his third in the last six games to tie it at 1-1 on a 2-on-1 break with Ray Whitney, faking a shot and sliding the puck over to the Russian winger, who lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist.
|Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward made 34 saves to backstop the team to a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008, at RBC Center. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)|
A few shifts later, Brind’Amour corralled a puck in the
“I think he likes it here. I think he’s happy in
The Canes then survived a frantic 45-second stretch near the end of the second after Ward lost his goalie stick as the Rangers tried for the equalizer.
“We could have easily panicked, but everybody did what they were supposed to do and we got the puck out of the zone with no harm,” said Ward.
Trevor Letowski, without a point in his last 15 games, gave the Canes some breathing room with his first goal since Dec. 15 less than four minutes into the third and Ward closed out the deal late after
“We’re in a battle here,”
“He likes to take his space out there and I’m no stranger to wanting mine,”
The Canes had ample time to tie it up over the next 10 minutes with a two-man advantage for 1:57 and another power play midway through the period, but Carolina managed just three shots on goal and just seven in a period that featured three fights.
“We talked about everything before the game and whatever game was going to be played we were ready,” Laviolette said of the physical nature. “It just kind of holds things in check for everybody and lets the game be played."
NOTES: Gleason received a game misconduct early in the first after being a third man in a fight between Avery and Walker. … Ladd went without a cage to protect his injured face for the first time in a month. … Eric Staal played in his 225th consecutive game. … Ward started for the eighth time in the last nine games. … Staal won 14 of 21 faceoffs, but saw his five-game point streak end.