Andrew Ladd scores twice to help Hurricanes defeat Sharks 6-4

Ray Whitney, Erik Cole, Eric Staal and Cory Stillman also had goals for the Hurricanes, who improved to 5-1-1 in their past seven games as they chase a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Carolina has 84 points and remained tied with the Montreal Canadiens for the eighth and final position.

The 23-year-old Ward missed three games with a laceration on his leg, then relieved John Grahame in a come-from-behind victory over Washington on Thursday. Ward, the playoff MVP last year when the Hurricanes captured the Stanley Cup, has wins in two straight outings to improve to 29-17-6 in his first full season as a starter in the NHL.

READ ALSO:  Flyers put season-ending slump behind them heading into NHL playoff opener

Bill Guerin, Jonathan Cheechoo, Steve Bernier and Joe Thornton scored for the Sharks, who remain solidly in the post-season picture in the Western Conference despite losing in regulation for the first time in more than three weeks. They came in with an 8-0-2 record in their past 10 games, including two victories to start a four-game road trip.