Ward shines as Hurricanes blank Maple Leafs

TORONTO (Ticker) — A silent offense was not going to stop a
season-high slide for the Carolina Hurricanes, so goaltender Cam
Ward took matters into his own hands.

Ward turned aside all 35 shots he faced as the Hurricanes skated
to a 2-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

Defenseman Joe Corvo scored a power-play goal and Chad LaRose
added another tally for the Hurricanes, who ended a season-high,
five-game losing streak. They had scored two or fewer goals in
four of those contests.

Ward turned aside six shots in the first period, 14 in the
second and 15 in the third to secure his second shutout of the
season and eighth career.

Vesa Toskala stopped 32 shots for Toronto, which defeated the
Hurricanes, 6-4, on Thursday in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Carolina secured eight victories in 11 contests from December
16-January 6, capped by a season-high, four-game winning streak.
But it has since fizzled, enduring the team’s longest slide
since going 0-4-1 from December 5-15, 2006.

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The 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Ward had surrendered 23
goals during the team’s recent skid after giving up just six
during its previous winning run.

He gave up five goals to the Maple Leafs Thursday, and entered
this contest 5-5-1 with a 3.53 goals-against average in 11
career matchups against them.

Yet the 24-year-old shined in this one, and received all the
support he would need when Corvo converted passes from
defenseman Joni Pitkanen and captain Rod Brind’Amour with 3:46
left in the second by firing a slap shot from above the right
faceoff circle that sailed past Toskala.

Toskala, who surrendered two or fewer tallies for just the
second time in seven games, was solved again when LaRose lifted
a backhander into the vacant net with five seconds remaining in
the session.

Carolina had four road losses over its slide and was in danger
of losing six straight games in regulation for the first time
since March 26-April 6, 2003.