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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.

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.


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