Ward Now Has Regular-Season Shutout, Too

Friday, November 10th 2006, 6:24 am
By: News On 6

Cam Ward already mastered the playoffs. Now he's trying to perfect the regular season, too. The 22-year-old goalie made his mark during the Carolina Hurricanes' run to the Stanley Cup title last spring when he took over the No. 1 job during the playoffs and skated off with the MVP award. So there is plenty more to accomplish even though there is less on the line.

Ward stopped 20 shots and Erik Cole scored three goals to lead the Hurricanes to a 5-0 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

Ward wrested the job away from Martin Gerber in the first round of the playoffs and posted two shutouts. It took 43 games for him to get one in the regular season.

``Working backward a little bit,'' Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. ``But that's OK. We're happy with the order.''

Eric Staal and Trevor Letowski also scored, and Scott Walker had two assists for Carolina.

In other NHL games, it was: Toronto 6, Boston 4; the New York Islanders 3, Philadelphia 1; New Jersey 2, Chicago 1 in a shootout; Columbus 4, St. Louis 2; Dallas 1, Phoenix 0; Anaheim 6, Vancouver 0; and San Jose 7, Los Angeles 3.

Ward was well on his way to the shutout when the Hurricanes killed Washington's two-man advantage that lasted 2:18. From there Carolina cruised to an easy win.

``Up until that 5-on-3, I didn't see a whole lot of shots,'' Ward said. ``It can really change the momentum of a game if you kill that off.''

Cole had reason to celebrate, too. He recorded his fourth career hat trick and first since an 8-2 win over Montreal on Jan. 31, 2006.

``I felt like I was just racing up and down the ice'' in the first period, Cole said. ``As the game went on, I kind of slowed down a bit and tried to make more plays rather than sprint up the ice. Pucks were going in the net.''

It also was his first multigoal game since March 4 against Pittsburgh, when Cole was run over from behind by Brooks Orpik. That left him with a broken neck that kept him out of action for three months. He returned for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.

``On any given night, it's somebody who chips in and helps out for us,'' Laviolette said. ``Tonight, Colesy was the guy who scored the goals.''

Maple Leafs 6, Bruins 4

At Boston, Andrew Raycroft made 28 saves but left Toronto's victory early because of a groin strain.

In his first game back in Beantown since being traded by the Bruins, Raycroft won his fifth straight start. Toronto was leading 5-2 when Raycroft was forced out late in the second period.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin replaced Raycroft, and saved just 5 of 7 shots as Boston nearly rallied from a four-goal deficit.

Islanders 3, Flyers 1

Alexei Yashin scored twice and Rick DiPietro stopped 32 shots to lift visiting New York.

Philadelphia lost its fourth straight, dropped to 2-5 under new coach John Stevens and are 3-11-1 overall for an NHL-worst seven points. The Flyers haven't won since Oct. 26.

Devils 2, Blackhawks 1, SO

Zach Parise and Brian Gionta scored in the shootout to lead host New Jersey.

Martin Brodeur turned away Rene Bourque and Mikael Holmqvist to give the Devils their second straight shootout victory and send the Blackhawks to an eighth consecutive loss.

Mike Rupp scored in regulation for the Devils, who have won three in a row for the first time this season.

Blue Jackets 4, Blues 2

Rostislav Klesla scored twice and Rick Nash netted his first goal in a month during a wild second period to lead visiting Columbus.

The period featured six goals, five power-play opportunities and some ragged play from Blues goaltender Manny Legace. He failed to stop a breakaway by Klesla, allowed a short-handed goal to Dan Fritsche, missed Klesla's lazy shot that slowly slid into the left side of the net, and nearly caused a fifth Columbus goal.

Columbus scored three goals in a span of 5:09.

Stars 1, Coyotes 0

At Glendale, Ariz., Marty Turco stopped 13 shots in his first shutout of the season and made Brenden Morrow's power-play goal stand up for Dallas.

Curtis Joseph made 34 saves for Phoenix to hold up his end of the goalie showdown, but Turco posted his 25th career shutout.

Phoenix has been shut out three times this season, twice at home by the Stars.

Sharks 7, Kings 3

Patrick Marleau had three goals, Jonathan Cheechoo scored twice to end a seven-game drought, and San Jose routed host Los Angeles.

Steve Bernier had a goal and an assist, and Milan Michalek had three assists for the Sharks, who earned their third straight road win. Vesa Toskala made 35 saves.

Alexander Frolov, Brian Willsie and Sean Avery scored for the Kings, who have won only three of 15 games.

Ducks 6, Canucks 0

At Vancouver, British Columbia, Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 20 saves for Anaheim, which remained unbeaten in regulation for an NHL-record 16th game.

Ryan Getzlaf netted two goals, and Shane O'Brien, Chris Kunitz, Samuel Pahlsson and Todd Marchant also scored as the Ducks improved to 12-0-4 _ topping the league's previous best start of 15 games by the 1984 Edmonton Oilers (12-0-3).

Roberto Luongo, who had played 15 of the Canucks' first 16 games, made just five saves before being pulled.