Ward shuts out the Bruins in Boston

STAFF WRITERNovember 26, 2010 

Two days after the birth of his son, Cam Ward said he wanted to give him something to remember.

Did he ever.

Ward, playing superbly and surely inspirationally, tuned back every Boston Bruins shot Friday and the Carolina Hurricanes scored three power-play goals to win 3-0 at TD Garden in arguably their best game of the season.

"These last couple of days have been really amazing for myself, introducing my first son, Nolan," a beaming Ward said after the game. "Both Nolan and Mom are doing awesome, and I was just excited about getting back on the ice.

"What a great way to start for Nolan. I knew it was going to be his first one watching Dad on the TV. That most certainly was in my mind."

Before Nolan's birth early Wednesday, the plan was for Ward to start the home game against Washington that night and for Justin Peters to be in net Friday. But Ward flip-flopped starts with Peters, earning his 13th career shutout and first since April 2009.

"Prototypical road win," Canes coach Paul Maurice said. "Our goaltender was really, really good and our power play was really good, and that's what we needed to have happen."

The Bruins (12-7-2) had given up just seven power-play goals this season and ranked first in the NHL in penalty kills at 90.5 percent. But Jeff Skinner, Tuomo Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen picked up goals as the Canes (10-10-2) went three-for-three with a man advantage.

Skinner scored his first goal in seven games -- and seventh of the season -- with 15.8 seconds left in the first period for a 1-0 lead. It came after the Bruins had a three-on-one shorthanded rush, only to have defenseman Joe Corvo take away the puck near the boards and get it up ice to Ruutu for a two-on-one with Skinner.

In the second period, the Hurricanes killed off an Erik Cole penalty, and Cole hopped out of the penalty box to collect the puck and pass to Chad LaRose. Andew Ference's penalty for tripping LaRose soon had the Canes two goals ahead.

Ruutu, playing his 400th career game, got a piece of Ian White's shot from the point. Ruutu tipped the puck past Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, who was being screened by Eric Staal, at 11:09 of the second.

An alert play by Staal then led to the third power-play goal, at 7:52 of the third. The Canes captain was knocked to the ice in the low slot but somehow made a backhanded pass to an open Jokinen while sprawled -- Staal pumping his arms after Jokinen's goal while still seated.

"Obviously we scored those three on the power play but I thought it was about a complete game," said Ruutu, who also had eight of the Canes' 19 hits. "We had great penalty-killing, as well, and our goalie played unbelievably."

Ward made 12 saves in the opening period, several of them high-quality. The Bruins' Nathan Horton ripped a few shots and hit the post with an open net. Blake Wheeler also hit the post.

Ward once warded off a shot and was hit in the neck with the puck, leaving a welt he called a "little souvenir."

"Cam gave us a chance early because we were a little slow out of the gate," Maurice said. "We got better in the second and played closer to our game for long stretches."

With the Canes leading 2-0 in the second, the B's had an extra attacker on a delayed penalty against the Canes. But Ward made a strong stop on a heavy shot by rookie Tyler Seguin and the Canes then killed off the Brandon Sutter holding penalty.

By the end of the second period, many Boston fans were booing the home team. It was a game where the B's had offside calls, mishandled the puck and were called for offensive-zone penalties. And, of course, couldn't kill off any penalties.

The Canes also had the biggest single hit of the game. Forward Troy Bodie flattened defenseman Mark Stuart in the second.

"We played so well," Ruutu said. "I've played here quite a few times and I don't think we've gotten points many times."

The Hurricanes had lost the past four regular-season games in Boston, last winning in February 2008. In Carolina's final game last season, the Bruins exploded for three shorthanded goals on the same penalty.

But this one belonged to Ward and the Canes.

Told that Ward had said he was playing with added emotion, Maurice noted associate head coach Ron Francis scored a hat trick the day after the birth of his son. There's something extra at work, he said.

"Cam was the difference," Maurice said. "He was our best player."

Maurice smiled, adding, "We're hoping he has 71 babies this year."

Three stars

1. Cam Ward, Carolina. Goalie has 37 saves in 13th career shutout.

2. Tuomo Ruutu, Carolina. Goal, assist and eight hits for center.

3. Jeff Skinner, Carolina. NHL's leading rookie scorer adds to lead.

chip.alexander@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8945

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service