Hurricanes lose Ward, but finish home-and-home sweep

Associated PressMarch 4, 2013 

— Jordan Staal, Alexander Semin, and Justin Faulk scored in Carolina’s 3-2 win over Florida on Sunday night, giving the Hurricanes their second victory over the Panthers in as many nights.

Dan Ellis made 19 saves for Carolina after replacing Cam Ward with 11:04 left in the second. Ward stopped all 15 shots he faced before leaving the game with what appeared to be a leg injury.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored two goals for Florida. Scott Clemmensen stopped 21 shots for the Panthers.

The Hurricanes won for the fourth time in five games. Florida has lost 10 of its last 12 games.

Trailing 3-1, Huberdeau’s second goal came at 19:05 of the third. He took a cross-ice pass from Mueller and beat Ellis for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.

Carolina went ahead 3-0 on Staal’s goal at 6:10 of the second. Jeff Skinner brought the puck from behind the net and passed to Staal in front. His shot trickled under Clemmensen’s pad and into the net.

The Panthers made it 3-1 when Peter Mueller made a nice cross-ice pass to Huberdeau as he skated in on Ellis. His shot beat Ellis on the stick side at 16:05 of the second.

The Hurricanes scored a pair of goals in the last two minutes of the first period to build a 2-0 lead.

Faulk gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead when he rifled a shot from above the right circle that hit the far post and went in at 18:08. Semin’s goal, a wrist shot from in front, came exactly one minute later.

Initially, Ward was knocked down when Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo slid into him and dislodged the net. After the next faceoff, Ward went down and limped off the ice.

Florida goaltender coach Robb Tallas suited-up for Sunday’s game and was on the bench for most of the first period as the backup goaltender. Jacob Markstrom was recalled from San Antonio in the AHL for Sunday’s game, but his gear was late in arriving so Tallas, 39, was signed to a one-day contact in case Markstrom couldn’t play. Markstrom replaced Tallas on the bench with 3:44 left in the first.

Tallas played in the NHL for 13 years and appeared in 99 NHL games with the Boston Bruins (1995-2000) and the Chicago Blackhawks (2000-01).

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