Cam Ward’s record in the past three games is 1-0-2, but the goalie’s save percentage in those games tells another side of the story.
Ward, who will start Thursday as the Carolina Hurricanes host the Anaheim Ducks, has stopped 94 of the last 100 shots against him. In contrast, he gave up 10 goals on 83 shots in his previous three games when he was 1-2-0.
“He’s been good,” Canes coach Bill Peters said Thursday. “We hung him out to dry a couple times. Even when you look back to a game on the road, it might have been in Detroit, we were down after one and it could have been a bigger deficit if he didn’t make the types of saves he’s made.
“His numbers might not look as good as they’re going to be here shortly, but he’s been good for us recently.”
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Ward has allowed two goals in each of the three starts, facing 32 shots Nov. 1 in an overtime loss to Ottawa, 27 in a shootout win Saturday over Nashville, then 41 shots Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils in a shootout loss.
-- The Canes’ lines at Thursday’s morning skate had Victor Rask centering Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm, Jordan Staal with Joakim Nordstrom and Andrej Nestrasil, Teuvo Teravainen with Phil Di Giuseppe and Lee Stempniak, and Jay McClement with Viktor Stalberg and Sebastian Aho. Bryan Bickell was not at the skate.
The defensive pairs had Jaccob Slavin with Brett Pesce, Noah Hanifin with Ron Hainsey, and Klas Dahlbeck with Jakub Nakladal. Ryan Murphy was the extra D-man.
-- A good sign for the Canes on Thursday: Justin Faulk, out with an upper-body injury, skated before the team practice.
“He skated today, he got treatment, he’s getting closer,” Peters said.
Faulk was injured Sunday against the Devils at PNC Arena and did not play Tuesday. Peters has referred to his status as “week to week.”
-- The Ducks (6-5-3) are playing the second half of a back-to-back on the road, losing 3-2 in overtime Wednesday to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“The thing for me last night is that they had the puck a lot off faceoffs,” Peters said. “They’re the best faceoff team the league (58.6 perent). They’re a good team. They’re a deep team.”
The Ducks rallied from a two-goal deficit against the Blue Jackets, getting scores from Rickard Rakell and Nick Ritchie to force overtime.
“Starts at home are big, especially when a team is playing back to back,” Peters said. “We’ve got to worry about ourselves, though. We’ve got to get off to a good start and if we do that, then sustain it.”
The Canes and Ducks split their two games last season, each winning on the road. The Ducks won 4-1 at PNC Arena and the Canes 5-1 at Anaheim.
-- Having Faulk out of the lineup means a different look on the power play, but the Canes got a power-play score Tuesday from Jordan Staal off a Slavin pass -- Carolina’s first in five games.
“Now you’ve got an opportunity to (play) some guys who are chomping at the bit,” Peters said. “There are other guys who have played on the power play their whole lives who want to be back on it. Now they get their opportunities to show what they can do.”
Staal’s goal came on a unit with Aho, Stempniak, Pesce and Slavin. On the same power play, the Canes also used Skinner, Rask, Lindholm, Teravainen and Hanifin.