OTTAWA (AP) - The Carolina Hurricanes have four points to show for two nights in Ontario.
Cam Ward made 37 saves for his second shutout of the season and Zach Boychuk scored goals 3:48 apart in the first period in the Hurricanes' 4-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night. In Toronto on Tuesday night, Carolina beat the Maple Leafs 4-3.
Erik Cole and Patrick Dwyer also scored for Carolina, which has won two in a row and six of nine.
The Hurricanes moved two points clear of Ottawa into sole possession of ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings with 38 points. They are four points behind Montreal for the eighth and final playoff spot.
"It's just like anybody else, we're looking at the standings and seeing us just below that red line," Ward said. "You don't want to see too much of a gap where you can't catch up by the end of the season so it's important that you take care of the games against teams that are below you or right there with you."
Brian Elliott stopped 27 shots for Ottawa, which ended a modest two-game winning streak - its first consecutive victories since a season-high, four-game run in early November.
The Senators were missing center Jason Spezza, out indefinitely after injuring his right shoulder Sunday when he was checked from behind into the boards by Pittsburgh's Kris Letang.
"People have got to step up, myself included," left wing Nick Foligno said. "I've got to be more consistent. We didn't get the job done tonight but it doesn't mean we're not going to. We're going to continue to work here. We're going to find some answers. He's a big piece of our puzzle here. It hurts not to have him in the lineup but we know we have guys on this team that can get the job done."
Ward turned aside 10 shots in the first period, 12 in the second, and 15 in the third. It was his 14th career shutout, including another 37-save effort in a 3-0 victory in Boston on Nov. 26.
"I thought our guys got off to a real good start," Ward said. "It's always nice to play with the lead and it's good to see that we had our depth players contribute on the scoring sheet."
Dwyer picked up the first of his two points with an assist on Boychuk's first goal, which put Carolina up 1-0 midway through the first. Boychuk chased down Dwyer's pass behind the Ottawa net and tucked the puck past Elliott 9:24 in for his first goal in six games since he was recalled from Charlotte of the AHL on Dec. 17.
"I'm really happy for him, confidence-wise," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "He set up the game-winner last night and then scored the game-winner tonight so another good young player we hope will continue to develop."
Boychuk made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 13:12. The 21-year-old center took Tuomo Ruutu's back pass and beat Elliott with a wrist shot from the slot.
"I was wide open and we kind of had a 3-on-1 so the goalie had to cheat for the pass and he wasn't sure who was getting the puck," Boychuk said. "So once I got it I had all the time in the world and I just went top shelf."
Cole increased the lead to 3-0 when he snapped a shot past Elliott for an unassisted goal 15:14 into the second. Dwyer added another unassisted goal 4:32 into the third.
NOTES: Boychuk was drafted 14th overall by the Hurricanes in 2008. He has five goals and seven assists in 39 regular-season games, including two goals and two assists in four games against Ottawa. ... Defenseman Brian Lee was left out of the Senators' lineup.
|Sergei Samsonov Too many men/ice - bench|
|Chris Neil Interference against Tuomo Ruutu|
|Ryan Shannon Hooking against Brandon Sutter|
|Mike Fisher Hooking against Eric Staal|
|Jeff Skinner Tripping against Jesse Winchester|
|Jesse Winchester Roughing against Patrick Dwyer|
|Patrick Dwyer Roughing against Jesse Winchester|
|Ryan Carter Fighting (maj) against Milan Michalek|
|Milan Michalek Fighting (maj) against Ryan Carter|
|Chris Neil Misconduct (10 min)|
|Jeff Skinner Holding against Jesse Winchester|