RALEIGH, NC—The National Hockey League today named Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward the league’s first star of the month for March 2009.
Ward, 25, posted a 10-1-2 record, a 1.98 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage, as he started and finished each of the team’s 13 games in March. He allowed two goals or fewer in nine of those games, and recorded 30-or-more saves in six of those games. Ward’s month was highlighted by a 41-save performance in Carolina’s 4-2 win against New Jersey on March 18, and a 28-save shutout of the New York Rangers on March 9.
Ward’s play has helped to move the Hurricanes within seven points of clinching the team’s first playoff berth since it captured the Stanley Cup in 2006. His current 24-game consecutive starts streak is the longest of his NHL career, and he has posted a 16-6-2 record, a 2.31 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and two shutouts in that span. Through games of March 31, Ward ranks third among NHL goaltenders with 36 wins and tied for eighth with five shutouts.
This marks just the second time a Carolina Hurricanes player has been named the league’s player of the month since the franchise relocated in 1997. Center Eric Staal was named the league’s offensive player of the month for October 2005, which was the first time that a player from the Carolina franchise had receive league player-of-the-month honors since Mike Rogers in December 1980.