Analysis from Raleigh
→ The Carolina Hurricanes extended their point streak to 12 games (8-0-4), equaling a franchise best set in the 2005-06 season, in a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
"We have that quiet confidence, that quiet belief that we're in this. You don't want to look too far into the future," said Cam Ward, who made 21 saves. "The guys are doing a really good job of being focused. We're getting contributions from everyone in the lineup, and guys have been able to step up big in big ways."
Video: Ward, defense stifle Red Wings in Canes' 4-1 home win
→ Not much was happening in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Hurricanes had just one shot on goal, and neither team was playing with much pace or fluidity. It looked like a team playing its third game in three nights against a team playing the second half of a back-to-back.
"Coach would probably say we were turning it over too much and not making it difficult enough on them early on," Lee Stempniak said. "I thought as the game went on, we were a bit more physical and got pucks in."
Then, out of seemingly nowhere, Derek Ryan laid the puck off to Stempniak, whose shot beat Jimmy Howard to give the Hurricanes the 1-0 lead.
"We were a little sluggish out of the gate. We didn't get much going," head coach Bill Peters said. "That [goal] was important. It's always important to score first, and I thought that was a big momentum shift for us. It gave us a chance to get going."
From there, the Canes took control and never looked back.
→ The Canes added to their lead with about five minutes left in the first period when Joakim Nordstrom spun off defenseman Mike Green to smack in a rebound from a Brett Pesce shot.
Carolina's lead grew to three goals in the second period when Jordan Staal cruised down the right wing and beat Howard with a snap wrister.
Elias Lindholm, who saw his 10-game point streak end on Monday night, scored a power-play goal late in the third period to reinstate the Hurricanes' three goal lead.
Video: Hear from Staal, Ward, Nordstrom, and Peters Postgame
→ Cam Ward got back between the pipes today, and he didn't see much work - just 22 shots in total. But he made the stops when called upon, the lone blemish being a rebound goal off the stick of Tomas Nosek, his first-career NHL tally.
"Real solid," Peters said of Ward. "It's not only the number of saves but the timing of saves."
This performance comes on the heels of the good news received in regards to the scary collision Eddie Lack was involved in at the conclusion of overtime on Monday night. Lack was stretchered off the ice and released from the hospital last night, diagnosed with a neck strain.
"We were just thinking of Eddie. It's a really difficult situation to see a teammate - anyone in that situation - on a stretcher and being immobilized is scary for everyone," Stempniak said. "We got an update late last night that tentatively things looked OK, and this morning, obviously, things looked very good. I think we're all taking a deep breath and a sigh of relief that we know he's all right. You forget sometimes how scary it is out there."
"It's always good to see him. It was good that he sent out that tweet last night. That was very important. It was coming right from him," Peters said. "Guys care about him a lot. You can see that. He was hanging around this morning and being himself, so that was important."
Other than being a little stiff and sore, Lack seems to be fine, which is the best news the Canes could have hoped for in this situation.
"We saw him this morning. He was pretty much the same Eddie. Smile on his face, joking around," Stempniak said. "It was nice of him to come in. I think it put our minds at rest that everything is going to be all right."
"Eddie's an outstanding individual and a guy we deeply care about. For a guy who plays the position and to see my partner down like that, it definitely scares you. I had a tough time sleeping last night, and fortunately Eddie was able to get back to me late last night to let me know that everything was OK. What a relief that was," Ward said. "To see him here this morning, that definitely gave us a boost today to know that he's OK and we can focus on the game at hand."
→ The Hurricanes will look to stretch their point streak to a franchise record 13 games when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, their third of four straight contests at home.
"It's a good run," Peters said. "What we have going here, we just have to keep going."
"When you're playing well, you want to get back out there. Driving to the rink today, you see a few tailgaters out there. We're starving for the playoffs," Ward said. "You've got to take it one game at a time and not look too far in the future. We've been doing a good job of taking care of ourselves and coming into each day trying to win the day, as Bill Burniston would say. Kudos to the guys for sticking with it. Winning's fun, and we're having a lot of fun."