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This Day in Canes History: April 1

Ward named NHL's first star of the month for March 2009

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

On this day in Canes history ...

April 1, 2009

Goaltender Cam Ward is named the National Hockey League's first star of the month for March 2009 after posting a 10-1-2 record, a 1.98 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage.

Ward, who became the third player in franchise history to earn first star of the month honors, started and finished each of the Canes' 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 stellar March featured a 28-save shutout of the New York Rangers on March 9 and a 41-save performance in the Canes' 4-2 win against New Jersey on March 18.

By the end of March, Ward had started in 24 consecutive games, the longest such streak of his career, and had posted a 16-6-2 record, a 2.31 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and two shutouts in that stretch. His play in net helped the Canes surge up the Eastern Conference standings, and, just a few short days later, clinch their first playoff berth since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006.

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