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Ward is NHL's Third Star of the Week

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes
With a perfect 3-0-0 record, a 1.33 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage, the NHL named Cam Ward as it’s third star of the week this morning.

Paul Branecky
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It was the continuation of a great run of games for Ward, who has started eight of the team’s last nine games since being sidelined by a groin injury in early December.  In that span, Ward has posted a 6-2-1 record.

“It is a nice honor, but the more important thing is that our overall team is playing a lot better,” said Ward.  “Now we’re putting up some wins here, so hopefully we can continue going down the same road that we’re going right now.”

Any goaltender will tell you that a nice run of games helps to settle into a groove, as has always been the case with Ward.  He’s rewarded the team’s confidence in him with one of the most consistent stretches of play he’s had since he assumed the starting goaltender role at the beginning of the 2006-07 season.

“Obviously you want to be the guy in the net, and I’m getting the opportunity,” he said.  “I feel pretty confident and am playing with a bit more consistency on a night-to-night basis, but again that’s a reflection of the team.  They’re playing a lot better defensively in front of me and are making it a lot easier on myself.”

For the most part the Canes have played much better defensively – they’ve allowed fewer than 25 shots in four of their last six games – but Ward has managed to bail the team out even during lapses where that hasn’t been the case, such as during the road win in Atlanta on December 26.

“He’s seen a bunch of different kind of looks from our team,” said coach Paul Maurice.  “We’ve been real stingy like we were in the second and third periods of the Tampa game, and we’ve had games really where we weren’t.  We’re trying to put him in a position to be a difference for us, because he’s good enough to give us a chance for a good, positive outcome.”


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