is doing his best to get the Carolina Hurricanes
back in the playoff race.
Ward made 39 saves on Saturday night and Brandon Sutter
and Matt Cullen
scored 26 seconds apart as the Hurricanes won for the fifth time in six games with a 4-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks
at the RBC Center.
"Cam was fantastic tonight," Carolina coach Paul Maurice
said. "I'll say it again -- every once in a while, we actually expect that out of him because we need it in a game like tonight."
and Jussi Jokinen
also scored for the Hurricanes, who have won four straight but remain 11 points out of a playoff spot after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals a season ago. Ward has stopped 129 of 134 shots in his last four games.
"I feel very comfortable in net," Ward said. "But that's a result of the guys playing in front of me. You can see the guys play extremely hard. You can see we're playing with a lot more confidence. It just urges myself to come up with those key saves."
and Andrew Ladd
scored for Chicago, and Cristobal Huet
made 20 saves. Ladd, who beat Ward with a wrist shot in the third period, helped Carolina win the Stanley Cup in 2006 before he was traded to Chicago for Tuomo Ruutu
Chicago (37-14-4) went 5-3-0 on its season-high eight-game trip. The Blackhawks hadn't played in Raleigh since December 2005.
"We're not complaining, but we thought maybe we deserved a better way to end it today," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville
Carolina held a 1-0 lead after the first period as Samsonov scored in the final 10 seconds, but Hossa tied things up with his 15th goal of the season at 6:46 of the second when he backhanded a shot through Ward's legs.
But Jokinen put the Hurricanes back in front with 2:17 remaining in the second when he one-timed a cross-ice feed from Eric Staal
past a sprawling Huet. The shot was originally stopped, but the puck just made it over the goal line, giving the Hurricanes a goal that survived video review. Carolina is 11-1-3 when Jokinen scores.
Ladd once again tied the game 7:43 into the third period, but Sutter again put Carolina ahead when he redirected Chad LaRose
's blast past Huet at 9:08. Cullen then quickly doubled the Hurricanes' lead as he took a pass from Tom Kostopoulos
and tapped it past Huet for his 11th goal of the season.
"I think this is what we all expected," Cullen said. "It's disappointing that it comes so late, but at the same time, it's there and we have a lot of pride."
Blue Jackets 3, Blues 2 (OT) | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS
scored at 1:32 of overtime to give Columbus its first victory in St. Louis in nine games. Russell skated into the Blues' zone and snapped a shot past Mason on the Jackets' first shot in overtime. It was his sixth goal of the season.
"This is a tough building for us to win in and I thought we played a really good game tonight," Russell said. "We just got to keep playing and working hard. If we play like that, good things are going to happen."
and Derek Dorsett
scored for the Jackets, and Mathieu Garon
stopped 25 shots in his first game since Jan. 19. Columbus was 0-7-1 in its previous eight visits to St. Louis.
"We're grinding it and we'll see where we go," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We kept going. We're trying to keep ourselves up and keep fighting. We're not going to skill our way into this (playoff race). We're going to claw our way in it."
and Andy McDonald
scored for St. Louis, and Chris Mason
made 16 saves.
Tyutin gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead during a two-man advantage with 1:24 left in the second, but McDonald forced the extra session when he beat Garon from the right circle for a power-play goal with 1:35 remaining in regulation.
"We had quite a few chances," Blues coach Davis Payne
said. "We had to grind out way in the third to get one to go and also had one there in the last few seconds (of regulation) after we won the faceoff. We had a chance right on the doorstep there."
Blues forward Keith Tkachuk
became the fourth player in League history to record 2,200 penalty minutes and 1,000 points when he was whistled for high-sticking in the second period.
Predators 4, Thrashers 3 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS
scored seven seconds into the third period, and Nashville snapped a five-game skid by holding off Atlanta at the Sommet Center.
The Predators -- who received 23 saves from Pekka Rinne
-- were coming off a winless four-game trip and had lost five straight in regulation despite outshooting their opponents in each game. Joel Ward
, Jerred Smithson
and Martin Erat
also scored for Nashville.
"As harsh and ugly as it looked at the time, the beauty of the thing was we gutted it out and found a way to win, and that's real important," Preds coach Barry Trotz
It was Arnott's first goal since Jan. 2. Cody Franson
fed the veteran forward off the opening faceoff, and the Preds' captain skated up and ripped a shot past Johan Hedberg
for his 13th this season to put Nashville ahead to stay.
"It was Franny's call," Arnott said. "He came up to me before the draw and said, 'If we win it, bust up the middle and I'll hit you,' and he did. And it just happened so fast. It's nice to get back on the winning track, though. That's the main thing now and just keep it going."
had two goals for Atlanta, and Chris Thorburn
scored shorthanded. Atlanta ended a two-game winning streak after failing to score twice on the power play after Arnott's goal. Hedberg made 27 saves.
"Our 'D' have to react to come across to the middle," Thrashers coach John Anderson
said. "You just don't say, 'I've got my man,' and that's it. They didn't react."
Coyotes 3, Rangers 2 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS
scored for a third straight game and Jason LaBarbera
made 24 saves as Phoenix held off New York at Jobing.com Arena for its third straight win.
had his first career goal and Mikkel Boedker
also scored for the Coyotes, who built a three-goal lead in the first period. They have won six of eight and moved three points ahead of Colorado for fourth place in the Western Conference.
"It was a game where we were in control early and the style that they play tends to make the game look a little bit ragged," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett
said. "We had some opportunities in the second period but didn't put it away."
and Sean Avery
scored in the third period, but it was too little, too late for the Rangers -- losers of five in a row. Gaborik's goal ended a scoreless streak of 202:04 on the road. New York is 2-7-1 in its last 10 games.
"We stayed with it and got rewarded at the end, just not enough," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "We battled hard, we regrouped and we made a game out of it."
Gaborik, who scored off a brilliant give-and-go with Erik Christensen
, nearly tied it with 1:26 left when his shorthanded chance hit the goal post.
"Obviously we can't win if we take four or five penalties in the second period," Gaborik said. "We really have to work on our discipline because special teams can win in these games. We just have to battle through it."
Boedker, recalled from San Antonio of the AHL on Friday, made it 2-0 just 42 seconds after Doan opened the scoring when he took a pass from Robert Lang
in the slot and beat Chad Johnson
via the backhand on his first shift.
"I don't know why I didn't put him on the ice sooner," Tippett said.
Lepisto made it 3-0 when he beat Johnson on a wrister from the point at 14:13 of the opening period.
"I saw it go by and I could hear his shot," said Johnson, who made 21 saves in his fourth appearance of the season. "I just tried to go down and be as large as I possibly could. It was a tough goal."
Sharks 5, Wild 2 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS
scored his League-leading 36th and 37th goals and Jason Demers
also scored twice on the power play as San Jose cruised past Minnesota at HP Pavilion.
made 36 saves for the Sharks, who have won six of their last seven games and went 4-for-7 on the power play.
"Everyone was going tonight," Demers said. "Pucks were getting through to the net. I was just fortunate enough to get these two goals."
and Cal Clutterbuck
scored for the Wild, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Josh Harding
, who is playing with a sore hip because Niklas Backstrom
was worse off with a sore back, made 29 saves.
The Wild struck quickly, with Nolan wristing a shot past Nabokov 6:25 into the game. It was his 13th goal of the season and the first in six games.
"We made a couple of bad decisions," Minnesota coach Todd Richards
said. "They made the big plays. I liked the way the guys battled and competed. We played hard."
Demers answered from just inside the blue line five minutes later with his first goal of the night, but Clutterbuck made it 2-1 with 18 seconds left in the first period, squeezing the puck past a startled Nabokov after taking a nifty pass from Kyle Brodziak
"We battled hard, there's definitely no question about that," Brodizak said. "It's obviously very frustrating. It's tough to put a finger on exactly where the game went wrong."
Demers scored an unassisted goal early in the second period. Pavelski scored on a breakaway after taking a pass from Marleau, and Marleau scored both of his goals in the final seven minutes.
"Our power play got the job done for us," Marleau said. "But we have to be a little sharper right from the start."
Flyers 2, Islanders 1 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS
Hoping to get more offense from his slumping top two lines, Philadelphia Flyers
coach Peter Laviolette
shook them up Saturday, and the change worked on two first-period goals in a victory over the New York Islanders
at the Wachovia Center.
and Scott Hartnell
scored for the Flyers, while Ray Emery
made 31 saves. Josh Bailey
scored for the Islanders, while Dwayne Roloson
stopped 30 shots. Philadelphia has now taken 14 straight games from the Isles, the longest current winning streak between NHL teams.
To read NHL.com's Flyers-Isles recap, CLICK HERE.
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.