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Ward will start; Hanifin on Hurricanes roster

by Staff

Goalie Cam Ward will start for the Carolina Hurricanes in their regular-season opener against the Nashville Predators on Oct. 8, but coach Bill Peters wasn't ready to name Ward the everyday No. 1 over newcomer Eddie Lack.

"All I know is, Oct. 8, Ward is going to start," Peters told the Hurricanes website after a 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins to close their preseason schedule Friday. "They are going to push each other and give us good goaltending every night."

Also, defenseman Noah Hanifin, who was selected fifth in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft, remains with the team after training camp.

Ward, 31, has been on the Hurricanes for 10 seasons and the No. 1 goalie during most of the past decade. In 51 games last season, he was 22-24-5 with a 2.40 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.

Selected in the first round (No. 25) of the 2002 NHL Draft by Carolina, Ward won the Conn Smythe Trophy when the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006.

"I'm really looking forward to playing with Eddie," Ward said. "We have two strong guys who can play in any game. If I'm winning or if Eddie is winning, that's only good news for the Carolina Hurricanes."

Lack, 27, was traded from the Vancouver Canucks to the Hurricanes on June 27 for two draft picks. He was 18-13-4 with a 2.45 GAA and a .921 save percentage in 41 games and started 20 of the Canucks' final 23 games during the regular season.

On Saturday, the Hurricanes announced they agreed to terms with Lack on a two-year contract extension that will pay him $2.5 million in 2016-17 and $3 million in 2017-18.

Lack has played 82 NHL games; Ward has played 512.

"To me, since I've been here, [Ward] has been very very good," Peters said. "Eddie has been very very good [in preseason]. I think he's really going to give us good goaltending. To me that's going to be a strength of our team. … It's going to be a very competitive environment."

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