Behind Cam Ward‘s 29-save effort, the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Detroit Red Wings tonight, 2-1.
Eight minutes into the first period, the Hurricanes went on the powerplay and after some good puck movement from Jeff Skinner, Andrei Loktionov and Riley Nash, Elias Lindholm was left alone in front of Jimmy Howard to the left of the net. The rookie turned quickly and put the puck to the left side of the net.
Less than two minutes before the first was over, Eric Staal purposefully shot a puck to the left of Howard’s pads, which he kicked to a streaking Jiri Tlusty. Tlusty won the foot race, then chipped the puck past a stretching Howard.
Riley Sheahan scored the lone Red Wing goal on the powerplay in a scramble in front of Cam Ward. The forward found a loose puck and shot it five-hole as Ward was falling to the ice.
As the title says, Ward was the big component in the Canes’ win in this one. He made huge saves, two that came on cross-ice passes and a couple more on breakaways to lead the team to a big win.
Ward’s best efforts came when the game was tied at the beginning of the game. The 30 year old held back the Wings’ attack before the Canes scored twice and stole momentum and confidence.
However, there were times when the Red Wings could have scored but missed the net. Sometimes that will happen when a team has a hot goalie and what seems to be luck on its side.
Zach Boychuk had a strong game as he played on the first line with Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty. I thought he showed up in the defensive zone better than the offensive, which will only help him in his efforts at achieving a full-time spot.
Tlusty and Staal played well, as did Elias Lindholm, but on the whole, I wouldn’t say the whole Hurricanes team played well. Individual efforts, mainly Ward, led to this win.
The Hurricanes have one game remaining on the season when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday at 3 p.m.