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Hurricanes get huge two points

at 'Canes 0 2 1 3
Red Wings 0 0 0 0
RALEIGH, N.C. — Cam Ward figured out how to stop the Red Wings at just the right time.

Facing a virtual must-win situation to keep his team alive for a playoff spot, Ward made 42 saves to lead Carolina past Detroit 3-0 on Wednesday.

"We refused to give up," said Ward, who entered 0-3 with a 3.35 goals-against average against Detroit.

Jeff Skinner and Derek Joslin scored in the second period and Erik Cole in the third for the Hurricanes, who beat the Red Wings for the first time since 2006, the year they won the Stanley Cup. Carolina has won seven of nine to remain in the hunt for its second postseason berth since that championship season.

"I think we're really coming into our own, playing good five-man hockey," said captain Eric Staal, who had three assists. "It's the time of year when you've got to have your game going to get into the playoffs. We like to think we're right there."

The Hurricanes need help to get where they want to be. The clearest path requires them to win both of their final games and the Rangers, in eighth, lose one of their last two.

"It's a lot of emotions when you get down to this time of year," Skinner said. "It's exciting to come to the rink and have a chance. That's all you can ask for."

Ward recorded his fourth shutout. His best sequence might have come when he made two saves — with defenseman Tim Gleason blocking another puck — during an early rapid-fire pileup in front of the net.

"A couple good point-blank saves on a few of us that turned the game and kept the game tight and in their favor," Detroit center Mike Modano said.

The highlight of the night came on Skinner's goal, his fourth in five games. Staal unloaded a slap shot that bounced off goalie Jimmy Howard's pads. Skinner scooped up the puck near the right post, wrapped it around and tucked it between the left post and Howard's glove to make it 2-0 with 1:13 left in the second.

"The (goal) … killed us, kind of put a knife in us," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.

Game highlights: Alex Ovechkin had two assists and an empty-net goal to lead the host Capitals past the Panthers 5-2. Washington needs one point in its finale, Saturday at Florida, or one Philadelphia loss to earn the Eastern Conference's top seed. … Dennis Seidenberg and Gregory Campbell scored in 1:18 in the second to help the host Bruins beat the Islanders 3-2. Boston, 6-2-1 over its past nine, still can earn the No. 2 seed in the East.

Around the league: Detroit wing Henrik Zetterberg, eighth in the league with 80 points (24 goals, 56 assists), sustained a lower-body injury against Carolina. Coach Mike Babcock said only he "got his leg tangled up with someone" and will be evaluated today. … The Capitals said defenseman Mike Green, out 19 games with a concussion, likely will play in Saturday's regular-season finale. … Devils wing Zach Parise missed his second straight game. He returned Saturday after missing about four months for right knee surgery and was rested Tuesday. No reason was given for Wednesday's absence. … Flyers goalie Michael Leighton cleared re-entry waivers and was recalled from the AHL. Leighton, who went 8-3 with three shutouts during last season's playoffs, will back up Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher.

at 'Canes 0 2 1 3
Red Wings 0 0 0 0

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesAbdelkader, Det (tripping), 4:08; E.Staal, Car (slashing), 12:18; Ericsson, Det (tripping), 17:30.

Second Period1, Carolina, Joslin 2 (Stillman, E.Staal), 4:04 (pp). 2, Carolina, Skinner 30 (E.Staal), 18:47. PenaltiesAbdelkader, Det (holding), 3:31.

Third Period3, Carolina, Cole 25 (E.Staal), 5:44. PenaltiesBowman, Car, double minor (high-sticking), 1:36; Modano, Det (high-sticking), 8:32. Shots on GoalDetroit 18-11-13—42. Carolina 15-9-8—32. Power-play opportunitiesDetroit 0 of 3; Carolina 1 of 4. GoaliesDetroit, Howard 36-16-5 (32 shots-29 saves). Carolina, Ward 36-25-10 (42-42). A17,602 (18,680).

at Capitals 2 1 2 5
Panthers 0 0 2 2

First Period1, Washington, Knuble 24 (Laich, Ovechkin), 1:20 (pp). 2, Washington, Chimera 10 (Backstrom, Laich), 19:23 (pp). PenaltiesWeaver, Fla (tripping), :57; Sloan, Was (holding), 5:59; Laich, Was (holding stick), 10:32; Carter, Fla (boarding), 17:11; Hendricks, Was (roughing), 17:11; Booth, Fla (hooking), 18:16.

Second Period3, Washington, Collins 1 (Ovechkin), 11:42. PenaltiesRepik, Fla (tripping), 3:54; Santorelli, Fla (interference), 16:04; Knuble, Was (high-sticking), 16:51.

Third Period4, Washington, Hendricks 9 (B.Gordon, Schultz), 6:37. 5, Florida, Booth 23 (Samsonov, Wilson), 13:44 (pp). 6, Florida, Santorelli 19 (Samsonov, Reasoner), 18:29. 7, Washington, Ovechkin 32 (Backstrom), 19:48 (en). PenaltiesB.Gordon, Was (delay of game), 12:48. Shots on GoalFlorida 18-8-7—33. Washington 6-10-9—25. Power-play opportunitiesFlorida 1 of 4; Washington 2 of 4. GoaliesFlorida, Clemmensen 8-10-7 (24 shots-20 saves). Washington, Varlamov 11-9-5 (33-31). A18,398 (18,398).

at Bruins 1 2 0 3
Islanders 0 2 0 2

First Period1, Boston, Thornton 10 (Paille, Campbell), 19:59. PenaltiesGillies, NYI (roughing), 7:03; Tavares, NYI (hooking), 7:03.

Second Period2, N.Y. Islanders, Grabner 32 (Comeau, DiPietro), 3:24 (pp). 3, Boston, Seidenberg 7 (Kelly, Peverley), 7:51. 4, Boston, Campbell 13 (McQuaid, Kaberle), 9:09. 5, N.Y. Islanders, Grabner 33 (Bailey, Wishart), 14:26 (sh). PenaltiesPeverley, Bos (tripping), 1:52; Gillies, NYI (high-sticking), 5:34; Parenteau, NYI (roughing), 8:04; Chara, Bos (roughing), 8:04; Okposo, NYI (high-sticking), 14:05.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesCampanale, NYI (delay of game), 8:34; Boychuk, Bos (roughing), 14:27. Shots on GoalN.Y. Islanders 14-14-4—32. Boston 15-10-8—33. Power-play opportunitiesN.Y. Islanders 1 of 2; Boston 0 of 5. GoaliesN.Y. Islanders, DiPietro 8-13-4 (33 shots-30 saves). Boston, Thomas 34-11-9 (32-30). A17,565 (17,565).

at Devils 1 2 1 4
Maple Leafs 0 0 2 2

First Period1, New Jersey, Kovalchuk 30 (Josefson, Fayne), 13:47 (pp). PenaltiesCrabb, Tor (boarding), 11:54.

Second Period2, New Jersey, Tedenby 8 (Kovalchuk, Elias), 14:29. 3, New Jersey, Tallinder 5 (Mair, Pelley), 15:34. PenaltiesToronto bench, served by MacArthur (too many men), 19:39.

Third Period4, Toronto, Kessel 31 (Lupul, Lashoff), 6:18 (pp). 5, Toronto, Bozak 15, 12:42 (sh). 6, New Jersey, Elias 20, 19:50 (en). PenaltiesAulie, Tor (cross-checking), 1:47; Josefson, NJ (holding), 5:05; Kulemin, Tor (interference), 11:02; Phaneuf, Tor (elbowing), 12:34. Shots on GoalToronto 11-6-7—24. New Jersey 11-10-12—33. Power-play opportunitiesToronto 1 of 1; New Jersey 1 of 5. GoaliesToronto, Reimer 20-9-5 (21 shots-18 saves), Giguere (0:00 third, 11-11). New Jersey, Brodeur 23-25-3 (24-22). A14,207 (17,625).

Playoff chase

With nonshootout wins (first tiebreaker in determining final playoff spots) and games left. Division winners get top three seeds:

East Pts. Wins GR

1. Capitals-y107431

2. Flyers-x103 43 2

3. Bruins-y 101432

4. Penguins-x102 38 2

5. Lightning-x99 38 2

6. Canadiens-x93 40 2

7. Sabres92 36 2

8. Rangers 91 34 2

9. Hurricanes 89342

West Pts. Wins GR

1. Canucks-p113 48 2

2. Sharks-y * 103 42 3

3. Red Wings-y 102 42 2

4. Predators97 37 2

5. Coyotes * 96 37 3

6. Kings * 96 36 3

7. Ducks * 93 40 3

8. Blackhawks *93 36 3

9. Stars91 35 3

10. Flames * 91 31 2

p-Clinched Presidents' Trophy

y-Clinched division x-Clinched playoffs

* Late game

Hurricanes get huge two points 04/06/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 11:00pm]
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