Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - Cam Ward made 33 stops, including two spectacular stick saves, and the Carolina Hurricanes held on to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Saturday.
Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, and Riley Nash all scored for Carolina, which has won two of its last three. Andrej Sekera supplied two assists in the win.
"Knew that I was going to get the opportunity tonight and [I] wanted to come out and have a strong effort. [The Jets] play so well in their home building," Ward said. "They came out strong in the first ten minutes and it was important to make some big saves to settle our guys down. We had a really strong second period and the third period was just up for grabs."
Jim Slater and Bryan Little both had goals for the Jets, who have lost two of their last three and eight of their last 10. Al Montoya allowed three goals on 32 shots in defeat.
Neither team scored in the opening stanza. Little had a wide-open net, but Ward dove and threw out his stick to rob the Winnipeg forward and keep it scoreless. Ward made another great save with his stick to stop Eric O'Dell's wrap-around attempt.
"That's probably the biggest save anyone's made on me in my career and it's just one of those where I have an empty net, and I'm just shooting it right in the middle and he got his stick on it. It was probably bugging me for a better part of the game to say the least," said Little.
The Jets opened the scoring 7:48 into the second. Slater won the faceoff back to Mark Stuart, who unleashed a shot that was deflected by Slater and past Ward.
Thirty-seven seconds later, Montoya mishandled the puck behind the net and Jiri Tlusty quickly threw the puck into the slot. Eric Staal tracked it down and wristed it into an open net to tie the game at one.
After Slater went off for tripping, Sekera found Jordan Staal streaking through the neutral zone. He went in on the breakaway and beat Montoya with a wrister to give Carolina a 2-1 lead at 10:10.
Less than two minutes later, Nash took the puck around the net and was stopped on his initial wrap-around attempt. After a few whacks, the puck trickled into the net for Nash's ninth of the season.
Little made it a 3-2 game 1:27 into the third. Michael Frolik sent a pass to Little in front of the net and he one-timed it past the Carolina netminder to cut the deficit in half.
Montoya was pulled with just over a minute remaining. The Jets had several chances in tight, but Ward made multiple stops to fend off the Winnipeg attack as the Hurricanes held on for the win.
Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian left the game with an upper-body injury ... Winnipeg defenseman Adam Pardy played in his 250th NHL game ... Winnipeg's four-game penalty killing streak came to an end ... The road team has won 18 of the last 24 meetings in the matchup.