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Ward posts shutout as 'Canes blank Caps

Jan 21, 2012 - 3:28 AM
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Cam Ward made 22 saves to record his second shutout of the season and 18th of his career as the Carolina Hurricanes blanked the Washington Capitals, 3-0, in a Southeast Division battle at RBC Center.

Jussi Jokinen scored a pair of goals, one shorthanded and one on the power play, and Jiri Tlusty also found the back of the net for Carolina, which snapped a two-game skid and avenged a 2-1 loss to the Capitals on January 15.

"Credit to the guys, I thought they deserved the shutout," Ward said. "We worked our butts off and played a solid 60-minute game. They are a tough team to play against."

Tomas Vokoun was tagged for all three goals on 33 shots in the loss for Washington, which failed to carry over momentum from a 3-0 shutout of the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.

The Hurricanes opened the scoring at 12:43 of the first period while down a man as a result of a careless play by the Capitals. Following a cleared puck, Vokoun came out to stop it, and laid it off to John Carlson, who took it around behind his net and started up the ice.

Before he could reach the blue line, the puck was knocked off his stick by Eric Staal, who poked it ahead to a charging Jokinen, and the crafty Finn made no mistake as he buried the shot past the glove of Vokoun.

Carolina extended its lead to 2-0 on the power play with just 18 seconds remaining in the second period as Jay Harrison accepted a pass at the point from Tim Brent, worked his way to the high slot and let a wrister go through traffic that was stopped by Vokoun, but Jokinen pounced on the rebound and slammed it home for his second goal of the night.

The Hurricanes struck again on the power play with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation thanks to a fantastic individual effort by Tlusty.

Tlusty picked up the puck in the neutral zone with speed and gained the offensive blue line on the right wing. He went to his backhand, drove hard to the net and slid the puck through the legs of Vokoun to cap the scoring.

Washington failed to convert on three power-play opportunities and was shut out for the second time this season.

"We obviously didn't play consistently enough offensively," Caps defenseman Dennis Wideman said. "We have to find a way to get more pucks to the net, get more scoring chances and stop giving up so many."

Game Notes

Friday marked the fourth meeting of the season between the teams. Washington had won the first three meetings of the season...Ward improved to 15-10-4 in 30 career games against the Capitals...Carolina converted 2-of-3 power play chances...Staal contributed a pair of assists...Carolina will travel to Long Island to face the New York Islanders on Saturday, while the Caps will visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.