for this game

Ward, Whitney help Hurricanes top Lightning

Dec 23, 2007 - 4:24 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- After three straight sub-par performances, Cam Ward got back on track just in time for a critical Southeast Division matchup.

Ward made 29 saves and Ray Whitney scored two goals - including the game-winner - and set up another as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the rival Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1, on Saturday night.

Andrew Ladd and Eric Staal also tallied for the Hurricanes, who had not won in regulation since December 8.

"We regrouped well after that first goal," Whitney said. "This team (Tampa Bay) has been a problem for us the last 10 games or so and I think tonight, patience was what won it for us.

"We just kept skating. Our defense was better in our zone and we tried to create as much as we could. We didn't force too many things."

After surrendering an early goal, Ward was solid for the rest of the night. He turned aside nine shots in the first period, 15 in the next and five in the third to snap a personal three-game losing streak.

Over the skid, Ward yielded 15 goals and Carolina decided to put John Grahame in the crease for the next three game. The rest appeared to help Ward, who is now 7-3-1 in December.

After defenseman Frantisek Kaberle dumped the puck into the corner on a delayed penalty, Whitney took a feed from Cory Stillman at the right circle and fired a wrist shot past Lightning netminder Karri Ramo to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 advantage at 9:31 of the third period.

"I don't think we changed our game plan, that's for sure," Stillman said. "After we scored (there), we came after them again and that was the biggest thing. We're always chasing from behind, but tonight we played a solid game."

Ramo was solid in his second straight start since being recalled from Norfolk of the American Hockey League, stopping 33 of the 35 shots he faced in the contest.

Whitney scored an empty netter with a minute left in the contest for his 18th goal of the season and Staal added another empty-net tally with three ticks remaining to provide the final margin.

"The thing with them (the Lightning) is, they have so many talented forwards," Ward said. "So you have got to be able to read their play before it happens. I think I was doing a good job at that."

Martin St. Louis gave the Lightning an early 1-0 edge when he one-timed a pass from Brad Richards that hit Ward and tricked in just 23 seconds into the contest.

"Games like tonight, you know, we get a 5-on-3 and we've got to get a goal there," St. Louis said. "It would have been a big help obviously, but you known what? Still it was a grind, kind of similar to the Toronto game where the teams were just battling it out. The delayed call, they get the extra man on the ice and get the game-winning goal."

Carolina answered with 1:56 left in the first period when Matt Cullen's shot from the right circle was stopped by Ramo, but the rebound came out to the top of crease where Andrew Ladd swiped the puck into open side of net while falling down for his third goal of season.

Tampa Bay thought it retook the lead with 69 ticks remaining in the middle session when Mathieu Darche knocked in a rebound off a shot from Vincent Lecavalier. However, the goal was disallowed after video review because Darche redirected the puck in with his skate.

The Hurricanes then nearly grabbed the lead as Erik Cole's attempt hit the post in the final seconds of the second.

"It's a frustrating game for me where you can go into a three-game break, maybe winning a couple in a row and crawl back in it, and we just don't get it done offensively," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "Don't talk to me about goaltending. That's what's always been an undercurrent here. We get into an important game tonight and we get squat offensively."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 0 3 4
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 13 (BRAD RICHARDS, SHANE O'BRIEN)
    0:23
    CAR - ANDREW LADD 3 (MATT CULLEN, BRANDON NOLAN) 18:04
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: CAR - RAY WHITNEY 17 (CORY STILLMAN, FRANTISEK KABERLE) 9:31
    (WITH EXTRA ATT

    Dec 22 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 4
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: CAR - (EN) ERIC STAAL 17 (RAY WHITNEY, BRET HEDICAN) 19:57

    Hurricanes vs. LightningDec 22 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 3
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: CAR - (EN) RAY WHITNEY 18 (SCOTT WALKER) 19:00

    Hurricanes vs. LightningDec 22 9:59 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 2
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: CAR - RAY WHITNEY 17 (CORY STILLMAN, FRANTISEK KABERLE) 9:31
    (WITH EXTRA ATTACKER)

    Hurricanes vs. LightningDec 22 9:42 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 0 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 13 (BRAD RICHARDS, SHANE O'BRIEN)
    0:23
    CAR - ANDREW LADD 3 (MATT CULLEN, BRANDON NOLAN) 18:04
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 1

    Dec 22 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 13 (BRAD RICHARDS, SHANE O'BRIEN)
    0:23
    CAR - ANDREW LADD 3 (MATT CULLEN) 18:04
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 13 13
    TAM 10

    Dec 22 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: CAR - ANDREW LADD 3 (MATT CULLEN) 18:04

    Hurricanes vs. LightningDec 22 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 13 (BRAD RICHARDS, SHANE O'BRIEN) 0:23

    Hurricanes vs. LightningDec 22 7:41 PM