Ward allowed two goals on 25 shots during a relief appearance in a 5-1 loss to the Golden Knights on Sunday. A night after breaking out of his slump with a victory over the Red Wings, the Hurricanes called Ward back into duty because backup Scott Darling yielded three goals in the first 13 minutes. Ward steadied the Hurricanes, who scored next to pull within two, but he gave up a power-play goal in the second and another goal in the third to seal Carolina's fate. Still, Ward building upon Saturday night's stellar game with this performance is an encouraging sign. He stopped 46 of 49 shots this weekend.
Ward allowed one goal on 24 shots in a 3-1 victory over the Red Wings on Saturday. This ended a three-game losing streak where Ward allowed 11 goals on 63 shots (.825 save percentage), but overall, January hasn't been a kind month to Ward. He owns just a .873 save percentage and 3.35 GAA this month. This coming after he posted a 7-0-1 record and 2.19 GAA in December. Owners can expect more hot and cold moments from Ward moving forward.
Ward will start in goal Saturday against the Red Wings, Mike Maniscalco of the Canes' official site reports. The Hurricanes continue to search for consistent play between the pipes and Saturday is Ward's turn again after Scott Darling let in four goals against the Flames last Sunday. Ward has been rather ineffective himself in the crease recently, allowing nine goals between his last two outings. He enters Saturday on a three-game losing streak, but he will attempt to bust out of that funk against a Red Wings team averaging just 2.79 goals per game.
Ward allowed four goals on just 27 shots during Friday's 4-3 loss to Washington. The veteran backstop has now lost four of his past five starts and carries an underwhelming .904 save percentage and 2.85 GAA for the campaign. Ward is also likely losing his grip on the No. 1 starter's job. The Hurricanes have an excellent group of skaters, so there's potential for Ward, or Scott Darling, to be a strong fantasy asset over the final months of the season. Unfortunately, neither netminder has been able to step up and play well for a prolonged stretch. Considering his career trajectory and current form, owners are starting Ward at their own risk.
Ward will get the starting nod for Friday's home tilt against the Capitals, Brian McNally of NHL.com reports. Carolina will send out Scott Darling against Washington on Thursday and save Ward for the second night of the back-to-back. A night off might be the best thing for Ward, as he's given up five goals in two of his last four appearances, including an outing against the Capitals. Still, the 33-year-old netminder is sporting a respectable 2.78 GAA and .907 save percentage on the year.
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Last 7 Games
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