Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward celebrated the recent birth of his first child with a sterling performance in net on Friday afternoon as the Canes shutout the Boston Bruins, 3-0 in front of a booing partisan crowd at TD Garden. It was Ward's first shutout of the season.
The Canes started out slowly but Ward was equal to the challenge as he kept the game scoreless with a few nifty saves while his teammates found their legs. The Bruins outshot their guests 12-6 in the first period, but Jeff Skinner gave the Canes the lead when he knocked home a powerplay tally with just 16 seconds left in the period. Tuomo Ruutu and Joe Corvo were credited with the assists.
This was Ruutu's 400th career game and he commemorated the event in style with a powerplay goal of his own as he tipped in an Ian White blast from the point, midway through the second period. The Finn now has points in five consecutive games.
Joni Pitkanen also had an assist on the play and also has points in five straight.
The Canes closed out the scoring at 7:52 into the third when Eric Staal made an unusual pass while down on the ice to Jussi Jokinen, who made no mistake with his shot.
Jeff Skinner also picked up an assist on the play and had two points the game.
The Canes went 3 for 3 on the powerplay -- against the top rated penalty killing unit in the league -- and killed four penalties of their own.
Ward was the number one star though as he made 37 saves on 37 attempts.
Quick Stats and Thoughts:
- The new look fourth line continues to impress. Troy Bodie had two shots on goal and two hits. Ryan Carter had three shots on goal and one hit. Both had more ice time this game as Carter logged almost 13 minutes while Bodie was just under eight.
- Tuomo Ruutu was jacked for this game. Not only did he have a goal and an assist, he finished with eight hits for the contest. The team was credited with a total of 19.
- The Canes had 16 blocked shots led by Ian White with three.
- This was an odd game in that there were no plus/minus stats for either team since every goal was scored with the man advantage.
- Erik Cole had a game high three takeaways.
- Carolina only had 21 shots on goal. Cole and Carter each had a team best three.
- The team combined for a 45% winning percentage in the circle. Brandon Sutter finished with an outstanding 62%. Staal had 33%, Ruutu 29%, and Carter finished right on his season average of 50%.
- Jeff Skinner is doing very well in his head-to-head battles against other top draft picks. He had three points against Edmonton and number one pick, Taylor Hall. He followed that up with two points against Boston and number two pick, Tyler Seguin. Hall and Seguin went scoreless. Not that he is intentionally trying to prove anything.