No Ward, No Problem

By Nick Marek

With Cam Ward absent from Monday night’s game against the Washington Capitals due to an undisclosed lower body injury, backup goaltender Justin Peters quickly became the man of the hour picking up his first career NHL shutout for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Peters did only have to face 17 shots and the Hurricanes did score five goals, but a zero on the scoreboard is still an impressive accomplishment for the 25 year old.

The Hurricanes opened up the scoring in the first period with goals from Justin Faulk, Anthony Stewart and Andreas Nodl. Faulk and Stewart scored their goals 88 seconds apart and then Eric Staal scored the final two goals for the Hurricanes. Faulk mentioned that the team was clicking from the first shift, and it seems the Hurricanes have come together since Kirk Muller moved to Carolina a few months ago.

ESPN Radio announcer Mike Maniscalco said the Hurricanes need to give Peters an occasional spot start to keep Ward healthy and fresh. After Monday nights performance, Muller should exhale a little knowing that his backup goaltender is capable of relieving #30.

This recent win streak has caught the fans attention as well. In early October, a weekday game only filled up 65% of the seats. Monday nights game against the caps drew in nearly 17,000 fans or Approximately 90%. The Canes have not won 4 out of 5 games all season long, but they will have a chance to change that Thursday night against the Anaheim Ducks.

Cam Ward did not participate in practice today, but coach Muller is optimistic his 2011 all-star goaltender will be back for Thursday night’s game. Muller said he will not use Ward until he is 100 percent healthy and that he is confident with playing Peters tomorrow if he needs to.

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