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Hurricanes surging despite Ward's injury

Posted March 13, 2013

— Despite the loss of goalie Cam Ward to injury on March 3, the Carolina Hurricanes are surging, thanks in large part to an improved team game.

Winners of six of their last seven, the Hurricanes return to PNC Arena Thursday for the back end of a home-and-home with Southeast Division foe Washington, whom Carolina dispatched 4-0 Tuesday. 

John Forslund, play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports Carolinas, said the hot streak won't slow down a bit if the Hurricanes continue their recent play in front of backup goalies Justin Peters and Dan Ellis. 

"The team game has taken over, which is good," Forslund told Mark Thomas and Mike Maniscalco on 620 The Buzz Wednesday. "The goalie doesn't have to be the central figure, and the Canes can win at this clip they are going now." Carolina Hurricanes Logo More Hurricanes Stories

Peters demonstrated his value on Tuesday by stopping 26 shots to record his second career shutout. Forslund said a rotation between Peters and Ellis could work well because both players have experience rotating from their days in the American Hockey League. 

"Justin was in control of his game, and he has a lot of confidence," Forslund said. "But I think it's good to have two goalies, and I think they need to have two."

In 11 starts in 2013, Ellis and Peters have combined for a 6-3 record in relief of Ward and each have one shutout. Ellis has a 2.60 GAA and Peters, in just three starts, sits at 2.35 GAA. 

Another player making headlines during the recent string of improved play is center Riley Nash, who was recalled from the Charlotte Checkers Feb. 18. After settling into his spot on the third line and fighting off a flu bug, Nash has flourished. 

He scored twice in Tuesday's win over the Capitals and had a three-point night (1G, 2A) March 2 against the Florida Panthers. Forslund said Nash has settled into his role in the NHL and doesn't look the be headed back to the Checkers roster any time soon. 

"He's the answer to the third center problem they had at the beginning of the season," he said. "He feels like he belongs here, and he's making an impact. The coach has confidence in him, and that's the key."

Hurricanes agree to terms with defenseman Danny Biega

Jim Rutherford and the Hurricanes on Wednesday announced that the team has signed defenseman Danny Biega to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Biega, 21, recently completed his fourth season at Harvard, where he totaled 11 points and 43 penalty minutes in 32 games as the Crimson's team captain. The Hurricanes selected Biega in the third round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. 

At the NHL level, Biega will receive $625,000 in 2013-14, $675,000 in 2014-15 and $725,000 in 2015-16. At the AHL level, he would be paid $67,500 in all three years. 

Biega will receive a $240,000 signing bonus and immediately join the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL.

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  • ++Ajax++ Mar 14, 2013

    The reality is, other than the playoffs in which the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup, Ward has been an average goalie at best.

  • jscott13 Mar 13, 2013

    I have always wished Ward well, but we don't need him.

  • JPack Mar 13, 2013

    Eric -fifth in overall points, fourteenth in goals, eighth in assists, second in plus/minus, and sixteenth in shots on goal. In most categories, Semin is right there with him, and Skinner and Tlusty show up in a couple of major top twenty categories as well. This is a nice change from the beginning of the season. Still think we need improvement on defense, but hockey is fun to watch once again! Btw... Cam is sixteenth in the league in wins. Had to throw that in because everyone knows I'm a big critic. Not too shabby.

  • StunGunn Mar 13, 2013

    JR was very smart of sign such a good back-up goalie in Ellis. Peters is playing well, and Muller has the luxury of alternating two very good goalies. I wish Ward well and hope he is on the road to recovery.

  • VT1994Hokie Mar 13, 2013

    6-7 is solid playing. Keep on keepong on.

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