Posted March 04, 2013 on AP on Fox
While the Carolina Hurricanes have climbed to the top of the Southeast Division, staying there could prove difficult with their starting goalie sidelined. The Hurricanes try to overcome Cam Ward's absence as they go for a season-best fourth consecutive win and three-game season sweep of the visiting Buffalo Sabres, who are hoping to have Thomas Vanek available Tuesday night. Carolina (12-8-1) completed a home-and-home sweep of Florida with Sunday's 3-2 road win. That result, though, came at a steep cost for the Hurricanes, who saw Ward leave in the second period with a sprained knee. Ward doesn't need surgery and is expected to miss six to eight weeks. He had gone 8-3-1 with a 2.38 goals-against average since the start of February. "It kind of (stinks) to lose such a good goaltender, such a big piece to our team, and such a good person," said backup Dan Ellis, who has posted a 0.67 GAA in three wins and 6.68 GAA in two losses while starting five games. The Hurricanes rank as one of the NHL's higher scoring teams with 3.0 goals per game and figure to rely on their offense all the more with Ward out. Captain Eric Staal and Alexander Semin combined for three goals and four assists in the sweep of the Panthers. "We've got a lot of positive things in our game right now," coach Kirk Muller told the league's official website. Carolina has killed 23 of its opponents' 24 power-play opportunities over the last eight games. The Hurricanes, though, have converted one of 25 chances during that stretch. "When we're moving our feet and playing our game, we're not taking many penalties," Jordan Staal said after scoring his fifth goal Sunday. "That's what our game is." Carolina also thrived during a home-and-home sweep of Buffalo (9-12-2) in the first week of the season. Eric Staal, who's notched 23 points in 22 meetings in the series since 2007-08, recorded a hat trick during a 6-3 win Jan. 24 and Ellis made a season-high 40 saves in a 3-1 victory the following night. Carolina has gone 12-3-1 when Eric Staal has at least one point compared to 0-5-0 when he doesn't. He leads the team with 12 goals and 25 points. Buffalo had won a season-best three straight before kicking off a four-game road trip with Sunday's 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers. "We need to come through with points," Ryan Miller said after stopping 26 of 28 shots. While the Sabres could get a boost with Vanek hoping to return from a two-game absence due to an upper-body injury, they could be without Patrick Kaleta. The right wing was assessed a five-minute major for checking Brad Richards from behind and given a game misconduct Sunday, resulting in a disciplinary hearing from the league. "Obviously we've had some adversity already since I've been here with Vanek being out a couple of games, and other guys stepping into roles," interim coach Ron Rolston told the team's official website. "We have players that will go in and their opportunity will be there for them to help our team be successful. We'll do with whatever we have." Leading Buffalo with 27 points, Vanek has recorded 29 over 28 career matchups against the Hurricanes. He's notched four goals and four assists during a six-game point streak in the series. Miller is 1-4-1 with a 2.52 GAA over his last six starts versus Carolina.

Cam Ward out 6-8 weeks with knee injury

The Carolina Hurricanes say goalie Cam Ward will miss six to eight weeks with a sprained knee ligament. The team announced Ward's diagnosis Monday and said the former All-Star goalie will not require surgery. The team says Ward suffered a third-degree sprain to his medial collateral ligament midway through the second period of Sunday night's 3-2 win at Florida. He hurt...

Hurricanes' Ward out 6-8 weeks

The Carolina Hurricanes say goalie Cam Ward will miss six to eight weeks with a sprained knee ligament. The team announced Ward's diagnosis Monday and said the former All-Star goalie will not require surgery. The team says Ward suffered a third-degree sprain to his medial collateral ligament midway through the second period of Sunday night's 3-2 win at Florida. He hurt...

Ellis must step up in goalie Ward's absence

For a goalie of Cam Ward's stature, there have been some uncomfortable moments this season. Mostly, they have come in terms of Ward's having to fight for his starts something the 29-year-old has not had to do since his rookie season of 2005-06, when he ultimately led the Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in the process...

Video- Cam Ward Injured Tonight

The first part of the video you see Jack Skille of the Panters sliding into Ward, who was slow to get up.  When play started again, Ward stretched a bit to make a save and then went down on his own. Injury appears to be either his back or leg but you can see he was uncomfortable coming off the ice. Dan Ellis who replaced Ward was scheduled to start the game but was ill, so Ward...

Matt Karash: Ward out 6-8 weeks...Need to just keep finding a way

The Canes picked up another 2 points in Florida last night in lackluster game where both teams just looked worn out. But the bigger news heading into today was the status of Cam Ward. He left the game after a Canes defenseman came barreling into him with a Panther in tow. Strange was that he was slow to get up, but after being attended to by trainer Pete Friesen, he stayed in...

Will Cam Ward's injury sink Carolina's season?

Hurricanes fans are fearing the worst right now, as it was announced earlier this morning that their goaltender Cam Ward will miss the next 6-8 weeks with an MCL sprain. Things certainly could have been a lot worse judging from how bad the injury looked when it happened, but at the very least, it's good to know that this isn't anything season-ended or career threatening....

Cam Ward Out 6-8 Weeks

RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that goaltender Cam Ward has been diagnosed with a third-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL). Surgery will not be required for the injury, and he is expected to be out six to eight weeks.

Pick Six: Soreness in the Southeast

Cam Ward and Jose Theodore owners haven’t exactly had it easy this season, even before the news that both goalies would be sidelined for much of what’s left of the fantasy hockey season. But when one door closes, another one opens – unless someone else beat you to the waiver wire for their possible replacements. Regardless, let’s find out how these replacements could shape...

Improved Prospects For Habs' Road Trip

The schedule makers seemed to be giving the Canadiens a hard time of it this week, calling for five games in eight days, all on the road. But Les Bleu, Blanc et Rouge answered the call Sunday night with a 4-3, come-from-behind win in Beantown. Suddenly, the rest of the week looks quite a bit brighter.   Of the remaining four games, only one is against a team with a winning record...

Canadiens-Hurricanes Preview

While the Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens finished at the bottom of their respective divisions last season, both find themselves in first with the midway point approaching. The Southeast-leading Hurricanes look to win five straight for the first time in three years Thursday night as they host the Canadiens, who try to bounce back from their first regulation loss in almost...

Weekend Update: Back in Green

photo by: Welcome to the Weekend Update. This is the weekly article that keeps you up-to-date on the NHL Standings, provides you with videos from around the world hockey in the week that was, and informs Nashvillians on the televised NHL games in the upcoming week. In this edition Ward stops Ward, another milestone for Selanne, the Green Men are back,...

Southeast Division Standings Update

The Hurricanes did themselves a huge favor this weekend by picking up two wins against the Florida Panthers because it now gives them a bit of a cushion on their lead in the Southeast Division. Things are still pretty tight, though as the Winnipeg Jets trail them by only four points and Canes have recently come out of a stretch where they lost three divisional games. Carolina'...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.