Ward’s shutout completes Canes sweep of Bruins

Posted Feb. 02, 2012, at 10:36 p.m.

BOSTON — Cam Ward made 47 saves — 22 in the first period and 20 in the third — Brandon Sutter had a goal and an assist, and the Carolina Hurricanes finished their first season-sweep of the Boston Bruins with a 3-0 victory on Thursday night.

The Hurricanes, who won all four meetings with the Bruins, are 15-25-9 against the rest of the NHL and are last in the Eastern Conference. Carolina outscored Boston 14-5 in the season sweep, the franchise’s first over Boston, dating to the days when the team was the Hartford Whalers.

Eric Staal scored in the first period, Tuomo Ruutu converted Sutter’s rebound in the second, and Sutter added a goal 3:13 into the third.

Ward, 11-11-2 against the Bruins, posted his third shutout of the season and 19th of his NHL career — including three over Boston.

Despite the high number of shots, the Bruins had few quality scoring chances and were booed by the home crowd.

Tuukka Rask made 28 saves and lost his third straight start. Boston lost in regulation for the third time in its last 20 home games and second in the past 10.

The Bruins are 4-4-1 in their last nine overall — including two losses to Carolina — and were blanked for the third time this season, all at home.

Ruutu hit defenseman Johnny Boychuk in the corner to start the play that resulted in Staal’s goal. As Boychuk was trying to get up, Jiri Tlusty got the puck to Staal for a one-timer at 11:51 of the first. Carolina had the lead despite the Bruins matching their season high for shots in a period.

Staal, who has struggled this season, has 18 points in 15 games.

Boychuk missed the rest of the period but was back for the second.

It was the second time this season the Bruins had 22 shots in a period, and they allowed only eight for Carolina.

The Hurricanes outshot the Bruins 14-5 in the second period and cashed in on a mixup between defensemen Andrew Ference and Adam McQuaid to make it 2-0. Sutter stole the puck from Ference and was stopped by Rask. Ruutu made a nifty move past McQuaid after picking up the rebound and swept in his 16th goal of the season on the backhand.

NOTES: Bruins RW Nathan Horton, who sat out the last four games of the Stanley Cup finals because of a concussion, missed his third straight game because of another concussion following a hit from Philadelphia’s Tom Sestito on Jan. 22. “He’s still where he was a few days ago, like I said feeling better but not well enough to get to that stage of working out,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. … McQuaid was in the lineup despite being questionable because of a lower body injury. Ference returned after serving a three-game NHL suspension. … Carolina D Jaroslav Spacek was struck by a slap shot by Boychuk midway through the second period, but wasn’t seriously injured. . The Hurricanes started a stretch of five of seven on the road.

Devils 5, Canadiens 3

NEWARK, N.J. — Zach Parise scored two goals, including the go-ahead tally with 2:44 remaining, and the New Jersey Devils beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 on Thursday night.

David Clarkson also scored twice, including an empty-netter in the final seconds. Dainius Zubrus added a goal, and Ilya Kovalchuk had three assists for the Devils, who have won two straight. Martin Brodeur made 27 saves.

David Desharnais, Andrei Kostitsyn and Mathieu Darche scored for Montreal, which had 18 saves from Carey Price.

Parise’s second goal gave the Devils their first lead of the night. He deflected Kovalchuk’s shot past Price to break a 3-3 tie. Clarkson finished the scoring for the Devils, who had trailed 2-0 and 3-1.

Desharnais and Kostitsyn staked Montreal to an early 2-0 lead in the first period. Rene Bourque had multiple swipes at the puck deep in the Devils zone before flipping a shot that glanced in off Desharnais at 4:11. Kostitsyn, alone in the slot, spun and put the rebound of Yannick Weber’s point shot past Brodeur at 9:23.

Parise countered for the Devils at 10:36, cutting New Jersey’s deficit to 2-1. Skating down the left wing, Parise fired a long-range shot from the circle that slipped under Price’s right leg.

The Devils came close to getting even 52 seconds into the second period when Kovalchuk fired a shot that Price partially blocked. The puck trickled behind him, and the referees ruled it didn’t completely cross the goal line. The call was upheld by a video review.

Seconds later, Raphael Diaz was whistled for interference, giving the Devils a power play. However, Darche scored a short-handed goal at 1:25 to give Montreal a 3-1 lead. The goal was set up by a breakaway by Tomas Plekanec that Brodeur foiled with a sprawling save, but Darche put in the rebound.

New Jersey has allowed an NHL-worst 13 short-handed goals.

The Devils had a video review go their way on the power-play goal by Clarkson that made it 3-2. Kovalchuk fired a point shot that hit a Montreal defender in the leg before glancing in off Clarkson’s skate at 13:43. The review confirmed that Clarkson didn’t kick the puck into the net, giving him a career high 18 goals this season.

New Jersey pulled even at 6:11 of the third as Zubrus deflected in Alexei Ponikarovsky’s shot from the right circle.

Notes: Montreal RW Mike Blunden was forced out of the game by an undisclosed lower body injury. … Desharnais played in his 100th game with the Canadiens. … D Bryce Salvador was in the Devils lineup despite a leg injury that made his status questionable. Because of Salvador’s uncertain status, New Jersey had seven defensemen in the lineup. … C Adam Henrique (groin injury), Brad Mills and Cam Janssen were scratched by the Devils. Montreal scratched C Petteri Nokelainen, D Chris Campoli, LW Travis Moen (upper body) and C Ryan White. … P.K. Subban laid out Devils rookie defenseman Adam Larson with a big shoulder check with six minutes remaining in the third. Larson was face down on the ice for over a minute before slowly getting to his skates and being helped to the locker room. … Montreal had won four straight in New Jersey.

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