RALEIGH In their 14th game of the season Saturday, the Hurricanes allowed just one goal for the first time in a home win over Washington. On Tuesday against San Jose, they didn’t let in any.Joakim Nordstrom’s scored at 10:48 of the third period for the game’s only goal, and Cam Ward made 22 saves to get his first shutout since Oct. 21, 2015, to give Carolina a 1-0 win over the visiting Sharks at PNC Arena.”It’s huge. You’ve got to build some momentum and certainly these last two games have been our best two games of the year,” Ward said. “We did it in a real good fashion, playing the way that we really wanted to play and dominated at times. So that’s a compliment to the guys, because those are two very tough teams.”The Hurricanes and Sharks played a scoreless first two periods, with the teams exchanging chances in the first followed by a dominating second period that saw Carolina outshoot San Jose 10-2.The tone was set early by Carolina, particularly the newly minted TSA line consisting of Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho. The trio combined for four goals and 11 points in the win over Washington, and they again carried the play despite being held off the scoresheet.In their second shift of the night, the line dominated for more than two minutes in the Sharks zone, with Teravainen taking four shots on San Jose goalie Aaron Dell in his second NHL start and one more that went wide. “A guy I used to coach always said, ‘You leave the next group something good to work with,'” coach Bill Peters said of the trio. “So if you can leave them the puck in the offensive zone, playing against tired guys, that’s something good to work with. And they did that for the most part tonight, but especially on that shift.”But the period balanced out, with each team getting their lone power play of the night. The middle frame was anything but even. The TSA line continued its solid play, but the Hurricanes’ other two scoring lines ramped up the pressure as well. When it was over Ward saw only two weak attempts roll in on him while Carolina (5-6-4) had several chances but couldn’t dent Dell.”That first 20 was even, and I really liked our second period,” Peters said. “And then I thought we were solid and very composed coming down the stretch.”With the top three lines carrying the play, the fresh-legged fourth line and Nordstrom finally cracked the goose egg just after the midway point of the third period. Linemate Viktor Stalberg won a foot race on a potential Sharks (9-7-0) breakaway, sweeping the puck to the corner to end a potential San Jose chance. He then collected the puck against the boards and took off the other way, finding Nordstrom for a chance that Dell blockered away.But Nordstrom stuck with it, collecting his own rebound and firing a backhand past Dell’s glove for his first goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.”I was just trying to get the puck to net,” Nordstrom said. “If I was going to be able to put it on the net I didn’t want to pass up the chance. I think I’ve done it a couple times before, so I was just trying to get it to the net and I guess I got lucky.”While Carolina did outshoot the Sharks 33-22, Ward had to make several stops, a few off of redirections, to keep San Jose off the board.”I felt composed, where I wasn’t moving too much,” Ward said. “Sometimes you move too much, you open up holes. And today I felt very compact in my position and trusted my position. When they’re going to get tips like that, if you’re in a good spot luckily you’ll get hit by the puck.”Peters, who has started Ward nine of the last 10 games, said he’d continue to ride his No. 1 goalie.”He’s been good in the month of November, and things go hand in hand. We’re better in front of him, he’s better behind us,” Peters said. “And what happens now, when the schedule’s allowed us to kind of ride the hot goaltender, and that’s what we’ll continue to do here for the foreseeable future.”Notes: Ward is 3-1-2 this month after finishing October 1-3-1. … Teravainen had five shot attempts and four shots on goal in his line’s second shift of the game, and he finished the night with 12 shot attempts (six on goal). … Justin Faulk returned from injury and played 22:49. … Carolina won 34 of 49 faceoffs on the night, and all five players who took draws won more than they lost. … San Jose’s Chris Tierney lost all eight faceoffs he took against the Hurricanes … Brent Burns, who came into the game leading the NHL in shots on goal with nearly five per game, finished with just two.
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