Hurricanes' Ward stymies Oilers

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[October 18, 2017]  EDMONTON, Alberta -- The battle of the backups went to Carolina.

With the Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers giving their No. 2 goaltenders their first starts of the season, Carolina's Cam Ward outdueled Edmonton's Laurent Brossoit with 48 saves in a 5-3 victory Tuesday at Rogers Place.

Ward got his support on a pair of goals from Teuvo Teravainen and singles from Elias Lindholm, Jordan Staal and defenseman Jaccob Slavin.

"I've been trying to stay sharp for practice and do what you can when you get an opportunity," said the Edmonton-born Ward. "It's good to get a win in front of family and friends and move on to Calgary.

"Some nights it's not going to be the prettiest. As a goaltender, you just have to give your team a chance to win. We certainly scored enough to win, and fortunately I was seeing the puck real well and held the fort."

Edmonton (1-4-0) got goals from Mark Letestu, Ryan Strome and Milan Lucic, but Brossoit gave up five goals on 21 shots. But Brossoit didn't get a lot of help from his teammates. The Oilers have now given up 16 goals in their past three games.

"It's not good right now," Edmonton defenseman Oscar Klefbom said. "We can all agree on that. Especially when Brossoit comes into a game like this, we have to stick up for him better. We knew Carolina was going to come out hard, but we have to be better to start."

While the Hurricanes improved to 2-1-1, the Oilers took their fourth loss in a row.

Edmonton gave up a goal on Carolina's first shot 20 seconds into the game and took two penalties in the first four minutes. By the 4:53 mark, it was 2-0 Hurricanes, with both goals coming off the stick of Teravainen, the second on a power play.

"We couldn't have started any better, scoring 20 seconds into the game," Ward said. "It shows the guys were ready to go and we capitalized on our opportunities. We didn't have many opportunities throughout the game, but we sure put the puck in the net when we got them."

Another power-play goal, this time from Lindholm late in the period, gave Carolina a 3-0 lead at the first intermission.

Letestu scored the only goal of the second period, closing it to 3-1 on a power play at 17:11.

Though they had the lead, the Hurricanes were under constant siege in the second period, but Ward kept them out in front despite being outshot 36-15 through 40 minutes.

Staal gave Carolina some breathing room 4:03 into the third period when he scored on a short-handed breakaway. However, the Oilers got that one right back on the same power play one minute later when Strome cut the lead to two goals again. Then Lucic pulled Edmonton within 4-3 at 8:06 of the third.

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Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward (30) makes a save as Edmonton Oilers left wing Patrick Maroon (19) tries to score during the third period at Rogers Place. Carolina Hurricanes won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Oilers looked poised for a comeback but couldn't get the goal, or the save, they needed.

After Ward stopped Edmonton's Patrick Maroon on a breakaway midway through the third period, the drama ended for good when Slavin scored on a deke at 10:36 to seal it.

"We made it interesting again, but we'll continue to learn from those ones," Staal said. "They're a very dangerous team, so they can make a push back and they did a good job of trying to climb back into it. But I thought Wardo ended up finishing them off at the end."

The Oilers, meanwhile, are in a tailspin.

"You have to stop the bleeding before it gets really bad and you dig yourself too big of a hole that you can't get out of," Lucic said. "There is 77 games left, and we can keep saying that, but as long as the losses keep piling up, it is going to be a long year."

An Edmonton team that was listed among the favorites to win a Stanley Cup will settle for just winning a game.

"You're not looking to start 1-4, ever," captain Connor McDavid said. "But it's five games in, and nobody's on the panic button here. I'm sure there will be doubters now, but we still believe in this room."

NOTES: The Oilers were without D Matt Benning (illness), C Leon Draisaitl (concussion), D Andrej Sekera (knee) and RW Drake Caggiula (undisclosed). ... C Brad Malone, called up Monday, drew in for his first NHL game of the season. LW Jujhar Khaira was a late scratch to make room. ... Carolina LW Teuvo Teravainen marked his 200th NHL game with two goals in the first period. ... The previous time the Hurricanes won a game in Edmonton was Dec. 7, 2011. ... Carolina was held to one goal in each of its previous two games.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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