COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Winning is always a good thing, in preseason or the regular season, but what the Carolina Hurricanes really needed Thursday was a solid game in net from Cam Ward.
The Canes got it in a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. While Nathan Gerbe was the offensive star with two goals, while there still is concern about the Canes' injuries, Ward's sharp play and 25 saves eased some growing uneasiness.
In two previous preseason appearances, Ward had given up 11 goals on 60 shots and was the loser Friday in a 6-0 beating by the Montreal Canadiens. He had some shaky moments in team scrimmages. While his left knee, badly damaged in a game in early March, had healed, something seemed to be missing -- confidence, mainly.
But Ward looked in control Thursday, and Canes coach Kirk Muller said he would be in net again Friday for the team's final preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres.
"I think it's a confidence thing in game situations," Ward said. "Tonight was a great step in the right direction that I was able to be my calm, kind of normal self and redirect the rebounds and kind of be comfortable out there."