By Danny Picard
BOSTON -- Cam Ward's last shutout came on May 3, 2009, when he made 30 saves in the Carolina Hurricanes' 3-0 victory over the Bruins at TD Garden in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
He did it again Friday, by the same score, only with more saves (37). Only this time there was a big difference:
The presence of his newborn son, Nolan, who was born Wednesday and to whom he dedicated Friday's victory.
"These last couple days have been really amazing for myself, introducing my first son, Nolan, and both Nolan and Mom are doing awesome," said Ward after Carolina's win. "I was just excited about getting back on the ice."
Ward hadn't played since last Saturday, but, what with a newborn baby in the house, that didn't mean he was well rested. He was, however, used to being up early, so his recent sleep deprivation was a good thing heading into Friday's earlier-than-usual noon puck drop.
"Well, I knew it was going to be his first one watching," said Ward. "I'm just a very lucky young man right now, and I felt really good going into today.
"I'm very fortunate to have a lovely wife, and giving me a healthy boy. It's my first son, so knowing that he's back home, we drove him home yesterday, it's his first time watching Dad on the TV, so most certainly it was in my mind."
Ward was also in the Bruins' minds as well.
The B's had their chances on Friday, but Ward was consistently in the right place at the right time all game long.
"You've got to give Ward credit because he kept them in the game," said Bruins forward Milan Lucic. "He made some big stops for them, and that's, I think, the biggest reason why they won.
"He did a good job kicking the rebounds out," added Lucic. "If he put out his glove, he caught it, or he stopped the play every time. So he's a big part of that team, and we weren't able to break him down tonight."
Ward's dominating play was something Mark Recchi had seen before.
"Ward's a world-class goalie," said Recchi. "I was with him in Carolina when we won the Cup in 2006, and he knows how to win. He's a great goalie. He's very sound, technically, and he's a competitive guy. You're going to have to be willing to out-battle him. He's a battler, and we weren't quite willing to out-battle him."
The Bruins outshot the Hurricanes 37-21 on Friday. They also went 0-for-4 on the power play. Even though the B's weren't in sync at all during their man-advantage opportunities, the old saying still exists for any team: your best penalty killer is your goalie.
On Friday, Ward was Carolina's best player
"I felt like I was seeing the puck really well," said Ward. "I felt that I controlled my rebounds, and any time you do that, you can help your team in your own zone."
When asked, after the game, if Ward showed any signs of slowing down, now that he has to take care of his newborn son the rest of the season, Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice responded by saying, "No, we're hoping he has 70 more babies this year."
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard