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G Ward scores empty-netter, 'Canes beat Devils 4-2

Carolina Hurricanes' Tuomo Ruutu (15), of Finland, shoots the puck past New Jersey Devils goalie Johan Hedberg (1), of Sweden, for a goalduring the second period of an NHL hockey game with Hurricanes Alexei Ponikarovsky (23), of Ukraine, and Devils Kurtis Foster (2) nearby in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, Dec. 26, 2011. Carolina Hurricanes' Tuomo Ruutu (15), of Finland, shoots the puck past New Jersey Devils goalie Johan Hedberg (1), of Sweden, for a goalduring the second period of an NHL hockey game with Hurricanes Alexei Ponikarovsky (23), of Ukraine, and Devils Kurtis Foster (2) nearby in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, Dec. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
By Joedy McCreary
AP Sports Writer / December 26, 2011
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RALEIGH, N.C.—Cam Ward made 23 saves and was credited with a bizarre empty-net goal, leading the Carolina Hurricanes past the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Monday night.

Brandon Sutter had a short-handed goal, Tuomo Ruutu and Anthony Stewart scored in the second period, and Tim Gleason and Tim Brent each had two assists for the Hurricanes.

Ward's first career goal came at the end of a strange sequence. Ilya Kovalchuk's errant pass for Adam Henrique from the end line wound up going the length of the ice and into an empty net with 29.4 seconds left.

Officials initially awarded the goal to Sutter before a postgame review determined he never touched the puck.

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