No shortage of effort from trio
By Zdeno Chara’s standards, it was the merest of confrontations.
After seeing Daniel Carcillo flatten Derek Morris in the second period, Chara defended his partner by bumping the Philadelphia agitator, earning a questionable roughing penalty at 12:50 of the second.
Forty-eight seconds later, Chara was joined in the penalty box by Mark Stuart, who was sent off for cross-checking. The Flyers had a 72-second five-on-three power play with two of Boston’s defensemen in the box. Dennis Wideman, Andrew Ference, and Patrice Bergeron, however, made sure the Flyers did no damage. Bergeron set the tone by winning a defensive-zone faceoff against Mike Richards.
But Wideman was the best penalty killer on the ice. He took a long-distance Chris Pronger shot off the foot. Still hobbling, Wideman set up as the left-side defenseman and stepped in front of a pair of close-range Richards rockets. The Flyers did not score on the power play.
“I was able to find everything,’’ Tim Thomas said. “Those penalty killers, not just Dennis, those three did a great job of taking away all their lines and not giving away anything super dangerous. When they did get a shot, they allowed me a way to find it. That was fun. To hear the crowd respond to that was a lot of fun.’’
Wideman, however, didn’t return after the second period. He was limited to 14:12 of ice time over 15 shifts. Coach Claude Julien said Wideman’s third-period absence did not have to do with blocking the shots. Julien said Wideman will be reevaluated today.
Wideman missed three practices last week because of an upper-body injury. He sat out three games in October because of a shoulder injury.
But the 36-year-old Ward and the rest of the Hurricanes have endured a nightmarish 2009-10. Through 31 games, Ward has six assists. His minus-15 rating is the fourth-worst in the league.
It’s unlikely that Ward will be claimed by today’s noon deadline. However, he could be picked up on reentry waivers. Any team that puts in a reentry claim would have to pay half of Ward’s remaining salary, with the Hurricanes picking up the other half.