Shot down: Crosby, Lemieux, Palffy blanked in shootout

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Cam Ward stuffed Sidney Crosby in the
shootout to complete a stellar outing in his first NHL start, and
Cory Stillman's goal in the tiebreaker was enough to give the
Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on
Friday night.

With the Hurricanes ahead in the shootout after Stillman scored
in the first round, Crosby was Pittsburgh's last chance. The
18-year-old phenom skated in and shot low, but Ward was up to the
task even after Mario Lemieux and Ziggy Palffy failed to beat him
in the first two rounds.

Ward immediately raised both arms after his clinching save and
headed to the bench, where he received congratulations from his

The Penguins tied it with 1:24 left in regulation when Crosby
fed a cross-ice pass to Palffy, who backhanded the puck past Ward
to make it 2-2. It was Crosby's lone point of the game, giving him
a pair of assists in two NHL games.

Ward finished with 28 saves, and the 21-year-old goalie played
like a veteran in replacing the injured Martin Gerber (hip injury).
Last season was Ward's first as a professional, and he set
franchise records at Lowell of the AHL for victories (27), shutouts
(6), save percentage (.937) and goals-against (1.99).

His introduction to the NHL came early, when Lemieux had a
chance from in close. But Ward stopped that shot, and did the same
minutes later on Mark Recchi's wrist shot after a behind-the-back,
touch pass from Crosby.

Stillman and Eric Staal scored in the first period to give
Carolina a 2-0 lead. The Penguins got within 2-1 on a power-play
goal by Ryan Malone, the only one of the game that came with the

An unofficial assist could have gone to referee Paul Devorski,
who accidentally deflected Bret Hedican's attempt to clear the
puck. It bounced right to Malone, who beat Ward from the

Game notes
Carolina D Bret Hedican played in his 800th career game.
... Both teams are in action Saturday night. The Hurricanes travel
to New York to play the Islanders, and Pittsburgh will face the
Boston Bruins in its home opener. ... The only fight came in the
second period, when Carolina's Jesse Boulerice squared off against
Ryan Vandenbussche. Boulerice clearly got the better of it, and
when he got to the penalty box, several of his teammates came by to
congratulate him.