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Cam Ward has MCL sprain, season might be done

Mar 4, 2013, 10:20 AM EDT

Cam Ward #30 of the Carolina Hurricanes is introduced before a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at PNC Arena on January 22, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
(January 21, 2013 - Source: Grant Halverson/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes earned a 3-2 victory against Florida on Sunday, but the cost was high.

Starting goaltender Cam Ward left the game with what the Hurricanes have revealed to be a third-degree MCL sprain. The 29-year-old netminder won’t need surgery, but he isn’t expected to play for the next six to eight weeks.

Given that there’s a little under eight weeks left in the regular season, the Hurricanes won’t be able to rely on him making any further contributions to their battle for a playoff spot.

It sounds like Carolina has no immediate plans to trade for another goaltender. Instead, the Hurricanes will rely on Dan Ellis and 26-year-old goaltender Justin Peters, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Ellis has endured an up-and-down career, but he’s been a solid backup so far this season. Peters has excelled at the AHL level, but only has 28 NHL contests under his belt.

Carolina entered the season amid heightened expectations after trading for Jordan Staal and signing Alexander Semin. The ‘Canes are currently leading the Southeast Division with a 12-8-1 record.

In an odd twist, Ward’s injury came just one day after Panthers starting goaltender Jose Theodore suffered a significant groin injury in the first game of Florida’s home-and-away series with Carolina.

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