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Ward scored the game-winning goal against Tampa Bay, but it was his sacrifice in blocking Salo’s shot that earned the well-liked 32-year-old even more respect from teammates.

“That’s the mentality we have in the room right now,” defenseman Steve Oleksy said. “It’s playoff hockey, playoff-type atmosphere. Those are the things you’ve got to do in order to win. Obviously his sacrifice for the team, not only was it a huge block but we fed off that, too, for the rest of the third period there.”

Hillen’s wife gives birth

Defenseman Jack Hillen reported his wife, Caitlin, and newborn baby, Knox Patrick, were doing well as of Sunday night. Caitlin Hillen went into labor about the time her husband was going onto the ice for warm-ups Saturday night, giving birth to a 7 pound, 1 ounce baby before her husband knew what was happening.

“Her due date was the 17th, so she was very early, and it’s awesome,” Hillen said. “It’s a blessing. Everyone’s healthy, so it’s great.”