Cam Ward's streak of consecutive starts in goal for the Carolina Hurricanes ended at 24 games Friday, when he was given a break.

But that's it, coach Paul Maurice said Sunday. The Hurricanes have 16 games remaining in the regular season, and Ward should start them all, meaning he would play in 40 of the past 41.

"He should be well-rested and fresh," Maurice said. "We have enough blocks of time off between our blocks of games. We ran him 22, 23, 24 in a row ... so this should be easy for him.

"Unless something comes up where he's not right or not feeling right ... I would expect him to be ready to go."

Ward had 41 saves and was the winner Thursday in the Canes' 3-2 overtime victory over the Buffalo Sabres. The goalie likes to play in back-to-back sets, but Maurice elected to start Justin Peters in net against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Maurice said Ward did not ask to sit out the game in Chicago.

"He won't do that," Maurice said. "Even if there's an injury or there's something you're worried about, he's not going to tell you he can't play. None of those guys will."

Last season, Ward started 24 straight games, then was sidelined the next 18 games with a back injury. Ward has not had a recurrence of the back problems this season, but Maurice said he was not given the option to play or sit against the Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champions.

"We assessed where he was physically after the [Buffalo] game and made that decision after that game," Maurice said.

The Hurricanes (31-26-9) were seventh in the NHL's Eastern Conference after the win over the Sabres. But the New York Rangers moved back into seventh Friday with a victory, and the Sabres pulled into eighth place, one point ahead of the Canes, after wins on Saturday and Sunday.

Forward Jussi Jokinen said he did some scoreboard-watching on Saturday.