Sergei Samsonov had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, who have won nine of their 14 games in January after winning only 10 of their previous 40.
Brandon Sutter scored the decisive goal for the Hurricanes in the third period. Sutter netted his 13th goal of the season on a wrist shot with 12:17 left in regulation. The goal came 1 1/2 minutes after Chicago's Ladd had tied the game 2-2.
Ward kept the Blackhawks off the board for the final 10 minutes of the game.
Matt Cullen added an insurance goal for Carolina 26 seconds after Sutter had scored.
Samsonov staked Carolina to a 1-0 lead with 10 seconds remaining in the first period. Hossa evened the score at 6:46 of the second period, but Jussi Jokinen put the Hurricanes back in front with 2:07 to play in the period.