Ward missed three games with a lower-body injury but didn't show any ill effects Tuesday, making 26 saves as the Hurricanes broke a six-game losing streak against Nashville.
Jamie McBain and Bryan Allen added goals as Carolina beat the Predators for the first time since January 2006 and improved to 2-0-2 on a six-game homestand.
Nashville, meanwhile, suffered its first regulation loss six contests.
Gabriel Bourque led the Predators with a goal and an assist.
Backup Nashville goalie Anders Lindback -- making his first appearance since Jan. 17 -- stopped 29 shots.