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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

See ya later Raleigh!

Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 10:22 PM

By Andrew Montag - NHL.com Fan Blogger / Road Trip to Raleigh

I'm am writing to you from gate C20 at Raleigh-Durham Airport, and Team Lidstrom has taken the first rendition of the new All-Star format in a thriller, 11-10. Team Staal jumped out to a 4-0 lead, and the RBC Center was rocking. Cam Ward looked like Patrick Roy out there, and he was riding the energy of the crowd early on. However, Team Lidstrom surged back, knotting the score at four. The roof nearly blew off the RBC Center when Eric Staal scored on a breakaway--his first of two goals on the night. 

Patrick Sharp of Team Staal was awarded the game's MVP with a goal and two assists, but the important award, the first annual "Bridgestone MVP Award Presented by Montag" goes to Danny Briere of Team Lidstrom.  Briere had two very timely goals, along with a dazzling deke on Lunqvist in the third period to cap off the victory for Team Lidstrom. Next, I'm going to give the head-heart-hustle award to Jeff Skinner. He was all over the place! Although he couldn't find the twine, he played this game like it was the Stanley Cup Final.

Thank you to all who followed my blogs throughout the weekend, I was honored to provide you all with an inside look at the events that transpired. We should be in for a great conclusion to the season.

Over and out!

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery