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2010 Compuware NHL Premiere

Prucha, Vrbata enjoying return trip to Czech Republic

Sunday, 10.03.2010 / 5:06 PM / 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

PRAGUE -- While playing an NHL game in their home country now is old hat, Petr Prucha and Radim Vrbata of the Phoenix Coyotes are over the moon to be getting a second crack at that honor.
 
"This is my second time going to Prague and I feel real lucky that this is the second time that the NHL has played in Prague and I have been in both of them," Vrbata told NHL.com. "I am really excited."
 
Vrbata was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning when they went to Prague two seasons ago to play the New York Rangers, a team that featured Prucha.

So Vrbata and Prucha know what awaits them upon arrival Monday morning in their country's capital city. Phoenix plays Boston on Saturday (Noon ET, VERSUS, TSN) and Sunday (10 a.m. ET, NHL-CA) in the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge.
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Skinner's skills, maturity have impressed Hurricanes

Sunday, 10.03.2010 / 4:24 PM / 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- The joke around the Carolina Hurricanes is that 18-year-old rookie Jeff Skinner looks like he's 12 and he sounds like he is, well, 12.
 
Appearances can be deceiving.
 
Skinner, the seventh pick of the 2010 Entry Draft, may look and sound like a kid who should be asking for autographs, not giving them out, but when he hits the ice, he plays like an adult.
 
No one is joking about the kid's talent and potential. It's serious and very good for business.
 
"He can flat-out play," Carolina captain Eric Staal told NHL.com. "There's no question."
 
That's why he's here with the Hurricanes in Russia, and why he skated on a scoring line with veterans Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu during Sunday's brisk, hour-long practice.
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'Canes understand significance of SKA matchup

Sunday, 10.03.2010 / 4:20 PM / 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- At least the Carolina Hurricanes aren't calling Monday's tilt against SKA St. Petersburg of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League just another preseason game.
 
No one would believe them if they tried to spin it that way.

The 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge will mark the first time in 20 years that an NHL team has played a game against a Russian team in Russia, and on top of that there is still what many perceive to be a frosty relationship between the NHL and KHL as a backdrop to the event, which will be streamed live on NHL.com.
 
"The game in Russia will be more of a playoff-type atmosphere," Carolina coach Paul Maurice told the media in Raleigh before the Canes departed Friday evening.
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Sharks eager to hit the links after win

Sunday, 10.03.2010 / 3:00 AM / 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

MANNHEIM, Germany -- What would a trip to a foreign land be without an opportunity to explore the territory? Members of the Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild are planning to enjoy the experience of Finland's saunas when they arrive in Helsinki for their Compuware NHL Premiere games.

The San Jose Sharks are no different. After beating Adler Mannheim 3-2 in their Premiere Challenge game Saturday, they will have Sunday to themselves to check out all this area has to offer. The food, the history, the scenic views sprinkled throughout the countryside.

Or, maybe they'll do what a lot of adult men enjoy doing with their time off -- spend it on a golf course.
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Despite loss, Murphy stands tall against Bruins

Saturday, 10.02.2010 / 6:07 PM / 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

BELFAST -- It's not often that an accomplished goalie can call a five-goal performance the game of his life.

But, Belfast Giants Select goalie Stephen Murphy was willing to make just such a statement Saturday night after his team dropped a 5-1 decision to the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge exhibition at Odyssey Arena.

"It was a dream outing," Murphy told NHL.com. "It could have been five goals after the first period.

And, Murphy was not embellishing things. Boston dominated the first period and had at least 9 quality chances among the 13 shots it fired off in the first 20 minutes.
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Brathwaite, Lang shine in loss to Sharks

Saturday, 10.02.2010 / 5:46 PM / 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

MANNHEIM, Germany -- Sometimes a team with lesser talent needs a herculean effort from its goaltender to pull off an upset against a superior team. On Saturday night, Adler Mannheim rode the backs of both their goaltenders and nearly stunned the San Jose Sharks.

Fred Brathwaite, a veteran of eight NHL seasons who is in the middle of third season with the DEL's Adler Mannheim, stopped all 20 shots he faced before leaving the game with 10:30 left in the second period. It was a planned move that allowed Lukas Lang to face a high-caliber NHL team and put on a show of his own.

Lang stopped 38 of 40 shots over the final two periods and overtime and was one shootout save away from earning a memorable victory, but goals by Ryane Clowe and Dan Boyle in the third and fourth rounds gave the Sharks a tough 3-2 win in front of 13,600 raucous fans at SAP Arena.
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NHL.com to stream NHL Premiere games from Europe

Saturday, 10.02.2010 / 12:46 PM / 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere

NHL.com

Beginning Saturday, October 2, NHL.com will stream from Europe, the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge games.  Games will be streamed live in their native language and will be the only way for fans to watch their favorite team. 

The 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge consists of seven exhibition games being played in various parts of Europe.  On Saturday, October 2, the Boston Bruins will face the Belfast Giants Select in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the San Jose Sharks will face Adler Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany; Monday, October 4 the Carolina Hurricanes will play SKA in St. Petersburg, Russia and the Minnesota Wild will play Ilves in Tampere, Finland; on Tuesday, October 5 the Boston Bruins will play the Liberec White Tigers in Liberec, Czech Republic and the Columbus Blue Jackets will play the Malmo Redhawks in Malmo, Sweden; and Wednesday, October 6 the Phoenix Coyotes will face Dinamo Riga in Riga, Latvia.  All games can be seen on NHL.com except Boston vs. Belfast Giants Select, Boston vs. Liberec, and Minnesota vs. Ilves. 
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A walk to remember

Saturday, 10.02.2010 / 11:36 AM / 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

"With our afternoon tilt (Friday) and going right to the airport, I'm sure that gear is a little wet and cold from the flight over here and there's no sense in getting the boys upset this early in the season; we have all season to get them mad at us. From that standpoint, we just felt it would be best getting them out, moving a little bit, experiencing a little bit of the city, and then we'll get back to business (Sunday)."
-- Ron Francis

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- The reaction overwhelmingly was positive.

The Carolina Hurricanes’ players, coaches, staffers and several others gathered in the lobby of the Kempinski Hotel here at roughly 3:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. ET) to embark on a brisk, hour-long walk through the streets of bustling downtown St. Petersburg.

They walked through Palace Square, past the Alexander Column and the famous State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace and onto Nevsky Prospekt, the most famous street in the city, before turning back and going through the square and back to the hotel
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Familiar foe in Mannheim net

Saturday, 10.02.2010 / 11:34 AM / 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

"I know I'm up there with age, but I still have that dream where I want to go back and play if I could. I know I'm a little bit older, but if I could even get a tryout or something somewhere just to try to get out there one more time, that would be great for me."
-- Fred Brathwaite

MANNHEIM, Germany -- Fred Brathwaite hasn't faced an NHL team since he was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2004. Six years later and a continent away, the 37-year-old goaltender will get another chance.

Brathwaite will be between the pipes for Adler Mannheim in their exhibition contest against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. The game can be seen live on NHL.com at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Since leaving the NHL, Brathwaite has been quite the world traveler. He spent two seasons in Russia with Kazan Ak-Bars, came back to North America with the AHL's Chicago Wolves for two seasons, and for the past three seasons, he has called Mannheim home.
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Russian media out in force to greet Hurricanes

Saturday, 10.02.2010 / 11:31 AM / 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Inside the dark plane, illuminated only by the odd reading light or video screen, Eric Staal's eyes slowly shut and the Carolina Hurricanes’ captain fell into a deep sleep that lasted until the flight crew started to come by with breakfast trays. Nowhere in his thoughts or dreams did he wonder how his team would be greeted upon arrival in Russia.

"It's something that's a little bit different, but cool. It adds to the experience for our team, and so far it's been fun." -- Eric Staal

"I actually didn't think about it at all until we were getting off the bus and I saw them poking through the fence," Staal told NHL.com.

The "them" Staal referred to is the Russian media, and before he even could get on the bus that was taking the Hurricanes to their downtown hotel, they were there, looking to him for some sound bites. At one point, an NHL public-relations person diligently told the three camera crews and three photographers who they were talking to, and the reaction was shock.
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Quote of the Day

My job was to get that puck and put it on net, and his job was not letting me do it. I got the best of that, but that game's over and to be honest I already forgot about it.

— Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk on his late game-tying goal in Montreal's 2-1 OT win
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