The annual Red/White game is underway at the RBC Center. Most of the Canes' veterans have the game off, with Patrick Eaves, Jeff O'Neill, Brandon Sutter, Drayson Bowman, Anton Babchuk, Ryan Bayda and Dennis Seidenberg among the notable participants.
1-0 Red: The red team got on the board first about eight minutes in when Dan LaCouture came up along the boards, circled the net and threw a pass through traffic that found its way to Dwight Helminen, who quickly banged it home.
Of course there's no TV timouts today, but the teams took a break about halfway through the first period for a live on-the-bench interview between TV color analyst Tripp Tracy and O'Neill that was broadcast through the arena. O'Neill received a loud ovation from the fans and thanked them for their support during his last stint here.
This game isn't being called too tightly, but each penalty will result in a penalty shot. That occurred in the first period, when the white team's Daniel Manzato stopped Joe Jensen of the red squad after a Ryan Weston penalty to keep the score 1-0.
2-0 Red: The line of LaCouture, Helminen and Ryan Bayda struck again in the first period, with LaCouture batting the rebound from a Seidenberg point shot out of mid-air to make the score 2-0. Helminen had the secondary assist.
2-2: The white team came out firing in the second period, scoring twice in the first 2:10 to even the game at 2-2. The first goal came courtesy of Stefan Chaput, who put a great pass from Nicolas Blanchard into the net to cut the lead to 2-1. Shortly therafter, left wing Robert Slaney converted a penalty shot to tie the game, beating goaltender Justin Peters five-hole.
3-2 Red: Joe Jensen made it count this time, beating Manzato with a forehand-to-backhand deke on the game's third penalty shot to regain the lead for the red team. It had been all white in the second period until Jensen's goal, which came after a Brett Carson interference penalty at 6:51.
Casey Borer looks good on the point for the white team, making several good plays to keep the puck in the zone and get it on net quickly, which has been helping create chances for the white team here in the second.
Goaltending change halfway through the second, Mike Murphy is in for the red team, while David Leggio comes in for team white. The unofficial (yet as official as you're going to get) stat sheet gives 20 saves to Manzato (including one on a penalty shot) and 13 for Peters.
4-2 Red: Great shot by the offensive star of the game so far, Dan LaCouture, to restore the two-goal lead to team red. LaCouture took a drop pass from a pinching Seidenberg and rifled it over Leggio's left shoulder for his third point of the night so far. Thus ends the second period.
Intermission interview between Tracy and team red assistant coach Glen Wesley. Said Wesley on adjusting to his new role, "I'm just trying to figure out how to stay warm on the bench." He also went on to say the team's current defensive depth is the best he's seen in 11 years with the Hurricanes. Tom Rowe is head coach of the red team, while the Albany River Rats tandem of Jeff Daniels and Geordie Kinnear is leading team white.
On his third penalty shot of the night, Joe Jensen hit the post on the same move that worked for him on his earlier goal. The shot was awarded early in the third period after a Ryan Weston hooking penalty, his second infraction of the game.
5-2 Red: Jeff O'Neill is on the board for the red team after finding the puck in the goalmouth scramble, patiently awaiting an open look and sneaking the puck past Leggio, who got a piece of it before it trickled in.
Anton Babchuk seems to have left the game for team white. Haven't seen him since the first period. Even the slightest nick would prompt the utmost caution given that this is just an exhibition game, so let's hope it's nothing serious. I'll try to find out more later.
5-3 Red: White has clawed one back with nine minutes to go. Jakub Petruzalek is the scorer after this year's seventh-round draft pick, Samuel Morneau, sent a centering pass in from the corner that found it's way to Petruzalek for the tap-in.
6-3 Red: That wil probably do it. Ryan Bayda has given team red a three-goal lead with under four minutes to go after putting home the rebound of Dennis Seidenberg's point shot. It was the third assist of the game for Seidenberg, who one-timed Tim Conboy's point-to-point pass.
That's the game, LaCouture, Seidenberg and Helminen are your three stars. Quotes, updates and photos to come soon.