On Wednesday night, the Hurricanes were in a "must win" situation against the lowly Lightning. They met the task at hand and have put the ball deep in the Capitals court. There is still a way for both Carolina and Washington to make the dance, but both teams would much rather have the automatic bid. Carolina has done their part for now. They'll worry about Friday when Friday gets here.
The game wasn't part of my season ticket package, but I had an unused ticket which I traded in for a ticket to this. Unfortunately, there were no tickets available in the lower bowl, for for the first time since 2002, my spoiled ass had to "slum it" in the upper deck. I was happy to see, though that my seat was in the fabled section 328, in the front row of that corner section. I might not like it so much if I had been higher up, but that front row seat was pretty cool. 328, as you will know if you ever read AQas , is the section which lustily taunts the visiting goalie every game. They also have lots of other colorful chants and rituals that I just don't see in other parts of the arena. Good stuff.
Eric Staal scored the game's first goal on the first shot just 32 seconds in. The game was already over at that point.
Because I'm pressed for time, I won't give the fully detailed recap.
Chad "Sharpie" LaRose had a goal in each period, and was far and away the game's and the NHL's first star. The first two were typical LaRose goals. Hard working, scrappy, dirty hands type of goals. Loose change, rebounds. The third was a beautiful goal scorer's goal. He came in alone down the left wing and was fed by a nifty pass off the wall from Erik Cole. He deked a few times and thoroughly beat the goalie, then did a Statue of Liberty celebration. What a goofball.
Eric Staal had a goal and an assist and was the third star. Ruuty had a goal and an assist and was the second star. Erik Cole had two assists. Dennis Seidenberg had two assists. Everybody played well, including a surprise return by Matt "concussion" Cullen.
The players all said that they won't be watching the Caps-Lightning game tonight. I think they're liars.
RBH three stars
THIRD STAR Eric Staal, CAR -- goal, assist.
SECOND STAR Tuomo Ruutu, CAR -- goal, assist, 7 hits.
FIRST STAR Chad LaRose, CAR -- three goals.
With one game to play, Carolina has a two point lead. Washington has a game in hand, which will be played tonight. If Washington loses either of their remaining games in regulation OR if Carolina wins their game on Friday, the division is Carolina's.
3 years ago