Start time approx 2025h Eastern. Looks like Raleigh got hammered with a rainstorm - ouch.
Laraque out, Harvey in. MacT: "We need bodies in front of the net." Yup. CBC commentary pointed out that Stillman just plain shot the puck on the PP - if it goes in, great, if not, maybe there's a rebound. Yup.
Stillman's apparently going to be doubleshifting.
Hm, the home crowd doesn't seem too sure of the lyrics of either national anthem, but at least they drowned out whatsherface. Two points for trying!
Sixteen seconds in - I was still poking at the templates and Pronger put a weak one by Ward. Some traffic in front, but that was a pretty weak goal, Ward's had much harder ones than that before.
2 minutes in, the puck took a funny hop off a shootin and Markkanen had to be careful. Carolina's laying on the body early, just what they need to do. Ales Hemsky wanted in on the action too, so he took the weak tripping penalty on Brind'amour. Carolina had a good chance almost right off, but the puck bounced on Whitney; not much doing until there was about 20 seconds left and Markkanen had to be fast. PK was good. Carolina apparently took offence, because right after the penalty expired they hammered a couple of Oilers down. Carolina rush and another penalty as Greene tripped Staal - um, it looks an awful lot like the replay of a trip that the CBC showed should have been to Stoll, and Staal dived. The call was for hooking, so I think CBC picked the wrong replay - Greene had hooked another 'cane earlier. Pretty weak penalty call either way. Staal made them pay - he got two whacks at it right by the crease (StAAl, CBC, not StOLL!).
A couple of quick Carolina shots after the goal, then Edmonton had a rush, Harvey got whacked by Kaberle behind the net, the puck went out front as Moreau bowled Whitney over, and Harvey gobbled it up for a quick shot.
Carolina on the forecheck, lots of whacking, a couple of near-chances and a genuine chance, and then Greene took a holding penalty. Wow, he barely touched him, but that's holding all right. Edmonton's going to have to watch it, although maybe the refs will slack off later in the game again (you know, once Carolina has the lead, says the cynic / conspiracy theoris in me). That didn't take long, Whitney scored - hm, if Smyth was interfering with Ward, Weight was interfering with Markkanen there. His skates weren't in the crease, but his body was, and he hit Markkanen - fair goal both ways, sez I. Carolina got some energy from that, K. Adams wound up with a good shot off a rush.
More Carolina pressure after that, but after the commercial break Edmonton came back and Ward had to make a decent save, then Cullen took a hooking penalty. He had his stick on Peca (say CBC, but it looked more like Smyth to me, pretty sure I saw an A on the jersey), but I don't think he was actually impeding him til after the shot went in. Man, they're tight tonight.
Edmonton PP: still no shots. Carolina's not giving them much to shoot at, and what few shots they're getting / taking the canes are blocking. Finally, they got a good one, and Hemsky put a bullet over Ward's shoulder that the goalie still hasn't seen. 2-2 Carolina.
Hm, another hit from behind not called - Pronger put Weight into the boards with the Hurricanes on the forecheck. Maybe Pronger should just start bodily tossing Carolina players over the boards, see if that gets called? Spacek almost put Recchi's head over the boards with his stick after a body check, and he went off for high sticking. Hey, if Edmonton can kill this, Carolina's PP will be a measley 50% tonight! Losers!
Peca and Moreau started off the PK in Carolina's zone with the puck - good start for Edmonton. Carolina rush, Staios rammed Brind'amour and Stillman after the whistle, he's in a poor mood tonight. Wow, the crowd booed when Brindy got booted from the faceoff circle, they're in a mood too. (Did you boo, Wade? :) ) PP over with no really good Carolina chances, thanks mostly to Peca and Moreau. Edmonton rush off the kill, and now Edmonton gets a power play - C Adams goes off for interfering with Fernando Pisani as Pisani made a steal near the blueline and tried to cut down. Fair penalty, but not one that would have been called in 2004 I don't think. If Carolina kills this, they can drop Edmonton to their own pathetic 50% PP level tonight.
Pronger hammered a shot off the post, then Carolina had a shorthanded rush and Tarnstrom took a penalty off a K Adams dive - give the K a 10.0. 4 on 4, Smyth got a shot away from near the top of the circles that bounced twice and Ward had to be good to stop. Under a minute left. Carolina shot the puck in, and Commodore charged the crease and knocked Markkanen over - he did try to get out of the way, but he hit the goalie in the crease so it's interference. He had a bit of help from Pronger, but if Prongs had wanted him down, he'd still be flat on his back.
Under 20 seconds left, Peca passed the puck back from behind the net then went to the other corner of the crease after knocking over a Carolina dman, Hemsky's shot came in, and Peca shovelled the loose puck to the roof of the net - 3-2 Edmonton. (Hey, you Peca haters - still think he's not worth it? I have to admit, "wait til the playoffs" seemed pretty old after about December, but he's been gold these playoffs.) Period 1 over, and Edmonton's doing a pretty good job digging themselves out so far - just need to take a few less penalties.
What a Fox-style Stanley Cup swoosh-in by CBC - ugh. Apparently Ryan Smyth dug the "lucky silver dollar" out of centre ice and the urban-cammed icemaker put a new one in. CBC dug out the old goal in the first or last minutes spell curtains chestnut - I think mudcrutch79 did some stats to dispel that.
Certainly didn't hold true this time, Markkanen robbed Stillman about 15 seconds in - almost got his glove on it, but the left pad was good enough to deflect it wide. Peca got huffed from the circle, lined up to Pisani's right with the dman and other winger, and Pisani won the puck to him - Peca almost got away clean. Edmonton set up in Carolina's end nevertheless, albeit briefly.
Whitney from Weight as Markkanen had his stick down and somehow stopped it, then gobbled the rebound - nope, goaltending isn't Edmonton's problem this game so far either.
Edmonton dumped it in, Staal flubbed a clear, and Hedican knocked Dvorak down - interference, decent call (but another that wouldn't likely have been called a couple of years ago). Edmonton PP, but Carolina got the first shot and Markkanen almost gave it up trying to keep the play from being killed. Edmonton set up, lots of passing, finally a shot from Spacek that missed by a kilometre. More passing, Hemsky -> Spacek who actually got it on, but Ward ate the rebound up. Samsonov had had a chance to get the shot away, but didn't. Stoll got called for some reason - very late call on a hook off the faceoff. (Hrm, who was the ref that totally blew the call against Torres in the Calgary game this spring, I wonder?) Reasonable penalty call, but late, very late.
Not much happened in the brief 4 on 4, but Staal had a chance that got everybody standing up just as Carolina went to the brief PP, then he had another near-chance and the Oilers defender managed to knock him off the puck and clear it. Carolina's power play is looking like Edmonton's now - lots of passing. "Edmonton's taking a page out of the Carolina penalty killing book now." Uh, guys? Did you watch the first three series for the Oilers? At all? You should have, you called two of them. I know you don't want empty air, but man.
PP complete, Smyth went in on a 2 on 1 with Horcoff, almost walked around a Carolina defender, but got muscled down on his second move attempt going back inside on Hedican. Puck came back, Williams got knocked down - didn't catch the full play, but the crowd sure wanted a penalty.
Weight and Stillman manhandled the Oilers in their own end, and eventually Staios hooked Stillman and Carolina flubbed at the blueline just as the 6th man came on to get the call. CBC update - Aaron Ward is in the dressing room with "an upper body injury" - shot blocking? On the PP, they coughed up again, but Edmonton couldn't get the SH rush - looks like the canes might be having some trouble holding the line. Just as I type that, Staal jammed it by Markkanen - man, how did that go in? Whitney shot it in from the blueline. Hum, how on earth could the referee not have lost sight of that puck under Markkanen's leg? Dirty goal and it was definitely in, but did the ref's tape-delayed whistle do the Oilers in on that one? Nevertheless, 3-3 Oilers.
Edmonton came right back though, Smyth had a near-wraparound and K Adams saved the goal. As is typical, I was about to comment on how the hitting seems to have slowed down, then Moreau and Commodore started cannonballing around in the Hurricanes zone. Neither team has been able to set up in the other zone, 5:30 left in the second. Ah, looks like Torres crushed Aaron Ward a couple of times on one of the first shifts of the game, and that's likely why he's out - the second hit made him stagger off.
Weight had a good chance, Brind'amour had the puck at his feet by Markkanen's crease, and Smith poked it away from him quickly, then Brindy took a high stick... what? Ah, he got Smith right in the chin as he turned for the puck, but Smith was obviously ok - he thought he'd taken the penalty. Weird. Yeah, it was a high stick, but... man.
PP, Edmonton can't gain the zone for the first 25 seconds or so, then Pronger broke his stick at the line on a pass and Carolina cleared; then Edmonton regained and Smyth gave the puck away on a pass to Samsonov (who was, at least, wide open by the net). Carolina's getting to loose pucks much more quickly than the Oilers are, and there's lots of them cos Edmonton's giving away lots of passes. Brindy gets out scot-free, then C Adams had a good rush. Moreau came back and Ward had to make a save himself - teams are trading rushes a bit, neither can set up. Moreau just will not be denied - another rush, but Hedican forced him wide. 1 minute left - Torres pass just missed connecting in the slot. Staal nearly wrapped around curling around back in front off a rush. Torres took a big hit near the blueline that had the crowd roaring, some spirited action in Carolina's zone, shot came in and Wesley and Staios went into the boards behind the net, but no call. 3-3 after two.
Third period starts with the puck in Edmonton's end, but Carolina just plain can't set up - Edmonton got in Carolina's end. Pronger teamed up with Torres, it looked like, to just destroy Doug Weight on a double team, and Weight went right off. I like Weight, quality guy, and I hope he's ok - after the game. Pisani went into the goalpost later on the same shift, but he's on the bench and not grimacing, so he must be ok.
Recchi and Stillman teamed up in Edmonton's zone and controlled the puck for a while, but Edmonton cleared after some dangerous passes. More bobbling around at centre ice and in Carolina's zone, Smyth coughed it up with his "muffin" shot from the blueline, but it got snuffed at centre ice. Spacek was the one who broke up the Carolina play, at least he's good in his end this game.
Looks like Hemsky is back with Smyth and Horcoff again - could have sworn I saw him in Pisani's place beside Peca earlier in the game. Maybe I'm wrong.
Carolina took a penalty while I was heads down (embarassingly, checking the RGB values for the Carolina red in their logo). Edmonton giveaway on the PP in Carolina's zone, but they recovered and saw some frantic action in front of Cam Ward. Ryan Smyth finally got to set up in front, but Ward got the rebound. Harvey gets some action late in the PP, not sure if that's anticipation for Commodore coming back and MacT getting the energy line on, or if he's just desperate to find something that works against Carolina's PK. Edmonton muffed the power play either way.
Shortly after some more bouncing about, Vasicek hooked Smyth and Edmonton has another chance to not take a lead. Replays show that it was a weak call, again not one that would have been called in 04, but still... it was hooking. Looks like Peca's hot hand gets the call for #1 PP centre now, he's on with Smyth and Hemsky, Pronger and Spacek. Dude, Stoll for Spacek. Edmonton shootin, Ward mishandled it a bit behind the net and Hemsky got it on the body on the boards play, but Carolina cleared the bounce and Markkanen had to come out as Pronger flubbed it at the line. Horcoff's on with Pisani, Stoll, Tarnstrom, and I guess Samsonov. Great PK by the Hurricanes.
Commercial break, and Aaron Ward is back. Good news for Carolina, bad news for Edmonton, he's been shot blocking like a demon all series (and all playoffs, apparently). Weight's still not returned though.
Samsonov's on with Stoll and Dvorak - call that the Dead Guy line, cos they're colder than an Edmonton winter right now. Sustained Carolina pressure, big Commodore shot, rebound off the end boards, and Markkanen pulled a golden horseshoe from his butt and somehow gloved the shot out of the way. Edmonton managed to clear without icing, Stillman and Recchi set up with Staal. Markkanen came up big (or maybe it was a block?) and man, the Oilers are in trouble, they just can't clear the zone. Smyth and Horcoff came on, but couldn't work their usual magic against Ladd and Brind'amour. Hemsky almost set up Smyth on Cam Ward's doorstep, and Carolina regrouped. 5:20 left. Cam Ward finally gloved a shot to stop about 3 minutes straight of pressure pressure pressure. Replays of Markkanen's stop showed that yes, that horseshoe was indeed golden-coloured.
Commercial break, and Carolina resumed the pressure immediately with Staal and Recchi. I don't think Harvey's seen the ice much this period, maybe he could use some time. Carolina's just rolling 3 forward lines of pressure, Edmonton can't seem to do much. Of course, there comes Harvey with Murray and Moreau. Murray almost banked a shot in off his leg, Pronger destroyed a 'cane who had gone down to make a shot block - Aaron Ward! - and Carolina went offside as Ward limped to the bench. Weight's back on the bench and looking chipper though. Pronger's blast hit A Ward on the foot, who had gone down like Forsberg feeling a stick on his arm.
Break, and Carolina tried to start back in. Jason Williams almost got nailed at centre ice by Jason Smith. Peca vs Brind'amour, that's got to be one of the most cadaverous lineups for a faceoff. Under a minute left, and Peca put Hedican down in the corner - just a little shove, and Hedican's knee hit the boards, he looked a bit upset. Hemsky coughed up the puck at the blueline, and the canes came in on a 4 on 2, but couldn't do anything. 33 seconds. All Carolina. 15 seconds and Carolina's in Edmonton's zone, but being kept to the outside, and... regulation time is over, looks like Wade is going to get his money's worth this game either way. 3-3 Edmonton going into OT.
Sudden death - and for one team, it could really be - underway. First minute saw a couple of quick rushes, but nobody can establish a presence. Edmonton got the first setup 1 minute and a bit in, Ward robbed Dvorak and saved the Hurricanes a trip back to Edmonton, at least for now. Faceoff, Carolina gets in and set up with Ladd and Williams, but Smyth came back. Edmonton couldn't do much, Carolina set up but didn't get a shot, and things settled down 2:15-2:20 in, then Carolina iced it.
Some scrumming at centre ice, Edmonton hit a post, then Recchi took off, Staios got tangled up with him, and now Carolina PP about 3:10 in. Carolina coughed it up at centre ice, and... Pisani! Pisani saves me from Carolina colours tonight. Moreau forced the turnover at the Carolina blueline, Pisani jumped on it, took it from Staal, and walked in totally alone and untouched, then roofed it.
CBC zoomed in on a cute little blond kid in a Carolina jersey with a woman who was very likely his mother. He looked like the Oilers lined up and took turns running over his dog. One at a time. Slowly. I felt bad, until I remembered that's how I would be looking had the Hurricanes scored on that power play. OK, except I'm not wearing any jerseys, I'm not quite that short, and my mother is 2000km away. But still.
Game 6, Saturday night in Edmonton. And I just ran out of beer, so I guess I'll need more. Can't really afford that this month, but what the hell.
Sorry Wade, I know you were looking forward to seeing the Cup, but with any luck, you'll have another shot at it in game 7, if you have tickets already.
Ironic that after everybody gets on the Oilers for needing to get more traffic in front of Ward, that the GWG is scored on a breakaway.