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Live! from Raleigh

AmatoRALEIGH, N.C. -- Welcome to the RBC Center, best known as being the Arena with the Most Meaningless Banners Ever.

Serious about this one. Not only are the outdated NHL team banners hanging up, but N.C. State apparently bought every gigantic red banner in the state and hung them in the rafters here to 'honor' their basketball team.

OK, we get it, N.C. State has been in the NCAA tournament a few times. But do you need 126 different player/announcer/coach banners up there as well? Garish is all.

OK, so that's off my chest. Since tonight's game against the Fakecanes isn't being broadcast on local TV in South Florida (if you have satellite, go to the high numbers because Center Ice is free this weekend! Soo-wee!), I'm going to do some live updates right here on PanthersPlus.

It's one-or-possibly done for this Carolina hockey team. If Florida somehow wins this game, Carolina may find itself out of the playoffs. If Carolina wins, the streets of Faber -- at least the Southeast Division -- is theirs.

-- Remember those cheeky Kendall Toyota ads from a few years back? How about the Kendall Toyota Show complete with sidekick and band? Well, Mark Jacobson -- the bearded host of those ads/infomercials -- has landed in Raleigh. He owns a Toyota dealership here (bet you can't figure out what he named it) and has kept up the goofy ads.

Instead of bringing Neil Rogers on, now he has a dog that he carries around as he shills Tundras and Camrys. Pure schmaltz. Diggin' it.

-- No real news out of the Panthers today. JM missed practice this morning as he was out of town scouting something or other, and the lineup stays the same (save for the starting goalie) as it has for the past couple of games. Vokoun goes tonight, Andy tomorrow in DC.

So, no Murphy, Mezei, Welch or Van Ryn.

-- Wonder how many fans in DC are taking in tonight's game? If Carolina wins, the Caps road gets a little bit rougher. OK, a lot rougher.

Confettibyg -- You can tell the guy (Pete Soto) who runs in house entertainment here at RBC used to live in South Florida. Pregame music tonight: In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins, Rock You Like a Hurricane by the Scorpions.

Kind of like being back in the Orange Bowl. Kind of.

GAME ON....GAME ON....

-- Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News&Observer sends his best as always...hope he doesn't have to work too hard next week. I'll be working hard..digging my golf ball out of the rough!

-- It's Fan Appreciation Night here in Raleigh. Wonder if the Canes get booed like the Panthers did?

-- Shots so far: CAR 3-1 w/ 15:50 left

-- First penalty tonight: Radek Dvorak @ 5:04

-- Penalty kill now good for 27 straight

-- CAROLINA 1, MARLINS 0 -- Trevor Letowski shoots, has the shot blocked, goes back to the boards, grabs it and takes it to the hole, shooting through T-Vo's legs. Goal at 7:25 of the period....

-- Gifts given away here on Fan Appreciation Night include a Chevy Malibu (the new one) and a brand new house. Plus jerseys from players. Sure beats the stuff the Panthers gave out, no? A gift certificate to Publix? Come on....

-- Shots now 9-2 midway through...and it looks it...

PANTHERS GOAL -- Jay Bouwmeester from top of the slot, fires one through...now has two goals this month, one more than in all of March. FLA 1, CAR 1 @ 11:38 of the first...

-- Thanks Kroger..

-- AND AGAIN, PANTHERS GOAL....BOOTH DOWN THE ICE, FLIPS TO HORTON WHO LEAVES IT FOR MONTADOR AND THROUGH....FLA 2, CAR 1 @ 13:06 of the first....

-- OK, that's the end of the first...after a slow start, pretty good period of hockey...well paced, got a little rough with Bryan Allen dropping Tuomo Ruutu in front of the net...good stuff...If I'm the Capitals, I'm digging this....

SECOND PERIOD -- SECOND PERIOD -- SECOND PERIOD --

-- Panthers killed off Jassen Cullimore penalty, now at 28 straight. Shots on goal: 19-7  w/ 16:33

-- For some reason, Anderson is in net right now....do not know why...

NATE HORTON SCORES, IT'S 3-1 PANTHERS @ 10:13 of the second period (we have seen this before)...

-- CAR on PP because of delay on Monty; Now 5-on-3 with Olesz in box....5/3 for 1:34

-- Panthers take a timeout to get a breather...Anderson looking pretty strong out there...

ERIC STAAL SCORES FOR CAROLINA...THE PENALTY KILL STREAK IS OVER....FLA 3, CAR 2 @ 14:39 OF THE SECOND..

A SHORTHANDED CHANCE FOR THE PANTHERS, RADEK DVORAK SCORES...PANTHERS LEAD 4-2 WITH 11.6 SECONDS LEFT IN THE SECOND...

-- OK, gots to run...Enjoy the rest of the game...

-- Also, official word on Vokoun is back spasms.

 

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