As part of the Canes annual Tour of North America While The NC State Fair Is In Town ™, the boys in red and white play several games in times zones that make it a late night for us here on the east coast. Luckily for us, we have cold, smooth adult beverages to get us through the waning hours.

The #Redvolution set up shop in Denver last night, and even Patrick Roy‘s beard was converting.

Beards should be one color, sir.

Hi kids, do you like penalties? Wanna see both teams play shorthanded? Lucky day, because the opening period was full of them. Carolina was awarded the first powerplay of the night just about a minute into the contest, but thanks to Ryan Murphy slashing John Mitchell, it only lasted about 30 seconds.

In what would become a theme for the night, neither power play was successful. Same story for the Canes a few minutes later when Carl Soderberg and his hilarious contract gave Carolina a fruitless man advantage. After nearly 3 minutes of 5-on-5 hockey, Brock McGinn committed an obvious charge, Michal Jordan held Nathan MacKinnon‘s body against him, and Noah Hanifin, who’s too pretty to hook, was whistled for that very infraction all in the last ten minutes of the period.

Even with all the powerplays between both teams, only a combined 14 pucks made their way on net in the first period. Woof.

While the second was rife with neutral zone play (that’s seldom a good thing) and moving the puck between the point and behind the net (yay?), the moment that had all Canes fans holding their breath was when Jarome Iginla fell to the ice, his skates went high, and made contact with John-Michael Liles‘ face.

Thankfully it looked like the boot of his skate made more contact than the blade, and it wasn’t near the eye region of his face. Because Liles is a hockey player, his night wasn’t finished.

Heading into the 3rd period, Carolina had 10 shots on goal. Maybe one of them was a good shot at that.  While they didn’t exactly set the world on fire in the 3rd, they did crank out 8 more. But the story of that period was in our own zone when Cam Ward made a great save (or was it) on Matt Duchene with only a few minutes left.

It was a hell of an effort from Cam, and I’m not taking anything away from that. However, it looked to me like the puck was going wide even if it weren’t deflected. Either way, we were heading to OOOOOOVERTIME in the Pepsi Center. No word on if they had extra bottles of Pepsi Perfect for sale to appease the internets.

For as much grief as we’ve all given Ryan Murphy, it says a lot that the coaching staff trusts him in 3-on-3 hockey. Yes, he’s a great skater, but if he hadn’t shown any improvement in his decision making, I highly doubt he’d be placed in that position.

After Ward made a great save on a Jarome Iginla breakaway, Victor “yes, this is a smile” Rask looped back through the neutral zone, played give and go with Murphy, got past the defense, and beat Varlamov (not like that) with the backhand for the game winner.

The Good: 

Cam Ward: Faced 26 shots, stopped 26 shots. Of the two goalies on ice last night, Ward faced more quality chances and didn’t let one past him. His movements on the ice looked like more positive and confident body language. Whatever he had for dinner, he should keep that as part of the routine. Damn good night for #30.

Justin FaulkHe’s just so damn good at hockey. Faulk played over 27 minutes last night, included over 4 minutes shorthanded and on the powerplay. He’s not a flashy player, but he’s very good.

On to Los Angeles tomorrow night at 10:30. As if we needed to root HARDER for the Canes to win, remember that we own the Kings’ first round pick in the 2016 draft!