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Hurricanes Lose To KHL Team – SportsUntapped.com
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Added October 5th, 2010 by Chalk

Hurricanes Lose To KHL Team
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The Carolina Hurricanes went to St. Petersburg, Russia to play an exhibition game against SKA of the KHL, lost 5-3 and whined about rough play. It was the first time an NHL team played in Russia in over 20 years. In September 1990, the Minnesota North Stars skated to a 5-0 win over Sokol Kiev, and the Russians may still have been bitter about it. This year’s exhibition had a fight-filled third period.

Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice decided to sit captain Eric Staal for the third period because he felt the Russians were going at his players knees without drawing penalties. “It seemed like they were getting awfully close to his knees and there wasn’t enough concern out there,” whined Maurice, who’s affectionately known as the Space Cowboy in hockey-crazed North Carolina. “There’s going to be a lot of fights and a lot of bullshit. That’s what you saw out there.”

Staal said a Russian player “kind of dove at my knees” in what proved to be his final shift of the game. “I’m a big guy, I can take a hit, but when the guy lunges at your knee when you’re going full speed, you can blow an ACL.”

The game was tied 3-3 at the end of two periods, but Maxim Sushinsky scored twice in the third to lead a Russian team that includes former NHL stars Alexei Yashin and Evgeni Nabokov. The sellout crowd, reminiscent of Rocky IV, was ecstatic. The teams still shook hands on the ice after the game.

The Hurricanes open the regular season Thursday in Helsinki against the Minnesota Wild.

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