Canes equipment manager plays final 7.6 seconds in net

Prior to Saturday night's game at Tampa Bay, the Carolina Hurricanes signed equipment manager Jorge Alves to a professional tryout contract to be the backup goaltender in place of Eddie Lack, who was ill.

Alves, 37, wound up playing the final 7.6 seconds of the game after replacing Cam Ward.

"It's special, it's unbelievable," said Alves, who didn't face a shot in the 3-1 loss to the Lightning. "It's still pretty emotional for me. Yeah, amazing. I just remember looking down the ice and seeing the puck in the corner, and saying, 'Stay in that corner.'"

The Hurricanes had Alves lead the team onto the ice for warmups, letting him skate around the Carolina zone in his No. 40 jersey by himself before joining him.

"I think it was a special night -- it's a night he'll never forget," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "A perfect storm of opportunity for him. It couldn't happen to a better guy."

Carolina, on its Twitter account, showed Alves sharpening skates and taping a stick while in uniform during the game.

"Can't shake the habit," Alves said with a smile. "I have a duty to the team."

Alves has been one of Carolina's full-time equipment managers since the 2012-13 season and practices with the team on a regular basis. He played on North Carolina State University's club hockey team for the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons and had several short stints in the ECHL and Southern Professional Hockey League.

"It's been a joke around the locker room that I might go in today," said Alves, whose mask features his fellow equipment managers. "And for it to actually happen, I kind of pinched myself."

Alves moved to Raleigh in 2001 following four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and he has been with Carolina's equipment staff since 2003-04.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.