Milan’s Antti Niemi earns first EURO shutout

Milan 2, Belfast 0

Milan’s Antti Niemi recorded the first shutout in EURO League history, stopping the Belfast Giants by a 2-0 score. Milan (2-0) outshot Belfast (1-1) 32-25. Milan’s powerplay wasn’t as impressive as Niemi was. The Guerriero went 0 for 7 with the man advantage.  Matt Moulson and Jordan Staal scored for Milan and to add injury to insult, three Giants went down with injuries in the first period, two within a 24-second span.

Gothenberg defensemen John Carlson (left) and Erik Johnson trap St. Petersburg captain Daniel Alfredsson behind their net on Tuesday.

Gothenberg 4, St. Petersburg 3

Vinnie Lecavalier and Cark Hagelin each scored for the second time in as many games as Gothenberg turned back the visiting St. Petersburg Lynx 4-3 on Tuesday. Gothenberg’s Jordan Eberle scored twice in the second period.  Erik Cole and Brad Richards scored in the third period to make the last 5 minutes very interesting, but Gberg goalie Martin Brodeur preserved the win. Pekka Rinne faced 42 shots, 7 of them by Adam Henrique. Gothenberg and St. Pete are in first and second place, respectively, in the Kharlamov Division.

Bern 7, Frankfurt 1

Claude Giroux got Frankfurt off to a good start by scoring in the game’s first 29 seconds, but it was all downhill from there for the Inferno.  Finesse center Jason Spezza scored two more goals, giving him 5 already this season, to lead Bern. Kimo Timonen and Dennis Seidenberg were both plus 3s on the night. In all, 11 different Bears had at least a point and Mike Smith worked a shutout after the Giroux goal. So far, Bern’s draft strategy of laying off the marquee names and striving for balance throughout the lineup has been paying off. They also packed in the fans Tuesday. Attendance was 22,500 and revenue was more than $1.2 million.

Geneva 5, Zurich 2

In their second game against a Swiss opponent, Geneva came through with a 5-2 win over Zurich in front of 15,500 happy fans. Geneva was 2 of 3 on the power play, getting PP goals from two of the league’s oldest men, Nic Lidstrom and Teemu Selanne. Ryan Malone scored twice for the Generals and put 5 shots on goal. Geneva almost doubled Zurich’s shot total (41-22). Ilya Kovalchuk was the brightest spot for Zurich. The Russian had a goal and an assist, 6 shots on goal and 2 blocked shots.

Athens 5, Helsinki 2

The Greeks got into the win column thanks to a powerplay that scored three times in four chances. David Backes tallied twice for Athens. Helsinki Jokerit is looking for goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to get in the groove. The Russian allowed 4 goals on Monday and 5 on Tuesday. Young forward Nick Spaling was one of the stars of the game for Helsinki, getting a goal and an assist. Chris Phillips has put together two nice games for Helsinki. He dished out 7 hits and blocked 3 shots Tuesday, a day after recording 3 hits and 4 blocked shots in a loss to Gothenberg. George Parros became public enemy number 1 (or 1B with Brodeur right up there). The big forward picked a third period fight with Jamie McGinn with his team up 5-2. McGinn held his own, getting a loud ovation from the home crowd.

Madrid 5, Minsk 1

The line of Alex Tanguay, Joe Pavelski and Brian Gionta was too much for Minsk to handle Tuesday. Tanguay scored three goals and had 2 assists, Pavelski had a goal and three assists (and 8 shots) and Gionta had 5 assists. Defenseman Roman Josi scored Minsk’s lone goal. The game featured a weird swing in officiating. The home crowd, 18,500 strong, was livid by the end of period one because their team had been called for 5 straight minor penalties, including a 5-on-3 that Mark Streit was able to convert on. Then Madrid was called for 6 straight penalties, including one 5-on-3 and a 5-minute major to Erik Karlsson.

Wednesday’s games

German rivals Munich and Berlin will go it, as will a couple of rivals in Great Britain – London and Dublin. Paris will try to play off their 8-goal performance in the opener against Zdeno Chara in Bratislava, but they will do so without Mike Ribeiro, their second line center who is out with an ankle injury. Ribeiro’s spot will be filled by youngster Kyle Turris. Copenhagen will try to make it 2 straight against Russian teams when they visit Moscow.

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