Prague 6, Edinburgh 3
A good crowd in Edinburgh became good and quiet early, with visiting Prague Sparta leaving them little to cheer about for the first 50 minutes of the game. Prague scored 6 times, including three goals in the first and three in the second. The Capitals were finally able to muster some offense, with Jamie Benn leading a late charge of 3 goals. Defenseman Brett Clark was named the game’s first star, as the Prague veteran scored a goal and had one assist, and was one of 5 Sparta players to be plus 3 for the game. The stat of the game, though, had to be what Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jeff Blake and Chris Neil did. The threesome combined for 9 shots, 2 goals, 5 assists and each was plus 3 … in just 4 minutes of ice time.
Paris 3, Bratislava 2 (shootout)
Shootout specialist Jonathan Toews was the only one of 6 shooters to miss in the shootout and that fact means Paris has 4 points in 2 games. Jose Theodore was the main reason the game made it to overtime, as he stopped 32 of 34 Eagle shots. Zdeno Chara could have won the race for mayor of Bratislava after fighting Corey Perry 12 seconds into the game and firing a slapshot past Theodore to open the scoring with 9:45 left in the first. Mike Green returned the favor for Paris a minute later and each team scored once in the second. Bratislava coaches are not saying what happened to top left winger Martin Erat after the game. Erat looked healthy throughout the game and even scored on the Eagles’ third and final shootout shot, but a team report has him listed out for several days with a lower body injury. Reporters near the Eagles’ dressing room after the loss say they heard a loud “crash” followed by a smaller one. Bruce Boudreau called up David Moss from the Eagles’ affiliate in Kosice and plans to use free agent acquisition Tim Connolly on the top line with Toews and Marian Hossa until Erat is healthy enough to return.
Copenhagen 4, Moscow 3 (shootout)
Teddy Purcell was the only player to score in the shootout, giving the visiting Tridents an extra point in Moscow. Michal Handzus scored for the third time in two games and Alexander Ovechkin punctuated his return to Moscow with a trademark goal from the high slot late in the second period. Andrew Ladd, who scored the game winner in Copenhagen’s opener, set up Stephen Weiss and Dany Heatley for goals in a very evenly played contest. Moscow’s Mike Knuble made his presence felt with 6 hits and an assist on Ovechkin’s goal. Copenhagen returns home Thursday to host Athens.
Oslo 3, Stockholm 0
It was Norway over Sweden with an American getting the spotlight. Jimmy Howard put the “O” in Oslo, recording a shutout in front of a home crowd of 19,100. Oslo’s night was marked by individual efforts rather than teamwork. The Devils scored 3 goals but only one player had an assist. Pavel Datsyuk capitalized on a mistake in the Spartans zone to score in the first period, and Tyler Kennedy scooped up a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated in for an unassisted goal in the third. In the second, Max Talbot grabbed a mishandled puck in the Stockholm end and passed back to Ryan Suter, whose slapshot beat Stockholm’s Cam Ward. Jordan Leopold had a nice game for Stockholm, playing a game-high 30 minutes and blocking 4 shots.
Dublin 2, London 1
Irish eyes are smiling after Tim Thomas regained his form and sent the Knights back to England on the short end of a 2-1 score. Thomas, who was scorched for 8 goals against Paris two days earlier, stopped 26 of 27 shots, including 5 of Jeff Skinner’s 6 shots. Tomas Fleischmann and Cody Franson scored for the Fighting Irish, with winger Bobby Ryan leading in the shots category with 5. The game was a hard-hitting affair that had observers thinking this match-up has the makings for a great rivalry. Luca Sbisa, the Knight defenseman fresh off a scrap in the first game, continued the rough play, with 4 hits. Teammate Zach Bogosian and Dublin’s James Wisniewski and Ryan also had four hits apiece. Both teams get a much needed day off Thursday.
Berlin 4, Munich 2
Another hard-hitting, close contest occurred before a crowd of 20,000 in Berlin Wednesday. Nate Thompson’s backhander to the left of Munich goalie Jonathan Quick squeezed through to be the eventual game-winner for Berlin in the third period. Logan Couture and R.J. Umberger each had multi-point nights for Berlin, but it was defenseman Braydon Coburn who was Smurf of the Day. Coburn dished out 5 hits, blocked a shot, was a plus 3, took 4 shots on Quick and capped the evening with an empty net goal. Mika Kiprusoff was solid in goal for Berlin. Munich star Joe Thornton had a rough night by his standards. He won the majority of his faceoffs and managed an assist, but was a minus 3.
- Two teams in the Northern Conference are undefeated after two games. They would be just faces in the crowd over in the other conference, where seven teams have yet to experience a regulation-time loss. Either Edinburgh or Stockholm will earn their first win of the season Thursday, when the two teams square off in Sweden.
- A complex SABRmetric formula that mathematicians at league headquarters in Vienna use has Moscow, Prague and Geneva as the three teams which are most adept at bodychecking. Oslo, St. Petersburg and Madrid make the bottom of that list. The full list, as well as many other stats categories, are listed on the “Plays Report” page under “Coach Office.”