Moscow 6, London 4
Moscow built a 6-2 lead and held on for the win in London. It was the start of a five-game home stand for the Knights, a curious piece of scheduling with the Olympics in town for a 17-day gig. Nearly 15,000 hockey fans fought through traffic and security checks to make it to the game, only to see the Russians leave with the win. The Dynamo’s Marcus Johansson and James Van Riemsdyk made the most of their fourth-line ice time by scoring 2 points each. Van Riemsdyk, the game’s first star, scored at even strength and then shorthanded and was credited with 3 hits and 4 shots in 11 minutes of ice time. David Clarkson had an almost identical stats line in his 11 minutes for London. Both teams are in second place in their respective divisions.
Minsk 4, Helsinki 1
All five goals in the game were scored by special teams units. Minsk got on the board first int he second period when Ryan White scored shorthanded before a powerplay goal by Colin Wilson put the Hussars in front 2-0. Helsinki earned a shorthanded goal of their own on a shot by defenseman Marc Staal to make it a one-goal game in the third period. But powerplay markers by Nic Backstrom and Sergei Kostitsyn clinched the win for Minsk. Backstrom’s goal was his first of the season. With about 2 and a half minutes left and with the result obvious, Helsinki’s Brad Marchand took his frustrations out with a check from behind on Minsk’s Chris Phillips. Phillips seemed to be OK at the end of the game and Marchand drew a five-minute major as well as the attention of league officials in Vienna. It is believed league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan will meet with Marchand sometime Friday.
Berlin 5, Prague 3
The Smurfs won again and ruined the evening for more than 20,000 fans in Prague. Nikolai Kulemin, Mikael Samuelsson and Matt Read staked the Smurfs to a 3-0 lead, and after a Jussi Jokinen tally for Prague, Berlin’s Nic Hjalmarsson and R.J. Umberger put the game out of reach. It was Berlin’s first win on the road in 4 tries, and it pushed them into a tie for third in the Southern Conference with Munich and Bratislava. The outcome kept conference-leading Bern 3 points ahead of second-place Prague.
Oslo 4, Belfast 2
Visiting Oslo outshot Belfast 48-26 and scored three in the third to beat the Giants in front of 22,295 Belfast fans. Mikhail Grabovski was Oslo’s best offensive weapon, scoring a goal and adding two assists. Victor Hedman, of Belfast, had a goal, 4 shots, 4 blocked shots and 3 hits. Oslo (5-5) sits in the middle of the crowded Northern Conference pack, while Belfast (2-7-1) is second from the bottom of the overall standings. Neither team has a player in the top 42 in individual scoring. The Devils’ top scorer is Alexandre Burrows (9 pts), while Belfast’s is Rick Nash (8).
Bern 4, Copenhagen 3 (shootout)
Mike Smith bested Roberto Luongo in the shootout to settle a game between two of the league’s best teams on Thursday. Bern, the home team, had two more powerplays to work with than did Copenhagen and the Bears made the most of the opportunity, coming up with 2 powerplay goals, the last of which by Henrik Zetterberg came with 4 minutes to go in regulation forced overtime. Bern never led the game. The Tridents took leads 3 times on goals by Stephen Weiss, Troy Brouwer and Fyodor Tyutin. Jason Spezza of Bern racked up 3 assists and still holds the league scoring lead by 5 points over Joe Thornton (Munich) and Evgeni Malkin (Paris). Both Thornton and Malkin have played 1 game less than Spezza has.
Frankfurt 6, Zurich 5
In a high-scoring affair, Dominic Moore’s goal in the third period held up as the winner for Frankfurt at home. When Moore scored, it gave the Inferno a 6-4 lead with about 5:30 to play in the third period. Zurich was able to cut it to one goal when Patrice Bergeron notched his 4th of the year with 32 seconds left, but Frankfurt held on to win. The Inferno once again went with Ray Emery in goal, and although he gave up 5 goals, he was still better than Zurich’s Brian Elliott. Two of Frankfurt’s top draft selections propelled the offense. Steven Stamkos took 8 shots on goal, Claude Giroux took 5 and each had two goals and two assists. Ilya Kovalchuk was Zurich’s best forward, firing 6 shots on goal and getting two assists. To this point in the season, only Bern (50) and Prague (44) have scored more than the 37 goals Zurich has scored. Conversely, no team has allowed more than Frankfurt (44).