Two wingers who were rumored to be on their way out of their respective cities were traded for each other today. Two defensemen were also part of the deal. Athens dealt young, tough Evander Kane and Alexander Sulzer to Dublin for Scott Hartnell and Tim Gleason, as well as two first round draft picks and $5 million. Hartnell and Gleason have played far better early this season than Kane and Sulzer, but the Fighting Irish were obviously investing heavily for what Kane is sure to become in a few years: an electrifying winger who will fight you and put pucks past your goalie. Kane wasn’t lighting it up yet while wearing a Greek uniform. He only had 1 goal and 3 assists in 13 games and was a minus 5. Hartnell had 8 points and Gleason 6 in their 13 games in Dublin.
London 5, Athens 4 (shootout)
Evander Kane must have gotten wind that he wasn’t going be with the Greeks very much longer. In 25 minutes, he managed to record one hit, but that’s it. Alexander Sulzer, the player later traded with Kane to Dublin, played the best game of his young career and was named the game’s first star. Sulzer had a goal and an assist, but his team still lost to the Knights by a goal. Athens blew a 4-1 lead, with the Knights sizzling them for 3 goals in the third period to set up the shootout win. Michael Repik tallied twice for London, with Devin Setoguchi and Jess Skinner getting the other Knight goals. London is in fifth place in the Northern Conference, Athens in 11th in the Southern Conference.
Zurich 5, Prague 4 (shootout)
Four different Lions scored in regulation and two others in the shootout. Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp beat Prague’s Ryan Miller in the shootout session. Zurich’s forward line of Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrice Bergeron and Michal Frolik powered the lines during regulation, with that unit going plus 3. Prague’s best player was second line center Bryan Little, who scored twice in the first period with his right winger P-A Parenteau assisting on both plays.
Geneva 5, Bern 4
A wild series of events before the game wound up being an upset of the league leaders. A broken Zamboni ice resurfacer contributed to a lengthy delay in Switzerland, but so did a suddenly healthy Bear player. His return to the lineup forced Bern over the salary cap cushion and the league suspended Henrik Zetterberg. On top of that, Geneva, with injuries of their own, didn’t have enough players to start the game. Once the puck was finally dropped, the ball was dropped by Jean Sebastien Giguere and his Bear teammates. Geneva’s most experienced players, Teemu Selanne and Niclas Lidstrom scored key goals as the game was winding down. Lidstrom’s tally came on a powerplay with 7:15 remaining, and Bern took two more penalties after that to make the comeback more difficult. The Bears’ star line of Jason Spezza, Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata had their worst game to date, going minus 4 as a unit.
Gothenberg 7, Helsinki 2
Gothenberg blasted their Scandinavian foes 7-2 on the scoreboard and 42-23 in shots on goal. Fifteen Gothenberg skaters made it onto the scoresheet, with David Booth leading everyone with a goal and 2 assists. Veterans Vinny Lecavalier and Stephane Robidas made strong contributions for the winners. Swede Anders Lindback played in goal for Gothenberg, giving Marty Brodeur a rare rest. Helsinki actually was in command for the first half of the first period and leading 1-0 thanks to Paul Stastny’s 8th of the season.
Berlin 4, Minsk 1
Matt Read had 2 goals on five shots to lead the Smurfs over the Hussars. Brian Campbell assisted on the first two Berlin goals, feeding Logan Couture halfway through the first period and then helping Kris Versteeg get his 3rd of the season about a period later. Ryan White scored Minsk’s lone goal, his 3rd of the season. The game featured some feisty play. David Krejci of Berlin was called for a major penalty – checking from behind – near the end of the first period, and Matt Niskanen of Minsk felt the need to get even and committed the same infraction in the second period.
St. Petersburg 6, Belfast 0
Pekka Rinne only had to make 14 saves to earn his first EURO League shutout. With Sidney Crosby nursing an injury and out of the lineup, Matt Duchene got the chance to play on the first line with Rick Nash, but he didn’t do much with the opportunity. Nash had 3 shots on goal, while Duchene had none. Lars Eller, on the left wing, had 1 shot. By contrast, St. Petersburg’s Brad Richards, Valtteri Filppula and Kyle Wellwood had a total of 19 shots between them. Wellwood and Daniel Alfredsson each scored two goals for the Lynx. Alfredsson, who has 8 points this season, plays on a line with the Lynx’ two top scorers, Richards (14 points) and Erik Cole (12). Defenseman Kevin Bieksa is third on the team in scoring with 9 points.