Dublin 3, Bratislava 2
Dublin was the Fighting, Scratching, Clawing, Slashing and Spearing Irish on Wednesday, as they tried every method known to man to keep the Eagles from their 14th consecutive win. Bratislava didn’t commit any penalties in the game, but it’s probably because they didn’t have time. It seemed they were always trying to figure out how to score a powerplay goal against Dublin. In 12 attempts, they didn’t crack the code. Credit the Irish penalty killers – people like Milan Michalek, James Wisniewski, Keith Yandle and Olli Jokinen. And goalie Tim Thomas, who slammed the door on Bratislava 32 times. Tomas Fleischmann scored two goals during the rare times it was 5-on-5. The Irish have knocked off two of the league’s top teams in their last two games (they defeated Copenhagen on Monday) and Wisniewski was a quiet but valuable contributor in both games, averaging 26.5 minutes on the ice, blocking 6 shots delivering 4 hits in that span.
Berlin 5, Paris 2
The Smurfs played large in front of 20,000 home fans, outshooting Paris 43-30 and getting goals from 5 different sources. Nick Bonino and David Krejci each scored a goal on 5 shots – although Bonino fired off his 5 in just 6 minutes and those two men were virtually unbeatable in the faceoff circle, going a combined 21-6. Add Nate Thompson’s 9-3 faceoff record and Logan Couture’s 22-16 mark, and Paris better start looking for a new faceoff coach. Evgeny Malkin of Les Rouges Eiffels, was like a big condor, flying all over the ice, firing 10 shots on Berlin’s Mika Kiprusoff, but the big man was able to score just once, and it seemed linemates Corey Perry and David Perron had trouble predicting where he would be. The trio was minus 3 as a unit.
St. Petersburg 6, Munich 1
A really good day for Blake Wheeler of St. Petersburg; a really bad day for Munich’s Patrik Elias. Wheeler racked up 4 points, including 3 goals on 3 shots against Jonathan Quick. He and the rest of the Lynx players gave the home fans a lot to cheer about, outshooting Munich 37-18. Elias failed to score a point, was minus 1, and was called for a holding penalty. But that wasn’t the bad news. He took a puck off the left ear in the second period, but came back later only to get sent flying by Kevin Bieksa while he was stationed in front of the St. Petersburg net. Bieksa served a 2-minute roughing penalty, but Elias had to be helped off the ice and he did not return to the game. It is expected he will miss up to 2 weeks with a knee injury. In just under 2 weeks, St. Petersburg will play in Munich and Bieksa can expect to be a marked man.
Oslo 6, Gothenburg 2
Gothenburg’s promising young forwards Carl Hagelin and Jordan Eberle scored the first and last goals of the game, but unfortunately for them they were the slices of bread on a big, thick, juicy 6-goal Oslo sandwich. The Devils’ biggest names led the way as Shea Weber and Pavel Datsyuk each had a goal and 2 assists, and Ryan Suter had a goal and an assist. Oslo’s Jimmy Howard played well in goal, and coach Peter Laviollette will have to decide whether to come right back with him on Thursday against Berlin, or if Jhonas Enroth will be given the start. Max Talbot scored a shorthanded goal for Oslo at the end of the second period. It was his first shorthanded goal of the year. Bryan Little of Prague leads the league in that category with 4.
Belfast 4, Edinburgh 2
It was Cory Schneider over Henrik Lundquist before another sold-out house in Belfast. Lundquist made 4 more saves, but he also allowed 2 more goals. Defenseman Justin Faulk led Belfast in shots with 5 and scored a goal, his 5th in 23 games. Clarke MacArthur scored both of Edinburgh’s goals, giving him 5 on the season. Belfast has won 7 of its last 10 games while the Caps have won 3 over that span.
Helsinki 5, Zurich 1
They were outshot by Zurich, but the Jokerit pulled it out with 4 players coming up with two points a piece. Brad Marchant was a catalyst, getting 2 assists and 5 shots on goal for Helsinki, while teammates Jared Cowen, Anton Volchenkov and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist. Ilya Bryzgalov, Helsinki’s goalie, allowed a Patrick Sharp goal early in the game, but nothing after that. Zurich gave Mathieu Garon his fifth start in goal, and he is likely to get his sixth start Thursday in Paris because regular starter Brian Elliott is recovering from an undisclosed “upper body” injury.