Hot Berglund leads Minsk; Backstrom out

In the world of Websim Hockey’s EURO League, it’s the Holiday Season. Merry Christmas, everyone. Seems no one could really get into the Christmas spirit this year for some reason. Per Noel even dumped on a few teams by  giving them injuries instead of presents this year. Milan’s Daniel Alfredsson will be out a month or so with a back injury, but he’s not the only important player hurting. Nicklas Backstrom of Minsk also hurt his back in Tuesday’s win over Belfast, although his absence isn’t expected to exceed two weeks; Zach Bogosian of London hurt his wrist and will be out up to 3 weeks, as will Gothenburg’s Chris Butler. Perhaps the injuries are contributing, but several general managers announced they are looking to make deals. However, you can bet that in their minds, ‘Tis better to receive than to give.

Here are highlights of Tuesday’s games:

Minsk 3, Belfast 0

Patrik Berglund is on a roll for Minsk, as the Swedish forward scored two goals against the Giants in a game that featured a fight and 12 minor penalties to both sides. Berglund has scored in three straight games, netting 4 in that time to give him 12 this season. Against Belfast, Berglund won 21 of the 33 faceoffs he took. Chris Campoli had a good game for Belfast, getting 5 shots on Carey Price in the Minsk net and blocking 3 shots that were heading toward his goalie, Cory Schneider.

Frankfurt 7, Berlin 6

The Inferno and Smurfs tangled in a real German barn-burner in Berlin Tuesday, with Frankfurt pulling it out with two goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. The brightest display in the offensive display was Matt Read of Berlin, who scored a goal and had three assists. But Steven Stamkos scored his 26th and 27th of the year for Frankfurt, with linemate Claude Giroux getting 2 assists and the game-winning goal. Berlin, who played Monday, had 8 powerplay opportunities and scored once with the man advantage. Frankfurt’s Josh Gorges racked up 8 hits in the game, while Max Pacioretty had 2 assists and 5 shots.

Paris 5, Madrid 4 (overtime)

Kyle Turris put his Paris Rouges Eiffels in front 2-1 with a first-period powerplay goal, and then capped a Paris comeback with the goal in overtime. Madrid clawed their way back from the 2-1 deficit to score 3 goals in the second period, but Paris fought back to tie it and send it into overtime. Jose Theodore, in net for Paris, stopped 43 shots to keep his team in it, while teammate Corey Perry contributed with a pair of goals. Mike Green played a whale of a game for Paris, getting 2 assists, blocking 6 shots and registering 6 hits. He was also a plus 3 and the game’s first star. Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist, and Jeff Carter had 2 assists and 5 shots for the Royals, while their teammate Joe Pavelski had one goal, 6 shots and won 20 of 27 faceoffs.

Bern 6, Prague 3

Bern scored 3 in the first period and 2 in the second to enter the third period with a 5-0 shutout possible. But Prague scored three times to make it somewhat interesting for the home crowd before bowing to the Bears. Bern’s Ray Whitney (1 goal and 2 assists) and Jason Spezza (3 assists) led everyone in scoring, while five other Bears had 2 points on Tuesday. Tobias Enstrom blocked 4 shots and had 3 hits. On the Prague side of the scoresheet, three players had 4 shots on goal each but no points to show for it. Goals came from Chris Neil, Jason Pominville and Dmitri Kulikov.

Munich 4, Geneva 3 (shootout)

Geneva had a 3-1 lead heading toward the final minute of regulation time, but couldn’t handle the pressure put on them by Munich, once on a powerplay and then a half-minute later with the goalie pulled. The Foxes’ Steve Downie and Matt Cooke scored their 7th and 9th of the season respectively to get the game into overtime. Downie also assisted on the first goal of the game, scored by Patrik Elias. In the shootout, Munich goals by Joe Thornton and Saku Koivu bettered Geneva’s lone Patrick Marleau tally. Marleau, Marian Gaborik and Michael Del Zotto scored for the Generals.

Dublin 3, Edinburgh 2 (shootout)

A shootout went to five rounds before a winner was decided. In that round, Wayne Simmonds of the Capitals couldn’t beat Tim Thomas, while Bobby Ryan could beat Edinburgh’s James Reimer. Thomas made 44 saves in the game and was selected as the first star. After a 1-1 first period, Nick Schultz scored to put the Fightin’ Irish on top, but James Neal tied it up while a laser shot in the third period. Neal was an absolute shooting machine, getting one shot for each of the 12 Days of Christmas and one more for good luck. Two players had multi-point nights, each getting two assists: Tomas Plekanec of Dublin and John Tavares of Edinburgh.

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