The Geneva Generals won twice in the last three days and have solidified themselves as the third best team in the EURO thus far. For a long while, Bern was the class of the league, only to passed by hard skating St. Petersburg squad. Then there was the rest of the league. But Geneva is now 34-11-4 and their 72 points puts them just 2 behind Bern and 4 points ahead of Prague, which currently sits in fourth place overall. Against Bern on Friday, Mike Fisher led the charge with 7 shots, a goal and an assist. In that game, Bern’s Jason Spezza scored his 34th of the year while teammate Jesse Winchester recorded his first ever EURO goal. A couple of days earlier, Geneva had 6 players each score 2 points apiece in a 6-2 win in Helsinki. Defenseman Dennis Wideman scored a pair of goals and was plus 3 with partner Nicklas Lidstrom.
Oslo wins two shootouts
The Devils won two close games Wednesday and Friday, with Minsk and St. Petersburg battling them into shootouts that had very different feels. Against Minsk, the only one of 6 shooters who could get the puck into the net was Oslo’s Thomas Vanek. Against the Lynx, five of 6 shooters scored, with only St. Petersburg’s Erik Cole missing. In the Minsk game, Hussra Jakub Voracek scored a pair of goals, only to be countered by Oslo all-star Mikhail Grabovski’s two. Each player also had an assist. Minsk led 4-2 halfway through the contest, gave up the lead and found themselves trailing by a goal until a Ryan McDonagh goal got them a point in the standings by sending the game into overtime. Nic Backstrom ha d 4 assists for Oslo. Against the league-leading Lynx, Ryan Suter and defense partner Shea Weber were plus 2 and Suter scored the game’s first goal.Jimmy Howard bested Pekka Rinne in goal, making 24 saves to Rinne’s 23 in regulation and stopping one more shot than Rinne did in the shootout.
3 shutouts in 3 days
Scott Cllemensen, Roberto Luongo and Ilya Brazgalov all posted shutouts over the last 3 days, but none had to make more than 19 saves as their teams won lopsided games. Clemmensen was in goal for Munich as they beat Frankfurt 5-0 and outshot them 35-19. Milan Hejduk was the star of the game, scoring 2 goals on 5 shots and adding 3 hits to his linescore. Fox defenseman Dan Boyle had 2 assists and was a plus 2 with 2 blocked shots. Frankfurt’s Chris Kelly got 5 shots on Clemmensen in just 13 minutes of ice time. Copehagen’s Luongo shut out Dublin as the Tridents outshot the Fighting Irish 31-18. Derek Roy scored a goal and had an assist to lead Copenhagen, while teammate Boyd Gordon threw his weight around in the 6 minutes he played, getting credit for 4 hits. Stephen Weiss scored a goal on one of his 6 shots on goal. Bryzgalov was the difference for Edinburgh in a closer game, as the Capitals defeated London 3-0 and posting a 25-19 advantage in shots on goal. Brandon Dubinsky scored one of the Caps goals, with Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Lauri Korpikoski getting the other two. Jay Bouwmeester blocked 4 shots for Edinburgh.
Dublin, Minsk and Bratislava each lost 2 games int he last 3 days. In addition to Dublin’s aforementioned loss to Copenhagen, they dropped a 4-2 decision to St. Petersburg two days earlier. In that game, they deserved a better fate, outshooting the Lynx 41-25. St. Petersburg got goals from David Legwand and Brent Burns in the first two periods while Rinne was turning away all 27 Dublin shots he faced. The third period was a 2-2 tie, but Dublin couldn’t overcome the earlier deficit. Burns and Kevin Bieksa were plus 2 as a defense pairing for the Lynx. The shootout loss to Oslo might have taken some of the steam out of Minsk, as they then dropped a 7-2 game at home to Paris, despite the fact they outshot Les Rouges Eiffels 28-23. Jonas Gustavsson had big troubles in the Minsk net, getting beaten 6 times in 16 shots. Alex Pietrangelo and forward Drew Miller were both plus 3 for Paris, while the winning side also got good games from Mike Green (a goal and an assist, plus 2) and Joffrey Lupul (3 assists). For Minsk, Kyle Clifford had 5 shots on goal and scored once, while Sergei Kostitsyn scored once on one of his 4 shots. Bratislava took one on the chin with a 4-2 loss in nearby Prague before taking one in the gut with a 4-1 loss in the their own building to Stockholm. In Prague, Sparta scored three times in the second period to open a gaping lead. Jason Blake, P-A Parenteau and Brett Clark did the honors for Prague, which went 3 for 10 in powerplay chances. Blake, Parenteau and Jussi Jokinen all ended the game with 2 points. In Bratislava’s next game, it was Cam Ward who hurt the Eagles most. The goalie stopped 32 of 33 shots. Despite being outshot by 10, Stockholm made their chances count by scoring 4 times before Bratislava’s Jason Arnott could ruin Ward’s shutout bid. Eric Staal had 2 assists to lead the Spartans in scoring, while Matt Hendricks made an impression with 4 hits in 3 minutes of ice time.
Lots of shots in Moscow
Vodka wasn’t the only thing measured in shots in Moscow on Thursday. Excitement for the home fans was too, as their Dynamo outshot Prague 44-32 in a wild contest that saw the Dynamo come out on top 3-1. Mike Knuble and Dave Bolland scored first-period goals on Sergei Bobrovsky, before James van Riemsdyk made it 3-0 in the second period. Jason Blake scored for Prague to make it 3-1 in the third period, but that’s where the goal scoring stopped. Jaroslav Halak earned the win in goal with 31 saves, while four players had 6 or more shots on goal: Moscow’s Knuble and Anze Kopitar (7 each) and Prague’s Zach Parise (7) and Jason Pominville (6). There was also plenty of hitting in the game. Marcus Johansson registered 6 hits for Moscow, with Van Riemsdyk getting 5, and Tom Gilbert of Prague had 6 hits.
A game before Clemmensen’s shutout of Frankfurt, he watched form the bench as his Munich teammates overwhelmed Gothenburg 6-2. Six different Fox players scored goals and Jonathan Quick was solid in goal, stopping 26 of Gothenburg’s 28 shots.Milan Hejduk, Patrik Elias and Joe Thornton all had 3-point nights for Munich, while Dion Phaneuf and Chris Higgins added two points apiece.
Jackman goal equals 2 points for Lions
Zurich won one and lost one in the last three days, with Barrett Jackman’s 9th goal of the season proving to be the game winner against visiting Paris on Wednesday. The third-period tally came after a shorthanded goal by Zurich’s Patrick Kane tied the contest. Alexander Semin’s goal had given Les Rouges Eiffels a 1-0 lead. Paris’ Tukka Rask was forced to make 36 saves in a losing cause while Brian Elliott made 25 stops for Zurich. Ilya Kovalchuk led all shooters with 8 shots on goal, but the game was really won in the faceoff circles. Patrice Bergeron won 24 of 30 draws for Zurich, while teammate Kane won 16 of 20. In Belfast the next day, Elliott was again in goal, but the Giants’ Sidney Crosby got the better of him scoring twice in the second half of the game to lead Belfast to a 4-2 triumph. Crosby has been either injured or quiet most of the season and he now has 8 goals. Belfast was given 10 powerplays and was able to get 2 goals on Elliott. They also outshot Zurich 31-23. Matt Duchene had two assists for Belfast.
Gothenburg bounces back in Italy
A day after dropping the 6-2 game to Munich, Gothenburg went to Milan and came home with 2 points thanks to a 5-3 win over the Guerriero. The teams traded goals until Ales Hemsky, Cal Clutterbuck and Alec Martinez scored to open a 3-goal gap for Gothenburg. Ryan Jones had 3 assists in the game while playing on a line with Clutterbuck and Adam Henrique. Dan Girardi contributed to the win with 4 blocked shots, while Milan’s Henrik Sedin remained hot with 2 assists along with 5 hits and one blocked shot. Sedin now has at least a point in 12 straight games for Milan.
Smurfs come back
Brandon Prust scored his 6th of the year to stake the Royals to a 1-0 lead at home, but Berlin battled back in the second period, scoring three times. Both teams mustered 28 shots on goal, but Berlin’s Mika Kiprusoff was outstanding, stopping 27 Madrid shots. Braydon Coburn had a good game for berlin, dishing out 5 hits and blocking a shot while being plus 2 for the game. Nikolai Kulemin and Logan Couture each had 2-point games for the Smurfs. Roman Polak was the Royals’ best player, delivering 5 hits and blocking two shots.