Thomas makes 44 saves to beat St. Pete

Dublin put forth a gritty effort to show they are no door mat for the Northern Conference’s top dog. In St. Petersburg, the Fighting Irish won 4-1 to even the second round series. Tim Thomas was the star of the game, for sure. The former Boston Bruin netminder made 44 saves, allowing just one past him as St. Petersburg outshot Dublin by a wide 45-22 margin.  During the regular season, Thomas’ save percentage of 0.890 was only the 20th best in the league. Pekka Rinne, who allowed 4 Dublin goals on Thursday, was the league’s best with a save percentage of .917 and a league-leading goals against average of 2.31.  For the first 40 minutes of play Thursday, only Ryan Kesler was able to score. The Irish center notched his 8th of the playoffs in the first period off a pretty feed from linemate Phil Kessel.  In the third period, when Artem Anisimov tied it for St. Petersburg, it looked like the world was right again for the home fans. But with 8 minutes remaining, Dublin struck again, and then 3 and a half minutes later, they silenced the building with two more clinching goals. Nikita Nikitin scored the eventual game winner, Kesler scored his second of the game on the powerplay and veteran Jaromir Jagr scored his first EURO playoff goal to finish off the Lynx. Keith Yandle had 4 blocked shots for Dublin, while teammate Zbynek Michalek and Kesler had 3 each. Brad Richards had 7 shots for the losing Petrograd team, with defensemen Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brent Burns each firing 6 shots at Thomas. The series will now move west for Ireland and Game 3.

Copenhagen 5, Stockholm 4

Kevin Shattenkirk’s second goal of the game broke a 4-4 tie in the third period and won it for the Copenhagen Tridents. The Danish team now has a 2-0 lead in the series. Both of Shattenkirk’s goals were assisted by Derek Roy and Troy Brouwer. The line of Roy, Brouwer and Heatley continue to baffle the Spartans in this series. On Thursday, Roy had 4 assists. In the playoffs, Brouwer and Heatley have 12 points each, while Roy and Shattenkirk have 10 each. In the first round, Copenhagen defeated another Swedish team, Gothenburg, in seven games. On Thursday, they outshot Stockholm 34-25 and scored 4 goals in the second period. Stockholm’s Ryan Smyth scored his first and second of the playoffs, while Tuomo Ruutu had a goal and 2 assists. Three Copenhagen defensemen banged bodies all night, with Travis Hamonic and Mark Fayne each registering 6 hits with 5 more coming from Keaton Ellerby.

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