Helsinki now 3-0 with improbable win

Helsinki 3, Gothenburg 2

Helsinki overcame the fact they let a 2-0 lead vanish, and the fact they were outshot 41-26, and that they gave Gothenburg 8 chances to score on the powerplay. In the third period, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 17 shots and veteran Ryan Smyth scored his second of the year with about 4 minutes left to win it for the 3-0 Jokerit. Helsinki had to battle through a 5-on-3 disadvantage in the third period. Earlier in the game, in a similar 5-on-3 situation they gave up a goal to Adam Henrique which tied the game at 2-2. Paul Stastny of Helsinki and Jordan Eberle of the Devils each scored a goal and had an assist.

Berlin 4, Moscow 3

The Smurfs put in a hard third period to win it at home. Berlin trailed Moscow 3-1 early in the second period after the Spartak got goals from Rich Peverley (2) and Dave Bolland.  But the Smurfs came back with Ladislav Smid, who had 3 goals and 7 assists in 81 games last year, playing a major offensive role. The big defenseman started two scoring plays that were finished by Nikolai Kulemin and Nick Bonino (the second goal of the season for both) and the game was tied at 3-3 early in the third period. Berlin killed off nine Moscow powerplays and while the Smurfs had a two-man advantage with less than 4 minutes to go, Kris Versteeg tucked a backhander behind Moscow’s Jaroslav Halak for the winner.

Bratislava 4, Stockholm 2

Six players scored their first goals of the season in a 4-2 win for the Eagles in Sweden. Nikolai Khabibulin also experienced a first. It was the former Moscow netminder’s first game in a Bratislava uniform and he stopped 31 shots to be named the game’s first star. Cam Ward stopped 36 shots for Stockholm in a losing effort. Tyler Ennis, dropped to the fourth line due to fatigue, produced a goal and an assist and was plus 2 in 7 minutes of playing time. Zdeno Chara scored the game winner on a third-period powerplay.

Prague 6, Edinburgh 1

The Capitals are not getting the start they wanted and it didn’t help that the top line in Prague – Bryan Little, Ryan Getzlaf and Zach Parise – is overflowing with confidence like a pilsner glass overflowing with draft beer. (You see, pilsners originated near Prague in Plzen, Czechoslovakia). The trio got off 15 shots on Edinburgh’s Ilya Bryzgalov and each member of the line scored at least one goal. Getzlaf had two. Parise added 3 assists to his goal. Ryan Miller was solid in net for the Sparta, making 25 saves and allowing only a goal by Lauri Korpikoski late in the first period. Prague has won all three of its games this season while the Caps have lost their three.

Athens 5, Munich 3

Knowing they would have a tough row to hoe Friday because of injuries to forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Nathan Horton, the Athens Greeks turned it up a notch, producing a fiery first period that featured a 17-5 shots advantage and three Greek goals to none for the Fox. Lubomir Visnovsky scored his second and third goals of the season to give his team a 2-0 lead and Scott Hartnell added one before the first 20 minutes were done. The head start was important because the final two-thirds of the game was pretty even. Munich scored three times to Athens’ two over that stretch. Athens is 2-1 to start the season, while Munich is 1-1-1.

Copenhagen 3, Minsk 2 (OT-SO)

The Tridents outshot the Hussars 37-25 in Minsk, but had to get a Dany Heatley goal in the third period to knot the game at 2-2 and get it to overtime and a shootout. Alex Goligoski scored the only shootout goal in a battle of Canadian goalies – Copenhagen’s Roberto Luongo and Minsk’s Carey Price. Stephen Weiss had a nice game for Copenhagen. He had 7 shots on goal, an assist, 4 hits and was 23 of 37 in the faceoff circle. Both teams’ penalty killers will probably get to bed early tonight after getting real workouts. Copenhagen was 1 for 10 on the powerplay while Minsk was unsuccessful in all 8 of their man advantage opportunities.  Minsk has played a rough brand of hockey this season and is ranked behind only Oslo in penalty minutes per game.

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