London pins first loss on Helsinki

London 7, Helsinki 4

The London Dons emphatically stopped the Helsinki Jokerit unbeaten streak, firing 7 goals past Johan Hedberg in the first two periods and holding off Helsinki the rest of the way. London’s super efficient powerplay was the difference. The Dons capitalized on 5 of 7 man-advantage opportunities, with Jake Gardiner scoring two of those 5 goals. Michael Grabner recorded a powerplay goal and then more impressively, added a shorthanded goal in the first period to make it 3-1. London led 6-1 shortly before the game’s halfway point. Grabner led all scorers with 4 points, while teammate Jamie McBain had a goal and two assists and Helsinki’s Paul Stastny had 3 assists.

Bratislava 4, Minsk 3

Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and their Bratislava teammates handed the Minsk Hussars a one-goal loss that could have been more lopsided if not for the play of Minsk goalie Carey Price. For the third consecutive game, Minsk was seriously outshot, and in the last two games, Price kept them in it. In fact, on Tuesday, Minsk left with a win in a shootout over Munich. On Thursday, the Hussars were outshot by Bratislava 44-19; on Tuesday Munich outshot them 42-22; and on Sunday they were outshot 35-18 by Stockholm. Regardless, the Hussars have a winning record at 3-2-1. Toews scored twice on Thursday, and Hossa’s shorthanded goal in the second period was the back-breaker. David Schlemko, Bratislava’s sixth defenseman, was plus 3 to lead all players in the game. Nick Leddy, with 3 hits and 4 blocks, was Minsk’s best player.

Munich 4, Zurich 1

The Fox moved to 2-2-2 with a 4-1 win over Zurich (1-4-1) in Germany. Munich had a comfortable lead after the first period thanks to two assists by Brooks Laich and goals by Joe Thornton, Joe Corvo and Chris Higgins. Jonathan Quick was solid in goal for Munich, although Zurich’s Brian Elliott made 10 more saves. Thornton and Laich were the most noticeable players on the ice. Thornton had the goal, 7 hits and two blocked shots in 24 minutes, while Laich had the 2 assists, along with 5 hits  and 1 block in 19 minutes. Thornton won 14 of 25 faceoffs and Laich won 17 of 24. Drew Stafford and Joni Pitkanen were the best Lions, Stafford with an assist and 6 shots, and Pitkanen with 5 hits and 2 blocked shots.

Copenhagen 5, Gothenburg 2

The Tridents joined Helsinki at the top of the league standings by beating Gothenburg in Sweden. It was a close game until Copenhagen burned Devil goalie Martin Brodeur twice in the last six minutes, with Brandon Sutter scoring his second of the season and Tomas Fleischmann scoring his third. The Tridents added and empty-net goal a little later. Sutter now has 7 points in 6 games, putting him on pace to improve over last year when he ended with 41 points in 78 games. Copenhagen’s Stephen Weiss scored the only goal of the first period, his 5th of the season. Gothenburg got goals from Alec Martinez and Carl Hagelin.

Paris 6, Dublin 3

After a scoreless first period, each team scored 3 goals in the second and Paris finished off the Irish with all of the third period’s 3 goals.  Two of those last three goals were scored by Evgeni Malkin on assists from Jason Krog and Corey Perry. That trio was among the 8 Rouges Eiffels players who tallied 2 points on Thursday. But it was one-time Athens Greek Evander Kane who led all scorers, scoring 2 goals and adding an assist for the Irish. Goalie Tuukka Rask made 34 saves to earn the win for Paris.

Oslo 6, Bern 4

Bern had 11 powerplay opportunities and Oslo had 3, but both teams scored 2 powerplay goals. Penalty killing was a major factor in the win that brought Oslo’s record to 4-2 and dropped Bern’s to 4-1-1. Mike Cammalleri’s two goals helped the Bears go on top 4-2 late in the second period, but Oslo stormed back with 4 straight goals, the second of which being Alex Burrows’ hat trick goal. Burrows was outdone in the points category by teammate Pavel Datsyuk, who collected a goal and 3 assists.  Datsyuk currently leads the league in scoring with 6 goals and 6 assists in 6 games. Three players in addition to Cammalleri had multi-point games for Bern. Another tipping point in the game was hitting. Led in that category by defensemen Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Marc-Andre Bergeron, the Outlaws out-hit the Bears 39-22.

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