Frankfurt 6, Minsk 3
Max Pacioretty and Steven Stamkos were too hot to handle Monday, as each scored two goals and assisted on the other’s pair of goals. The victim of it all was Minsk goalie Carey Price, who still made 29 saves in the lopsided contest. For both Pacioretty and Stamkos, it was goals number 6 and 7 of the season. Stamkos now has 9 assists to go with the goals, while Pacioretty has 5 assists. Oddly, their linemate Claude Giroux managed just one point – an assist on an empty-netter by Pacioretty. While Hussar defenseman Andrej Sekera had 2 assists, teammate Niklas Backstrom had a bad day in 21 minutes mainly against the Stamkos line. Backstrom finished as a minus 4. Pacioretty has shown a lot of improvement so far this season for the Inferno. The young left wing scored 39 points last season to put him fifth on the team. This season, he has more than a point per game,with 12 points in 11 appearances, putting him in a tie for second on the team with Alex Steen. He has also been responsible with the puck, with only 11 giveaways to his 19 takeaways and he’s a plus 3 to this point in the season. One area where Pacioretty could improve is in penalty minutes. He and Drew Doughty lead the team in that category with 16 minutes. If everyone on the Frankfurt lineup was improving at Pacioretty speed, they would be much higher in the standings than their 3-6-2 record has them.
Elsewhere in the EURO League tonight:
London 6, Belfast 1 – What a great day to be a right winger wearing a Dons sweater. Second-line right wing David Clarkson scored a hat trick and had 4 points, and first-line right wing Michal Grabner had two goals and 4 points. All six of London’s goals were powerplay goals and the Giants gave them 13 tries with the man advantage.
Bern 6, Athens 1 – The Bears gave Athens a 1-0 head start after a period, but then they poured it on, finding the net 5 times in the second period and once more in the third. Four Bern players finished with 2 points each, and defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Brent Seabrook combined for 10 hits and 6 blocked shots.
Dublin 4, Geneva 3 – Tom Thomas, who was the scourge of a couple of teams in last year’s playoffs, held up to a strong Geneva finish and preserved the 2 points for the Fighting Irish. Dublin jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, with goals by Nick Schultz, Ryan Kesler and Phil Kessel. A Bobby Ryan goal in the second period was the eventual game-winner.
Copenhagen 3, Oslo 2 (OT-SO) – Penalties might have cost the Outlaws a win. They were shorthanded 8 times and gave up 2 powerplay goals to Dany Heatley (his 6th) and Andrew Ladd (2nd). The Tridents goals were offset by Ryan Suter (4th) and Mikhail Grabovski (5th) goals for Oslo to set up overtime and the shootout which saw only one goal, a Tomas Fleischman shot that beat Jimmy Howard.
Bratislava 2, Helsinki 1 – The Eagles swooped into Helsinki and nabbed 2 points in the standings, thanks to a strong game by all-star defensemen Zdeno Chara. The big Bratislava captain assisted on goals by Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa before Helsinki could get on the scoreboard with a Anton Volchenkov shorthanded goal. Craig Anderson earned the win with 25 saves.
(Editor’s note: I will sometimes fail to write reports over the weekends, as you probably noticed this weekend. I will try to write, but I will sometimes give myself a day or two off. If anyone else would like to fill in, let me know.)