Dublin 3, Stockholm 1
The Fighting Irish jumped over two teams into seventh place in the Northern Conference Friday. Evander Kane scored twice and Ryan Kesler added his 8th of the season to lead Dublin. Kane leads the team in shots and is tied for third in scoring while Kesler leads the team in scoring with 14 points in 13 games. Stopping all but one of Stockholm’s 22 shots was 38-year-old goalie Tim Thomas, the team’s assistant captain. Thomas shares the Irish netminding duties with the Evgeny Nabokov, the team’s captain. The Irish are the only team in the league with a goalie as captain and another as assistant captain. But five other teams – all in the Northern Conference – have goalies in leadership roles. Roberto Luongo wears the C in Copenhagen and J.S. Giguere leads Bern. Ilya Bryzgalov is an assistant captain in Edinburgh and Henrik Lundqvist in one in Helsinki. And both of Minsk’s assistant captains are goalies – Marty Biron and Carey Price – under captain Nick Backstrom. Umm, not Nick Backstrom the goalie … Nick Backstrom the center. Friday’s game was a matchup of two of the league’s most offensively minded teams. Going into it, Stockholm was second in the league in shots on goal, with Dublin right behind them. Dublin’s win evens the season series between the Irish and Spartans at one win each. Eight days ago, Cam Ward made 41 saves and three defensemen scored for Stockholm to beat Dublin. A different defenseman – Jordan Leopold – scored their only goal Friday and Ward watched from the bench.
Bratislava 4, Moscow 3 – Bratislava peppered Jaroslav Halak with 48 shots and emerged with a one-goal win. Kyle Brodziak took 8 of those shots but was held scoreless. Moscow’s penalty killers were perfect on 10 Eagles powerplays and they even scored once while shorthanded, David Bolland doing the honors. Bratislava’s biggest goals came in the third period, which began 2-2, when rookie Milan Gulas and veteran Martin Erat put them up 4-2.
Madrid 5, St. Petersburg 2 – Madrid had been outshooting visiting St. Petersburg 32-9 after two periods but they found themselves in a 2-2 game with 10 minutes to play. Then Brian Gionta scored his first goal of the season and fellow Royals Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay followed suit with more goals. Tanguay and Madrid defender Sergei Gonchar were the game’s top scorers with 2 points each.
Munich 4, Gothenburg 3 – The Devils would have won this game 3-0 if the second period didn’t count. But in the middle session, Patrik Elias scored a pair of goals and Foxes Dion Phaneuf and Chris Higgins also scored on Gothenburg goalie Martin Brodeur. Elias and Gothenburg’s Carl Hagelin and Teemu Selanne all scored their 8th goals of the year. Jonathan Quick made 31 saves to earn the win for Munich, while Gothenburg defenseman Dan Girardi blocked a painful 6 shots.
Athens 4, Minsk 0 – Athens played tough at home, outshooting the Hussars 38-21. Opening the scoring in the first period was Ryan O’Reilly, whose first of the season came while Athens was killing a penalty. Greek defenseman Tim Gleason also scored his first goal of the season and David Backes added his 6th and 7th. Top draft pick Staffan Kronwall had two assists, as did T.J. Oshie. In goal for the shutout was Michal Neuvirth, who now has an eye-popping 1.19 goals against and .955 save percentage through 4 games. Neuvirth was originally Madrid Royals property, coming to Athens in a Season 1 trade along with Nick Johnson and a first round draft pick which was part of another trade. Athens sent Tomas Vokoun to Madrid in the deal.
Zurich 3, Milan 2 (OT) – The Guerriero had just fought off a two-man Zurich advantage when Patrice Bergeron turned their pride into sadness with a flick of the wrists. Bergeron’s fifth of the season came after he took a pass from Patrick Sharp and it ended a hard-fought game that saw Zurich outshoot visiting Milan 39-33. Zurich led 2-0 on goals by Manny Malhotra and Alexander Radulov, but Milan fought back with two shorthanded tallies – by Matt Moulson and Mike Richards. Thirty-four players have scored shorthanded goals this season and five of them are Guerriero, all of them with 1 shorthanded goal.