Oslo 4, Geneva 1 – Mikhail Grabovski had one of his better games on Saturday and he has had a lot of good games this season.He help the Outlaws engineer a pair of first period goals, scoring one of them himself and then he added two assists in the third period. Grabovksi was voted to the first all-star game and he has since remained one of the league best centers. He scored 30 goals and 83 points in 82 games last season, then 9 points in 7 playoff games for Oslo, and his production rate has gone up slightly this year, with 27 points in 24 games. Grabovski ended up as the leading scorer on a team that includes a Sedin and a Datsyuk. He is again at the top of the team’s scoring list, but he has company there with former Prague Sparta player P-A Parenteau. His plus 31 rating last year – plus 18 so far in Season 2 – shows he is not one-dimensional. And the 28-year-old is in Norway long-term, with 4 years remaining on a $2.9 million contract. When Pavel Datsyuk is healthy, the Outlaws line up with two highly productive lines. Their top six forwards are Grabovski, Datsyuk, Parenteau, Daniel Sedin, Daniel Briere and Alex Burrows. They are a big reason the 14-9-1 Outlaws are 4th in the Northern Conference. But they have plenty more than the aforementioned forwards. Most teams and media focus on their marquee defensemen, former Nashville partners Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, who are both plus 17 this season. And in goal, they look pretty good. Jimmy Howard is the main tendy (17 games, 2.87 goals against average and .898 save percentage) but rookie Fredrick Norrena has played a little better (7 GP, 2.70 GAA and .921 save percentage).
Stockholm 7, London 3 – Backup goalie Richard Backman had his hands full in Stockholm Saturday, but his and teammates wish they were fuller – with pucks. Eric Staal had a field day with 5 assists for the Spartans. Loui Eriksson was the main recipient of Staal’s playmaking with two goals, Shane Doan also scored two, but managed with to get one of them without Staal’s help. Both Eriksson and Doan had 8 shots on goal. London’s Taylor Hall scored two goals and had one assist.
St. Petersburg 3, Prague 2 – Rookie Jonathan Huberdeau’s first EURO goal was a game-winner. It came in the third period in Prague with newly acquired Martin St. Louis picking up one of the assists. Huberdeau also assisted on Brent Burns’ 8th goal of the season which tied the game at 2-2 in the first period. Prague gave up 9 powerplays in the game and Red Stars scored on one of them.
Milan 3, Moscow 2 (OT) – Mike Richards, who took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with 2 seconds left in a tie game, redeemed himself by scoring the game-winning goal in overtime for the Guerriero. Milan’s Daniel Alfredsson scored a big goal in the third period, his 9th of the season on the powerplay to tie it. Alfredsson led his team in shots on goal with 6. Anze Kopitar had the most of anyone with 8 and he assisted on Alexander Ovehckin’s 12th of the season. Ovechkin also had an assist.
Paris 6, Copenhagen 4 – Copenhagen scored the first three goals of the game and had that 3-0 lead until Jason Krog of Paris scored on the powerplay nearly 11 minutes into the second period. Les Rouges Eiffels then seized control of the game with four more following Krog’s goal. Their first three goals were all scored by defensemen. Five Eiffels players ended with 2 points.
Berlin 5, Athens 4 – Ray Whitney scored his 1oth goal of the season on the powerplay with just 12 seconds left to leave the Greeks without a point at home Saturday. The 40-year-old is now second on the Smurfs in goal scoring. He scored 41 for Bern in 75 games last year. Whitney, David Krejci and Alexander Edler each had a goal and an assist for the Smurfs. Rookie Vadim Shipachyov scored twice for Athens and now has 5 this season. Another Greek rookie, Staffan Kronwall, dished out 7 hits in the contest. Veteran Brian Campbell of Berlin was very visible in his 19 minutes of play, scoring as goal, registering 4 hits and 3 blocked shots.