The race for the second-ever EURO Cup might go from a 4-team field to a 2-horse race very soon. Both St. Petersburg and Paris have stormed their way to 3-0 leads in the conference finals that started Friday.
St. Petersburg leads Edinburgh in series, 3-0
This series has been close for the first two periods, but not since then. In Game 1, Luke Schenn’s first goal of the playoffs gave Edinburgh a lead, but Blake Wheeler tied the game a period later. The third period was all St. Petersburg, and so were the next two games. The Red Stars won 5-1, 6-3 and 4-1 and have put Edinburgh into a must-win situation tonight. So, Edinburgh has ‘em right where they want ‘em. The Capitals were on the brink of elimination against Dublin twice in the first round, and in an identical 3-games-down hole last round against Copenhagen. Pekka Rinne of St. Petersburg will be guarding the net and trying to prevent the Scottish magic from occurring again. The Petrograd players who have done the most damage to Edinburgh so far in the series are Valterri Filppula (1 goal and 6 assists in 3 games), Wheeler (3 goals and 3 assists), Brad Richards (3 goals and 3 assists), Erik Cole (2 goals and 2 assists), Olli Jokinen (2 goals and 2 assists) and Marty St. Louis (1 goal and 3 assists). Nine other Red Stars have points in the series which has seen St. Petersburg outshoot Edinburgh 112-81 so far. Penalty killing has also been good for St. Petersburg. They have allowed one Caps goal in 19 PP tries. The Red Stars have 5 powerplay goals in 17 tries. Neither team has injuries to contend with right now.
Paris leads Athens in series, 3-0
Athens’ big guns, which had been firing with regularity during the payoffs, fell silent in France. Paris won game one 3-1, then won 3-2 before taking to Athens ice for a resounding 6-1 victory in Game 3. Kris Letang and David Perron were Paris’ top stars in games 1 and 2of the series, respectively. Letang scored two goals in Game 1, both of which gave Les Rouges Eiffels a two-goal cushion. In Game 2, with Athens ahead 2-0 late in the second period, Perron scored twice to send the game into overtime, when Alexander Semin scored the deciding goal just 2 and a half minutes in. In Game 3, in front of the home folks, Vadim Shipachyov scored a goal that seemed to right the ship, but Paris had the game tied 5 minutes later and Letang was at it again, scoring 2 goals to lead the Eiffels to a 3-0 series lead. Shots on goal were dead even in Game 1, with Paris holding a 6-shot edge in Game 2 and Paris an 11-shot lead in Game 3. The Paris powerplay is 3 for 14, with Athens going 1-17 on the powerplay. . Neither team has injuries to contend with right now.