Three teams scored 6 or more goals Sunday as the third Euro League started with several bangs.
- Seven different Edinburgh players scored goals on London goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the first 30 minutes, forcing London coach Ken Hitchcock to give Braden Holtby a premature pro debut. Holtby responded by stopping all 13 shots he faced. In his 11th game in an Edinburgh uniform, Turkey-born Gurkan Cetinkaya scored his first E goal. London’s Zach Bogosian had 5 shot blocks in the contest.
- Stockholm, starting 5 rookies, began well but fell to a late onslaught by the Milan Guerriero. Milan defenseman Gerhard Unterluggauer was named the game’s first star with a goal, an assist and 5 shots on goal. Unterluggauer scored 12 goals and 28 points as a rookie last season and will get a chance to play top line minutes with Milan this season.
- Frankfurt’s top line of Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux and Max Pacioretty came out flying and accounted for 3 of the Inferno’s goals in a 6-2 win over visiting Belfast. Frankfurt outshot their guests 38-21. Inferno defenseman Dougie Hamilton blocked 5 Belfast shots.
- Munich beat Madrid in a shootout with Jonathan Quick proving to be the difference-maker. He made 41 saves for the Fox. Madrid went up 3-1 with 6 minutes left in the second period, but two goals by Matt Cooke forced the game into overtime. Dave Bolland of Munich, who played for Moscow in Season 1 and Copenhagen last season, was the only one of five players who was able to score in the shootout.
- Tomas Fleischmann scored two goals and Stephen Weiss tallied three points as Copenhagen won its much-anticipated opener in Paris against the EURO Cup champs. Roberto Luongo stopped 32 Rouge Eiffel shots to earn the win. The game featured a lot of hitting, with Paris’ Kris Letang leading everyone with 5 hits.
- In the only game that saw fewer than 6 goals scored, Bratislava stifled Minsk 2-1 with Craig Anderson in goal. The most memorable part of the game occurred late in the second period. After complaining about a call against him, Eagle captain Zdeno Chara watched from the penalty box as Minsk’s Niclas Backstrom scored a powerplay goal to narrow the Bratislava lead to 2-1. A little while after leaving the penalty box Chara started and won a fight with Minsk’s young, tough Maxim Chudinov, seemingly dissipating the momentum the Hussars got from the goal. Minsk got only 5 shots on goal in period 3. There was one other fight in the league Monday: Belfast’s P.K. Subban and Jonas Holos battled to a draw in the game in Frankfurt.
The other 12 EURO League teams will open their season today.
- Cup runners-up St. Petersburg, with rookie Brenden Dillon, and vets Ales Hemsky and Wayne Simmonds set to make their debuts in Red Stars sweaters, will host the Kronwall brothers and Athens;
- Rookie GM Brad Denea will get his first taste of EURO hockey when his Dublin Fighting Irish teams plays in Zurich to face the high-flying Lions;
- The new look Gothenburg Devils featuring Martin St. Louis and Antti Niemi journey 3 hours north to Oslo to face Ryan Suter, Shea Weber and the Outlaws. Rookie Matt Irwin gets the start in the second defense pairing for Oslo;
- Young players in Prague like Justin Schultz and Nail Yakupov will get prominent roles in their home opener against the Smurfs who will see how newcomers like Josh Gorges, Ryan Callahan, Patric Hornqvist and coach Adam Oates look with Berlin sweaters around them.
- Geneva, with their $9 million man Kari Lehtonen in goal, will be in Helsinki, where the newest sight will be the second line of recently acquired wingers Alexander Burrows and Ryan Clowe flanking rookie center Cody Eakin.
- Moscow coach Glen Gulutzan, who tore up his game plans and practice drills when he was fired, is now rewriting them after Moscow GM Michael Banker took him back. He will be taking a close look at recently acquired forwards Derek Roy and Chris Higgins to see how they’ll fit into the new plans. Bern will be the opposition. The Bears have a veteran team that’s played together for two years. Mika Zibanejad will see more ice time this season and Dalton Prout steps into a starting role as a rookie on defense.
Sorry about jinxing someone, but Day 1 of the season passed without a single injured player.