After a 63-minute pitchers duel, Andrew Ladd scored on Helsinki’s Henrik Lundqvist in overtime Saturday to win the game for Moscow and even the series at 1 game a piece. For a while – a long while to Spartak fans and team members – it looked like King Henrik was going to claim another game. He stopped all 34 Moscow shots in regulation, including a sprawling glove save on Brandon Sutter in the third period. But fortunately for the Russians, their goalie Jaro Halak was doing just as well against Helsinki shooters. The Jokerit actually had the first chances in overtime, as they managed three shots on Halak, but Andrei Markov head-manned the puck after Halak’s last save and Spartak stormed down ice. A great pass from Anze Kopitar sent Ladd in on Lundqvist, and a deke and forehand shot ended the game 3:02 into overtime. Game 3: The teams should fly over St. Petersburg on a 1 hour, 50 minute flight from Moscow to Helsinki, a distance of 892 km (555 miles). Both coaches will surely be thinking of how to get pucks past their nemesis goalies and both should spend some time thinking about their powerplays. Moscow was 0 for 6 on powerplays Saturday (2 for 14 in the series), while the Jokerit were 0 for 5 (1 for 12 in the series). Helsinki’s Paul Stastny seemed to be buoyed by his game-winning goal on Thursday. On Saturday, he led everyone in shots on goal with 6.
St. Petersburg were only a little better than they were when they were embarrassed by Copenhagen on Thursday, but in Game 2, the Red Stars emerged with a series-tying 2-1 win. Credit Finnish goalie Pekka Rinne, who turned away 41 of the Tridents’ 42 shots. Cam Atkinson of St. Petersburg gave the Red Stars a 1-0 lead with his fourth goal in the second period, but 3:10 into the third period, Alexander Ovechkin banged in a Shea Weber rebound and the Tridents had finally broken through on Rinne. But the goalie wouldn’t give in again on any of the other 15 shots Copenhagen offered in the third period and overtime. Then disaster struck for the home team. About 13 and a half minutes into OT, Copenhagen’s Alex Goligoski mishandled a pass along the boards and behind the net. That was all the opening Petrograd needed. Jonathan Huberdeau corralled the puck and zipped a pass into the high slot to Dmitri Kalinin, the Chelyabinsk-born defenseman who had 2 points in 8 previous playoff games. He one-timed the pass and Roberto Luongo didn’t seem set for the puck. It blew past his left arm and the game was over. Copenhagen outshot the Red Stars 42-25 in the loss. Game 3: Each team will take a 2-hour flight to go 1,143 kilometers (710 miles) to Russia’s second largest city. Like the other teams in the Northern Conference playoffs, St. Petersburg and Copenhagen have had no success with their powerplays. Copenhagen is 0-14 in the series, St. Petersburg 0-12. The Tridents have been doing everything right in the series thus far and they may not make any changes. Rinne gave St. Petersburg confidence and his play overshadowed an improved performance by one of the Red Stars’ key skaters, Brent Burns, who logged 28 minutes, registered 6 hits and blocked 4 shots. A repeat performance by Rinne and Burns could frustrate the Tridents into making crucial mistakes.