By a goal, Moscow Spartak are champions of the EURO League.
The Russian team won 3-2 against the defending champion Paris Rouges Eiffels Thursday night. Moscow seemed to have won it with superior effort in the second and third periods, when they outshot Paris 10-4 and 14-5. Anze Kopitar’s 9th playoff goal was the eventual game-winner. It came on a powerplay early in the third period and put his team ahead 3-1. Paris defense star Kris Letang countered with a powerplay goal of his own – his 13th of the post season – with 8:09 left to play. Moscow shut the door in front of Jaroslav Halak the rest of the period, although he was tested on scoring opportunities by Mikka Koivu and Drew Miller.
Officiating, which was called into question after Game 5, was not an issue Thursday evening. Moscow enjoyed 7 powerplay chances and Paris had 6.
Spartak’s Brandon Sutter opened the scoring with 6:19 left in the first period, but Paris tied it on a Josef Vasicek tally. The second period saw just one goal, a laser from Moscow defenseman Andrei Markov, who was later named the first star of the game.
While both teams entered the contest at full health, Paris suffered an injury in the second period when forward David Perron had to leave the ice with an apparent groin injury. He played 4 minutes in the final game before he had to be taken off. Perron had been the left wing on the Rouges Eiffels’ second line with Mike Ribeiro and Alexander Semin. He was also slated to see significant powerplay time.
For Moscow general manager Michael Banker, the win looks to be his 22nd Websim championship, if the profile page can be read properly.