Recap of Tuesday games
Frankfurt 4, Athens 2 – A bad spell for the league’s top teams continued Tuesday as the Frankfurt Inferno toppled the Greeks in Athens, thanks primarily to a strong third period. With the score 2-1 in favor of Athens, Alex Steen scored a shorthanded goal to tie it and then his teammates added two more goals to distance themselves from the league leaders. Claude Giroux and Drew Doughty scored their 25th and 7th goals of the season, respectively, after Steen’s 8th. Dougie Hamilton, Joe Thornton and Steven Stamkos each tallied 2 assists for the Inferno, and Doughty and Hamilton finished plus 3 for the night. Athens has now lost 5 straight games and 7 of its last 8.
Berlin 6, Dublin 1 – The Smurfs were angry and they took the fight out of the Fighting Irish Tuesday. The first two periods were all Berlin. The Smurfs outshot Dublin 29-13 over that span and had goal contributions from five different forwards and defenseman Matt Carle. In the third period, they just dumped the puck when they could and camped out in front of their goalie, Jimmy Howard, allowing Dublin to post a 12-1 shot advantage. Still, no goals were scored that period. Patric Hornqvist led all scorers with 4 points and 8 shots, while Logan Couture and Nathan Horton each had 3. Couture also had 3 shot blocks.
St. Petersburg 5, Oslo 2 – Brad Richards scored two goals to hit the 20-goal plateau and the Red Stars were totally dominant on home ice, outshooting the Outlaws 36-22. Viktor Stalberg, Mats Zuccarello and Dmitri Kalinin also scored for Petrograd and Jonathan Huberdeau had 2 assists. Richards has boosted his offensive production this year, having already surpassed his goal total of 18 during Season 3. He is on pace to have his second-best offensive season, although his plus-minus rating is worse than it’s ever been. In Season 1, when he was a starter in the All-Star Game for the North, he recorded 40 goals and 109 points.
Bratislava 6, Paris 5 – Captain Zdeno Chara threw his weight around during three periods against Paris and then he ended it suddenly with a slapshot goal in overtime, his 7th of the season. Chara delivered 5 hits against the Season 2 champs, putting in a good 25 minutes of ice time with partner Tyler Myers, who also scored a goal. Myers is currently tied with injured Dustin Byfuglien for the league lead in goals by a defenseman with 15. He is also tied for second in points by a defenseman. With increased playing time, Myers has already zoomed best his personal best point totals for a season. Eagle right wing Marian Hossa had 3 assists to lead all scorers and Paris defenseman Jason Krog scored a pair of goals to give him 8 this season. Krog, 33, has been an important and consistent performer for Paris in his three seasons, and he is on pace to again post a point total of about 37 points.
Minsk 6, Moscow 3 – It was Belarus besting Mother Russia on Tuesday, thanks mainly to a strong second period that saw the Hussars break a 2-2 tie by scoring three goals. Gustav Nyquist, Patrik Berglund and Nicklas Backstrom scored on Moscow goalie Jaroslav Halak during that period and for Backstrom, it was the second goal in a hat trick night. He also had 7 shots on goal and 5 blocked shots. Jakub Voracek had assists on all three Backstrom goals. Jason Garrison, with a goal and an assist, was Moscow’s top contributor. Moscow and Minsk will go at it again tonight in Minsk, for the second of a home-and-home series.
Bern 3, Geneva 2 – A tight battle between two Swiss foes came down to a shootout and Bern’s Mike Smith, Jason Spezza and Radim Vrbata won it for the Bears. Smith stopped Geneva shooters Chris Kunitz and Patrick Marleau and both of his skating teammates scored on Frederik Andersen. During regulation, the same names made the scoresheet. Marleau and Dennis Wideman scored to give Geneva a 2-0 lead and Kunitz assisted on both first-period goals. But Spezza scored in the second and again in the third to tie it. Spezza is on pace for his third 100-point season in four years. His fifth all-time in scoring with 354 points trailing only Steven Stamkos (399), Ryan Kesler (388), Evgeny Malkin (375) and Stephen Weiss (356).