Recap of Wednesday games
Gothenburg 5, Munich 2 – The Dire Wolf fought hard to tie the game 2-2 in the second period, but they seemed to deflate a bit when Gothenburg’s Mikael Backlund and John Carlson scored 44 second apart later in the period. For Carlson, it was his second of the game and 10th of the season. Pekka Rinne held the fort in the third period for the Devils, making 10 of his 34 total saves. The top scorers in the game were Carlson and teammates Zach Parise and Eric Staal, who all had 3 points, and Munich’s Dave Bolland, who added two assists. Staal now has 61 points and is tied for third in the EURO in scoring.
Bern 4, Milan 2 – After the Bears attacked with 4 goals in the first period, goalie Mike Smith was able to stop 27 of 29 Guerriero shots over the last two periods and there was no comeback in Italy. Shane Doan, who has been great this season for the Bears, got his team off to a quick start by one-timing a Mika Zibanejad pass into the oppenent’s goal just 46 seconds into the game. Jason Spezza, Tobias Enstrom and Radim Vrbata also scored for Bern in the first period. Bern’s Lance Bouma made a nuisance of himself, delivering 6 hits in 14 minutes of ice time. The Bears played without 39-year-old defenseman Kimo Timonen, who has been quite durable despite his age, missing just a few games in each of his four seasons in Bern.
Edinburgh 6, Dublin 4 – If you take their games against Copenhagen out of the schedule, the Capitals would have had a stellar month. The played the Tridents 5 times in 16 days, losing the first 4 meetings. Minus the Copenhagen games, the Caps were 9-3 over the last month. On Wednesday, they knocked off Dublin in Ireland, with Jay Bouwmeester assisting on two late goals by Ales Hemsky and John Tavares. It was Tavares’ second goal of the game. Bouwmeester, Hemsky and Jamie Benn all had three points for Edinburgh, while James Wisniewski and all-star game hero Ryan Kesler managed the same feat for Dublin. Tim Thomas, the Fighting Irish’s 40-year-old goalie, will miss some time with a lower body injury. Joanthan Bernier will be expected to go the distance in every game of Thomas’ absence, with Thomas seated on the bench. The Irish have Jake Allen on their farm club across the Irish Sea in Liverpool, England, but have chosen not to have him make the one-hour flight due west.
Copenhagen 4, Helsinki 3 – Troy Brouwer’s goal with 1:39 remaining broke a 2-2 tie and lifted the Tridents past Helsinki in a penalty-filled contest in Denmark. An empty-net goal and a Boone Jenner goal for Helsinki followed, but Copenhagen was able to ride out the last 45 seconds and keep the Jokerit from a point in the standings. The Smith name and derivations of it made it onto the scoresheet a few times. Ben Smith scored his first of the season for Copenhagen, while Zack Smith notched his 7th for Helsinki on a goal that saw Ryan Smyth gain an assist. Zack Smith also had 5 hits in the game. Alexander Ovechkin was noticeable, scoring a goal and an assist and blocking 5 shots for Copenhagen.
Moscow 1, Minsk 0 – Kris Versteeg’s deflection goal with 58 seconds left in the first period was the game’s only goal as Moscow Spartak got its revenge for a loss the night before. The visiting team won in both games of the home-and-home series. On Wednesday, Moscow got 34 shots on Carey Price of the Hussars, while Minsk fired 26 at Jaro Halak, who earned his 5th shutout of the year. He now has 16 shutouts in his career, but 4 had been his previous high in any one season. Halak leads the league in goals against average (2.24) and save percentage (.919). Minsk skaters blocked 13 shots in front of Price, while Spartak players blocked 11 shots in front of Halak.
Athens 6, Prague 3 – Athens was all business in an emphatic end to its losing streak. The Greeks outshot Prague 45-22 and outscored them 2-1 in every period. Dimitrios Kalyvas scored the game’s first goal and added an empty-netter on his way to being voted the game’s first star. T.J. Oshie had 3 assists and was plus 2 for Athens, along with second-line mates Kalyvas and Ryan O’Reilly. Athens did very well on the faceoff dots, winning 46 of 78 draws. Siamese Cat defenseman Roman Josi scored two of his team’s three goals and teammate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins managed 3 assists.