Recap of Thursday games
Stockholm 4, St. Petersburg 3 – It was a disappointing evening in St. Petersburg. Not only did the home team fail to come back and tie the ever-improving Eagles, they also lost a player to injury. Mats Zuccarello Aasen was declared out of the lineup with a leg injury. The young Norwegian has 9 goals and 9 assists in 47 games primarily on Petrograd’s fourth line and second powerplay units, and although it’s his first year in the league, he is not considered a rookie. Zuccarello scored a goal with 7:26 remaining and teammate Wayne Simmonds put one in 6 minutes later, but that’s as close as the Red Stars could get against Braden Holtby and the Eagles. Brendan Gallagher was Stockholm’s star of the day, scoring two goals to give him 16 on the season. Jeff Carter assisted on goals by Pavel Datsyuk and Derick Brassard for Stockholm. Danis Zaripov, a rough and tumble winger who is plus 13 in 156 career games, is most likely to replace Zuccarello in the Red Star lineup.
Oslo 3, Frankfurt 2 – Oslo was outshot, but the Outlaws stole one from the Inferno Thursday. Tyler Seguin of Oslo and Emerson Etem of Frankfurt traded goals in the first period and after a scoreless second period, Elias Lindholm scored his second of the year from Matt D’Agostini to put the Outlaws in front, and with the way Semyon Varlamov was playing, it looked promising. But the Inferno managed to tie it on a Magnus Paajarvi goal with 11 minutes to play. The game went to a shootout and after Max Pacioretty and Seguin scored for Frankfurt and Oslo, respectively, Varlamov stopped Claude Giroux and Tomas Hertl scored to win it. While Oslo seems locked in 29th or 30th place, Frankfurt can use every point it can get in the competitive Southern Conference playoff race. They are currently 8th in the conference.
Madrid 4, Bratislava 1 – Madrid slowly built a 4-0 lead on home ice and coasted to a win. Four different skaters scored for the Royals. Max Lapierre scored the lone goal of the first period and Madrid added a pair of powerplay goals in the second, with Alex Tanguay and Rick Nash doing the honors. In the third period, Jordan Staal ripped one past Bratislava’s Craig Anderson to make it 4-0, before Christian Ehrhoff’s second of the season ruined the shutout for Madrid’s Jonas Hiller. Madrid is currently in 4th place in the Southern Conference, while Braitslava falls to 9th.
Berlin 6, Geneva 3 – The Smurfs are on a little roll, storming to another win on enemy ice. Two days earlier, they blasted Dublin 6-1. On Thursday, David Krejci showed off his offensive wizardry, putting a goal and 4 assists on the board. Matt Read scored twice and had an assist, Ryan Callahan had 2 points, and 7 other Smurfs had one point. Geneva was given a glimmer of hope in the third period, when three Berlin players took penalties in a 1:10 span, but Geneva couldn’t capitalize on a lengthy 5-on-3. Berlin returns to Germany today for a home game against Madrid.
London 3, Belfast 1 – London’s Sam Gagner put an end to Belfast’s hopes that their recent bad spell is over. The Giants took the lead in the first period on Vladimir Tarasenko’s 7th of the season, and even though Jeff Skinner and Taylor Hall were able to work a play to tie the game in the second, Belfast was still feeling good about themselves. Then, about 4 and a half minutes into the final period, Gagner struck with a slick goal for London and he was involved in a scoring play 7 minutes later to put the Dons up 3-1. Marc-Andre Fleury’s goaltending helped, as he stopped 30 of 31 Belfast shots. Giants coach Alain Vigneault eased injured Sidney Crosby back into the lineup, but the star center played only 2 minutes as a fourth-liner.
Paris 6, Zurich 5 – Fans in Zurich were treated to the show everyone expected from two of the league’s most offense-minded clubs. The Lions outshot Paris 36-30 but after the game ended 5-5 in regulation, they lost it in a shootout. Both teams had a lot of powerplay opportunities and each scored 2 PP goals. Patrice Bergeron of Zurich was the definitely the best player on the ice Thursday. He scored twice and assisted on two other goals, fired 7 shots on goalie Tuukka Rask and issued 3 hits. Lion forwards Alexander Radulove and Ilya Kovalchuk contributed 3 and 2 points respectively, and for Paris, defensemen Kris Letang and Ken Kuusk, as well as forwards Evgeny Malkin and Joffrey Lupul all had 2-point games.