Recap of Tuesday games:
Munich 5, Athens 4 – Munich coach Craig Berube took Robert Tristan out of goal for the first time in six games – including the night before – and the move paid off. Cory Schneider, who was acquired from Belfast in a trade, started to get back in the coach’s good graces by turning away 45 Greek shots. He allowed 4 goals, but it was just enough to win. Athens backstop Richard Bachman gave up 5 goals, including 4 in the final 14 minutes of the third period. It was a gutsy comeback by the Dire Wolf, who trailed 3-0 when the third period started and went down 4-0 when Scott Hartnell scored his 26th of the season with 16:31 to play. The game went to a shootout, where Schneider made 4 saves on five shots. The winning goal was scored by Munich defenseman Mark Giordano. Munich’s Henrik Sedin scored two goals.
St. Petersburg 5, Copenhagen 4 – Paul Byron scored his first goal of the season in the third period to break a 3-3 tie, but his Copenhagen teammates couldn’t hold the lead. Cam Atkinson was part of two St. Petersburg scoring plays in the final 8 minutes of the game, assisting on goals by Dmitri Kalinin and Jonathan Huberdeau. Kalinin, Atkinson, Martin St. Louis and Mats Zuccarello all had two points apiece for the winners, while Tomas Fleischmann scored 2 goals and Alex Ovechkin had 2 assists for the Tridents. The bad news for the Red Stars was an injury to Atkinson. Right wing Devante Smith-Pelly looks to be the one who will be called up to fill in. He has played in 2 games this year and 2 games last year for Petrograd, but has another 29 games under his belt from two seasons in Gothenburg.
Moscow 8, Stockholm 5 – Spartak poured it on at home, scoring 3 goals in the first period and 4 more in the second while outshooting Stockholm 43-19. And it was a good thing for them there was such a disparity in the shot total, because backup Alexander Salak was shaky, allowing 5 goals on the 19 shots. Bobby Ryan was his chief nemesis, racking up 3 goals on 4 shots. For Moscow, Duncan Keith was a plus 4 with a goal and 2 assists. Andrew Ladd scored a pair of goals and Anze Kopitar added 3 assists. Captain Dustin Brown continued his strong play this season by getting a game-high 7 shots on goal and adding a goal and an assist to his team-leading point total. The worst part of Stockholm’s trip to Moscow was on Pavel Datsyuk’s second shift of the game. Moscow defenseman Jason Garrison caught Datsyuk along the boards when the Sverdlovsk native was trying to dance around him in the neutral zone. Datsyuk crumpled to the ice and stayed down. A serious shoulder injury will keep the star forward out of the lineup and that could be a big blow to Stockholm’s playoff drive. The Eagles are currently in 9th place in the Northern Conference, just 2 points behind London and Helsinki, but Dublin is breathing down their neck, 4 points worse with two games in hand. Datsyuk’s puck skills, hockey sense and veteran leadership will be missed and Coach Bob Hartley has already shuffled his lines. Marcus Johansson will center the second line between Derick Brassard and Jeff Carter, Sean Monahan moves up to center the third line with Craig Smith, and left wing Mattias Sjogren moves to center on the fourth line with Ryan Johansen and called-up Marcus Foligno, who has appeared in 11 games this season.
Gothenburg 3, Geneva 0 – Gothenburg’s second line of Petr Vrana, Adam Henrique and Jordan Eberle was the difference in the game that ended up being Pekka Rinne’s fourth shutout win of the year and 23rd in his four-year career. Eberle scored in the first period and Henrique got a goal in the second and another in the third. Vrana assisted on every goal. Not much went right for Geneva, especially up front. Eight of their 20 shots on Rinne came from defensemen. On top of that, talented rookie Valeri Nichushkin, the right wing on the third line, sustained an injury and will miss several games.
Madrid 3, Bern 2 – The Royals were outshot 32-18 by the home team, but Rick Nash was able to get them the extra point in the standings with a rocket shot in overtime, his 15th goal of the season. Jason Spezza scored his 26th and 27th goals of the season, giving Bern a 2-0 lead more than halfway through the game, but Madrid tied it with goals by Gabriel Landeskog (18th) and Jordan Staal (12th). Madrid goalie Robin Lehner, who has been inconsistent since playing in the all-star game, made 30 saves to earn the win. His teammate Erik Karlsson helped by blocking a game-high 4 shots.
London 6, Prague 3 – It seemed to take a period for the goalies in this game to get their bearings, and by that time, the score was 4-2 in favor of the visiting Dons. Sam Gagner earned assists on three of London’s first-period goals and Michal Grabner scored two of them. Gagner added a fourth assist in the second period, when Kevin Shattenkirk’s 7th goal of the season made the score 5-3. Prague got themselves into penalty trouble, taking the first 8 minors of the game, most of them in the first two periods. The Don powerplay cashed in for 3 goals in that time. Right wing Giulio Scandella was Prague’s best player Tuesday, getting 2 assists and finishing plus 2 in 12 minutes of ice time. Scandella, 26, has been very durable and consistent since joining the Siamese Cats from Berlin at the start of Season 2. He is on pace to surpass the 33 points he put up last season and he already has one more goal than the 9 he scored last year. His plus-minus has also improved from minus 7 to minus 1. London’s first-line center Jeff Skinner injured his groin and will be out 1 to 2 weeks. Look for veterans Manny Malhotra, Matt Stajan and/or Scott Gomez to fill in.