Bratislava 7, Berlin 2 – After an atypically sluggish start, Jonathan Toews is officially on fire. He has scored 2 goals in each of the last four games and in the three games before those, he scored once in each to put him on a 7-game goal scoring streak. In those 7 games, the team is 5-2 and Toews and his linemates have occupied 12 of the 21 available three stars spots. In their last 10 games, Toews has 11 goals and 10 assists; Tyler Ennis has 5 goals and 10 assists; and Marian Hossa has 6 goals and 8 assists. The last team to close down the line was those mean Smurfs from Berlin, who beat Bratislava 6-1 in Germany exactly two weeks ago. On Wednesday, Toews and crew got their revenge. The score was already 5-2 when Toews scored his two goals in the third period and Bratislava’s stars until then were Andreas Jamtin, with 3 asissts, and Wei Yen Zhang, with a goal and an assist.
St. Petersburg 4, Gothenburg 2 – The Red Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead and Gothenburg was into their comeback stance, when a fight involving St. Petersburg’s Brendan Dillon and Gothenburg’s Mark Fraser seemed to change the momentum. Right after the altercation, St. Petersburg stormed into the Gothenburg zone, and were working furiously. They drew a tripping penalty and on the ensuing powerplay, Martin St. Louis found Brad Richards with space to score a goal that put the Red Stars up 3-1. Each team was able to score once more in the game – Richards scored again for St. Petersburg – and Antti Niemi beat Pekka Rinne in a battle of Finnish goaltenders. Erik Johnson of St. Petersburg played well, scoring a goal, delivering 3 hits and blocking 4 Devil shots.
Bern 5, Milan 3 – The Bern Bears led in shots on goal for most of the game, but it was as a close one throughout. Two third-period goals by Bern’s Jason Spezza (his 29th) and Brent Seabrook (10) that were the back-breakers, as far as Milan was concerned. Tobias Enstrom, the Bears’ 30-year-old defenseman, led all skaters in points (3 assists) and hits (4) and his 5 shots on goal were second only to the 7 that Kyle Okposo fired on Mike Smith in the Bern net. Enstrom won’t match the career-high 21 goals that he scored last season, but he has scored at least 10 goals for Bern every season. He has also been a plus player every season and is plus 42 for his career. He is signed through the end of next season on a $3.75 million contract and he has a player option available to him if he was to stay in Bern for Season 6. Enstrom was selected by Bern in the 9th round of the initial EURO draft and he was their only selection in rounds 8-10, due to trades.
Paris 5, Prague 4 – The Siamese Cats deserved a better fate, having outshot their guests from France by a 42-27 count, but Tuukka Rask stole the game from them with his 38-save performance. Ryan Miller, in the Prague net, wasn’t as good, getting pulled in the first period after allowing 4 Paris goals. Two young stars for Prague were the top two stars of the game. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored 1 goals and had 3 assists, while Andrey Bykov scored 2 and added an assist. Their linemate, Martin Ruzicka, contributed 2 assists. Paris’ most dangerous player was Corey Perry, who had a goal, an assist and 6 shots on goal.
Stockholm 4, Belfast 3 – An overtime goal by Brendan Gallagher gave Stockholm the win over Belfast in Northern Ireland. It was Gallagher’s 18th goal of the season. The Eagles had a 2-1 lead entering the third period, but Belfast tied the contest and pulled ahead on goals by Matt Duchene and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. But Mike Richards deflected a Zach Bogosian point past a sliding Jonathan Quick to the game with 4:18 to play. Richards now has 22 goals this season and is on pace to be a four-time 25-goal scorer in the EURO League. Bogosian was definitely the number one star of the game. The former London Don scored 3 assists and was a plus 3 with 4 hits and 2 blocked shots. Belfast’s top performers were Justin Faulk and James Neal, with 2 assists each.
Oslo 4, Dublin 3 – The Outlaws marauded through Dublin Wednesday, outshooting the Fighting Irish 46-29 and leaving with a one-goal win. Oslo’s powerplay – or Dublin’s penalty killing – was the difference. The Outlaws connected for 3 goals in 5 PP opportunities. Tyler Seguin had two of those three PP goals and Matt D’Agostini scored the other. Seguin has 12 goals on the season and D’Agostini has 9. Seguin, another former London Don, has struggled a little offensively this season. Until his two goals Wednesday, the 22-year-old was on a pace to score 15 goals by the end of the season. He scored 20 goals and 60 points last season with Oslo, but he will have to really work to equal those marks this season. On a positive note, his takeaway-giveaway ratio is good and it’s better than it has been at any point of his four-year career. The loss was a blow to Dublin’s hopes of catching Stockholm for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Northern Conference. Today, they are 5 points behind them with 2 games in hand, and in between are the Helsinki Jokerit, who have been listless lately.