Munich 4, Paris 3 – The Paris Rouge Eiffels sit 2 points out of first place in the Southern Conference with games in hand over the two teams ahead of them, and if any team needs to finish first in their conference and get home ice advantage throughout the playoffs, it’s Paris. The Eiffels are a crazy 27-2 on home ice this season. General Manager Ralph Booth probably doesn’t want to talk about his team’s away record. But we’d love to. It’s 11-12-5 and compared to the other three teams with 80 points already this season, Paris’ road record .. umm, is lousy. On Monday, they went to Bavaria, and while they didn’t get creamed, they lost again. Robert Kristan, the Munich backup goalie who has played in a lot more games than starter Cory Schneider’s agent likes, managed to stop 31 Paris shots, including 16 in the third period. He got the game to overtime and on the second shot of bonus time, Chris Campoli scored on Paris backup Phillippe Grubauer to end it. Mark Giordano, Matt Cooke and Dave Bolland also scored for the Dire Wolf, while Mikko Koivu tallied twice for Paris to give him 16 goals on the season. Ryan Wilson was a standout defenseman for Munich on Monday. He had an assist and was plus 3 while punishing Paris with 7 hits. Munich is in 8th place in the conference.
Copenhagen 3, Berlin 2 – The two teams battled all the way into the fifth round of the shootout before one of them could claim the “W”. Dion Phaneuf was called upon to shoot against Berlin’s Jimmy Howard in the shootout and the big defenseman ended it by snapping a shot past Howard’s blocker. Although they were outshot 6-3 in the five-minute overtime, Copenhagen finished on top in shots by a 36-25 count. Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann scored powerplay goals in the first period to give the Tridents a 2-0 lead, but the Smurfs salvaged a point in the standings thanks to third-period goals by Loui Eriksson and Logan Couture. All four players who scored in the game have between 27 and 30 goals this year. Berlin’s Slava Voynov flew in from court proceedings earlier in the day in California to block 4 shots for his team.
Athens 4, Prague 1 – Goalie Cam Ward was a Greek god Monday, getting Athens a win they didn’t deserve. Prague outshot the Greeks 40-19 but somehow seemed out of the game before it was half over. Athens struck first when T.J. Oshie scored on a rebound of a Vadim Shipachyov shot about 7 minutes in. Scott Hartnell became a 30-goal scorer in the second period and Shipachyov added two goals in the final period, one into an empty net. The Siamese Cats trailed 3-0 with only 8 minutes to play when Andrey Bykov finally scored on Ward. Bykov, Antoine Vermette and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins combined for 19 shots on Ward. With the win, Athens jumped over Moscow and into first overall. They will have two days off before two home games in two days against Geneva and Bratislava. Hartnell is the team’s leading goal scorer and he’s four goals away from his personal best of 34 goals, which he scored last year.
Stockholm 4, Gothenburg 3 – The Eagles surprised their favored Swedish brothers and delighted their fans in the capital on Monday. With the score tied 2-2 at the start of the third period, Brendan Gallagher raced into the Gothenburg right off the faceoff to start the period and fed a pass to streaking Bobby Ryan, who slammed it in just 6 seconds into the period. The slim lead suddenly grew to two goals halfway through the period when Mike Green took a shot from the point and it got through a mass of players and into the net. Gothenburg goalie Pekka Rinne never saw the shot. Eric Staal of Gothenburg was named the game’s first star. He scored the game’s last goal and had 9 shots on Stockholm goalie Braden Holtby.
Helsinki 6, Madrid 3 – The Jokerit might be coming out of their skid just in time. They looked impressive Monday when the defensive-minded club scored 6 times against Madrid. Brad Marchand’s shorthanded goal swung momentum in the second period. With the Royals on a powerplay and pressing to extend their lead to 2 goals, Marchand ripped a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle to tie the contest. Helsinki scored three more times in the game to leave Madrid in their dust. Marchand and four other Jokerit players finished with 2 points each in the game. Madrid center Jordan Staal had a good game, with 2 assists, 4 hits and a blocked shots, but his young teammate Jonas Brodin had a forgettable minus 4 day. That’s two wins in two days for Helsinki, which had lost 8 in a row coming into this week. Their 6-goal outburst against Madrid was actually one more goal than the total number of goals they scored in losses to Frankfurt, Minsk, Edinburgh, Oslo and Moscow during their recent losing streak. The Jokerit recently dropped below the dark line in the Northern Conference and into 9th place, but they are only 2 points behind 8th-place Stockholm with 24 games to play.
London 3, Oslo 2 – Two Ahearne Division foes played a close game in Norway that had to be decided in a shootout. London scored two goals in the second period, but Oslo countered with two in the third period. The game-tying goal was on a shot by Outlaw forward Tyler Kennedy (his 17th) with just 1:14 to play. In the shootout, none of the first three shooters for each team could score on London’s Marc-Andre Fleury or Oslo’s Semyon Varlamov. But in the fourth round, Jeff Skinner scored for London and Fleury was able to stop Oslo’s Mikhail Grabovski. Skinner, despite not being in the first three players chosen for the shootout by London coach Ken Hitchcock, has done well in that area this season. He is tied with two other players with 4 shootout goals. Ilya Kovalchuk of Zurich is second in the league with 5 shootout goals in 7 attempts, and the best at the one-on-a-goalie shot is a winger from the Milan Guerriero. Thomas Vanek has taken 7 shots and scored 6 times.