Bratislava 5, Madrid 2 – The Bratislava Eagles meant business on Sunday and Robin Lehner was exhausted Sunday night. The all-star goalie for Madrid faced 60 shots from Bratislava, most of them in the first two periods, and he ended with 55 saves. The visiting Royals got onto the scoreboard first when veteran Olli Jokinen backhanded a rebound for his 19th goal of the season beating Craig Anderson a little more than 7 minutes into the game, but the Eagles’ attack stayed strong. Wei Yang Zhang was the first to get one past Lehner, as he one-timed a Tomas Kopecky pass for his 15th of the year. In the second period, Bratislava built their shot total to 49 and opened a gaping wound in Madrid. They scored four goals in the period. One of those was Tyler Myers’ 19th of the season and he now leads all defensemen in goals. Another was Jonathan Toews’ 28th of the season and it came shorthanded to give him 24 shorthanded goals in his career. He is the EURO League’s all-time leader in that category, 10 ahead of Joe Thornton’s 14. Coach Brent Sutter, who was criticized 26 games into the season for Bratislava’s position in the league standings (22nd) seems to have turned things around and the players are playing hard for him. They are currently in 10th overall, an improvement of 12 places.
Gothenburg 3, Geneva 0 – Pekka Rinne was unbeatable and his teammates scored three goals in the second period as the visiting Devils stifled Geneva. Gothenburg outshot Geneva 28-18 and Carl Hagelin scored twice to give him 28 this season and Eric Staal assisted on both Hagelin goals. Staal is now tied for 9th in the league in scoring with 4 other players, including fellow Devil Adam Henrique. Since being acquired from St. Petersburg earlier this season, Rinne has been stopping pucks at a .915 rate through 32 games. He has the fourth-lowest goals against average in the league and the shutout means he now has 25 in his career, which is tops in the EURO.
London 4, Helsinki 2 – London goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stole a game from a team that has been struggling to find a streak of good luck. It was also a “four-point game” between two teams fighting for the last playoff spot in the Northern Conference. Helsinki outshot London 47-22 but all but lost the game in the second period, when Taylor Hall scored a powerplay goal to break a 2-2 tie and then added another powerplay goal in the final minute of the period. Hall now has 34 goals this season. Jeff Skinner assisted on three goals for London. Helsinki’s Brad Marchand led everyone in shots on goal with 7 and he scored a goal in the first period to tie it at 2-2. With the win, London is in 8th place in the conference with 69 points, while Helsinki is in 9th place with 66 points. Both clubs have 14 games remaining on their schedules. Dublin is 3 points behind Helsinki with two games in hand. Dublin could really make one of the teams ahead of them unhappy. They will play London 3 times and Helsinki twice before the end of the season. Helsinki and London meet one more time at the end of the year.
Edinburgh 5, Oslo 2 – Oslo didn’t do much in their trip to Scotland, getting outshot 45-12, but they did take a 2-1 lead into the second period after goals by Mark Fayne and Gilbert Brule. Adam Larsson played a big role in the Capitals’ win by scoring to tie the contest 2-2 and then assisting on two more goals. He was named first star. Brandon Dubinsky scored a goal and an assist, had 5 shots on goal and 3 hits to highlight a fine all-around effort by the third-line center. Edinburgh is really threatening Moscow for the top spot in the Northern Conference. With 90 points, Edinburgh is just 2 points behind Spartak and they have a game in hand.
Minsk 6, Copenhagen 2 – The Hussars blasted Brian Elliott and the Tridents in Copenhagen. Carey Price made 30 saves for Minsk, but Colin Wilson, a third line left wing for Minsk, was the best player on the ice Sunday. Wilson played 13 minutes, scored two goals, led everyone in hits with 4 and was a plus 2. He was teamed with Alexander Burmistrov (2 assists) and Jacob Josefson. Minsk has played 70 games – more than any other team – and they currently in third place in the Northern Conference.