Athens 6, Berlin 1 – Athens leads series 2-0
The Athens Greeks seem to be in the process of mashing the Smurfs into Smurfberry juice. For the second straight game on Berlin ice, the Greeks laid a 6-1 beatdown on Berlin. Maybe the Frankfurt series took too much out of the Smurfs, but Jimmy Howard has not been able to cope with the Athens offense. David Backes was a plus 4 with 8 shots and he scored three times Monday for Athens. Jason Pominville scored for the third time in two games against Howard and the Smurfs and Vadim Shipachyov has two goals in the two games. Athens only outshot Berlin by 2 shots Monday and the Smurfs actually outshot the Greeks in Game 1, so Howard has to find the magic soon or the Greeks will be on to the conference finals again. But Athens has to keep their guard up despite the two convincing victories. In the playoffs, their two 6-1 shellackings count the same as two 2-1 wins would. And they, of all teams, should know no lead is a safe one. Last year, the Greeks came within a goal of advancing to the Finals, but Paris beat them. In this series, Logan Couture has been good for Berlin, but he’s been rendered just about invisible in the heavy losses. The center has 9 shots, 5 blocks, and 3 hits in the two games.
Paris 3, Zurich 0 – Paris leads series 2-0
The Rouges Eiffels generally followed the script on Monday by proving to be very difficult to beat at home. But the game was very defensive, by Paris-Zurich standards. Of their six meetings this season, Monday’s was the lowest-scoring. Tuukka Rask earned the shutout, but he only had to handle 15 Lions shots. Roberto Luongo, on the other hand, was very busy and was able to stop 43 of 46 Paris shots in the loss. Evgeny Malkin didn’t score, but he was a horse, getting 9 shots on goal. Mike Ribeiro, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo did the scoring for Paris. Perron has scored in both games of the series. The defense pairing of Pietrangelo and Kris Letang is having a good playoffs,with a total of 11 points in 7 games and they are plus 6 as a unit. The second pairing of Ken Kuusk and Jason Krog is plus 5, but they have not contributed much offensively – just 3 assists total.