Munich climbing out of the cellar

Munich 3, Bern 1 – The Munich Dire Wolf have been on a mini run lately, winning 3 of their last 4 games and 4 of their last 7 games. If they defeat Milan on Thursday, Munich will leapfrog the Guerrerio in the standings. Until recently, they were in the same place the Buffalo Sabres were in last NHL season: in dead last and assured of a chance of drafting either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. But the EURO League’s next draft will be deeper than the NHL draft held in June. Mark Stone, Johnny Gaudreau, Andrew Hammond and others will also be available, making tanking less … important (?) … than it might have been for the Sabres. Robert Kristan has done a lot for the Munich cause this week. Giving starting goalie Cory Schneider a breather, Kristan defeated Prague and Bern on successive nights, making 57 saves in the process. Veteran Henrik Sedin scored in both games and has a three-game goal scoring streak going. The Munich powerplay has been good lately, scoring in each of the last four games. The biggest Dire Wolf goal recently was scored by Talgat Zhailaouv, who beat Prague with just 30 seconds remaining in overtime on Monday.

Belfast 4, Minsk 3 (OT) – Ondrej Palat scored his 22nd goal of the season in overtime to beat the Hussars in a battle of two of the league’s better young teams. The league’s most penalized team didn’t take a single penalty in regulation time, but Belfast had to go on the penalty kill in overtime when Nathan MacKinnon was called for holding. But just 34 seconds into the Minsk powerplay, Palat got loose and scored the game-winner. Hussar Matt Martin scored his first goal in at least 47 games to start a Minsk mini rally, with defenseman Kris Russell scoring a shorthanded goal less than 2 minutes later to tie the game 2-2 in the second period. Ryan McDonagh had a great game for Minsk, dishing out 6 hits and blocking 4 shots. in the overall standings, Belfast has perhaps an insurmountable lead. They are 10 points ahead of second place Moscow with 2 games in hand. Minsk is in 7th place. The flu bug seems to be going around the league this week. Belfast’s Nazem Kadri was been ruled out of the next Giant game with the ailment, and he joins Lisbon’s Evgeny Kuznetsov, Prague’s Jason Spezza, Geneva’s Eric Brewer on the out-with-the-flu list. Remember to wash your hands often, people.

Lisbon 5, Edinburgh 2 – Lisbon outshot the Caps 44-17 in a game that was somehow close until the third period began. Claude Giroux scored for Edinburgh against his former teammates and that made the score 2-2 halfway through the game. Giroux has 32 goals this season, second only to Steven Stamkos of Lisbon, who did not score in the game. Giroux has now scored at least a point in his last 16 games. Alex Steen was named the first star after scoring two important goals for the winners. His 19th of the season broke the 2-2 tie in the second period, and his 20th put Lisbon up 4-2 with under a minute to play. Defenseman Adam Larsson had 4 blocked shots for Edinburgh.

Moscow 2, Oslo 0 – Alexander Salak made 31 saves and shut out the Outlaws to give the home crowd of more than 21,000 a lot to cheer about. Moscow’s penalty killers also earned ovations after stopping Oslo’s powerplay 5 times. Brandon Sutter had a goal and an assist for the Brawlers.

Geneva 3, Milan 2 – The Guerriero led 2-0 after Nicklas Danielsson scored in the second period, but the Generals came back and won the game on the road. Sergei Kostitsyn assisted on Geneva’s first two goals and Nick Foligno scored the game-winner with 5:12 remaining.

Zurich 4, Madrid 3 – Late in the game, trailing 3-2 at home, the Zurich Lions scored twice in a minute span to pull a rabbit out of their proverbial hat. Ryan Strome tied the game and sniper Ilya Kovalchuk scored less than a minute later. Zurich outshot the Royals 34-26 and 15-11 in the final period. Strome also had an assist and 3 hits, won the majority of his faceoffs and was voted as the game’s first star. The two teams are currently in playoff spots in the Southern Conference but need to keep winning over the last 30 games in order to keep Prague and maybe Bern from knocking them out.

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