Game 1: Howard has an off day

Berlin goalie Jimmy Howard had a rare bad game when Game 1 of the EURO Cup Finals took place, and that’s something a goalie can’t do against a team as lethal as the defending champion Belfast Giants.

Belfast had momentum early and scored 3 times on 9 first-period shots against Howard before adding 3 more on 10 shots in period 2. By then, they were outshooting Berlin 19-15, and the Giants then went into full defend mode. While the Smurfs turned up the heat on Giant goalie Jonathan Quick and outshot Belfast 15-3 in the last 20 minutes, there were no goals scored in the period.

Shot distribution for Belfast was spread evenly among the top two lines, centered by Sidney Crosby and Nazem Kadri. James Neal played a great game for Belfast and was named the first star of the game. He had a goal, two assists, four hits and was plus 2.

Both teams remain completely healthy for Game 2, which will begin at 5:30 EST today, again in Northern Ireland.

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