Jokerit take outdoor game by a goal

Helsinki 4, Bratislava 3 – Playing in their first-ever outdoor game – the Season 6 Klassikko Talvi in Helsinki – the Bratislava Eagles seemed a little awed by the whole thing. Temperatures were slightly below freezing for the game, with partly cloudy skies and a gentle breeze hitting the players as they sat on their respective benches. “That’s when we found ourselves getting distracted – while sitting on the bench,” said defenseman Tyler Myers, who was named the first star of the game after collecting 2 assists and dishing out 4 hits. “When you were on the ice, in the heat of the game, it was just hockey as usual, but on the bench, you couldn’t help but look at the huge (40,000 plus) crowd, the mountains in the background … the whole unique atmosphere. It was surreal and by the time your next shift came along, your focus wasn’t entirely on the game, but it was a great experience and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” On top the distraction of Helsinki Olympic Stadium, with the sauna suites and national and team flags waving in the crowd, there were the Helsinki Jokerit, up to their usual tricks of tricks of finishing checks and pasting players into the boards. Bratislava tried to play Helsinki’s game and picked up the hitting, but that meant playing right into the Jokerit’s hands. The Finnish team scored two powerplay goals and twice built 2-goal leads in the game. Jared Cowen and Pavel Datsyuk were quite nocticeable throughout the game for Helsinki. Cowen delivered 7 hits and Datsyuk piled up 9 shots on goal, although he never got a puck past Corey Crawford and into the Bratislava goal. Eliezer Sherbatov scored what turned out to be the winning goal, his 9th of the season, in the third period.

Paris 6, Milan 1 – The Rouge Eiffels were firing on all cylinders, racking up 6 goals on 53 shots on goal. Milan’s Niklas Danielsson, the Season 3 Rookie of the Year, opened the scoring on an early powerplay, but there was little more joy for the Italians in the game. Kyle Turris scored two goals, one of them shorthanded. Turris has been one of the more dangerous players in the league while his team has been shorthanded. You have to be careful around him. He is 5th all-time in the EURO League in shorthanded goals and last season, he tied for fourth in the league with 4. His SHG on Tuesday was his 4th already this season and it elevated him to second place in the league this season, behind only Anze Kopitar of Athens. Interestingly, Kopitar scored all five of those goals during his 11 games as a Moscow Spartak player. With Athens, despite the fact his is used as the prime penalty killer, he has yet to score a shorthanded goal in his 17 games since being traded to the Greeks.

Minsk 4, Oslo 2 – The Hussars had many more shots than the Outlaws did in the game, but it was tied 1-1 in the final period before Minsk was able to score two powerplay goals and pull away. Defenseman Max Chudinov assisted on both of those goals. Hussar forwards Milan Lucic and Nicklas Backstrom each scored a goal and the two combined for 13 shots on goal, which nearly equaled Oslo’s total shot production for the game.

Stockholm 3, Moscow 2 (OT-SO) – Spartak must have let their guard down after their big win in Belfast on Monday because their Swedish friends beat them in Moscow. The Russian team seemed to have control of the contest after Max Pacioretty put them in front with the only goal of the first period, but Stockholm countered early in the second with a Jeff Carter tally and then went up 2-1 in the third period on J.T. Miller’s first goal of the season. It took a late (46 seconds left) wrist shot by Ryan O’Reilly to salvage a point in the standings for Moscow. That goal came while Stockholm’s Keith Yandle was sitting in the penalty box, serving one of the only 3 infractions called in the game. The shootout went to 8 rounds, when Eagle forward Bryan Little beat Alexander Salak before Moscow’s David Backes was stoned by Stockholm goalie Braden Holtby.

Belfast 3, Berlin 2 – The Giants held off the host Smurfs long enough to win in regulation time. Belfast went up 2-0 in the first period after Matt Moulson and Evander Kane both scored his 11th goal of the season, and when Nazem Kadri scored his 10th late in the second period, Belfast led 3-1. Patric Hornqvist and Nathan Horton scored for Berlin in a fierce game that featured 14 powerplay situations, an injury for each team, and a lot of hitting. Mike Green of Berlin and Belfast’s P.K. Subban had 7 hits each.




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