Berlin 3, Athens 1 – Something highly unusual happened in the first 2 minutes of the game in Athens Wednesday. Logan Couture scored 1:17 into the game to put the visiting Smurfs in front 1-0. Couture scoring a goal isn’t the unusual part; he scored later in the game as well and is currently third in the EURO League in goals with 20. On the shift after the goal, when both teams sent their second lines out there … that’s when the rare occurrence occurred. Smurf Jiri Tlusty took a check from Trevor Daley and fell awkwardly into the boards. Tlusty was injured in the process and will miss at least a week with a shoulder injury. What is Coach Adam Oates likely to do to replace Tlusty in the lineup? No one knows because it’s never happened before. The Czech is one of six EURO players who have never missed a game (Tlusty, Drew Miller, Sean Couturier, Steven Stamkos, Jason Garrison and Erik Condra). That number will go down to five players on Friday when Tlusty is out of the lineup against visiting Bern. Miller will play in that game for the Bears and he is one of three players who have played in 442 games to date. Tlusty gets credit for Wednesday’s game, so he has 442 and Sean Couturier of Madrid is the other. All three have put together 5 straight 82-game seasons and have played in all of their teams’ 32 games this season. Three other players have played fewer games this season but they also have perfect attendance records. Erik Condra of Athens, Steven Stamkos of Lisbon and Jason Garrison of Geneva are right with Miller and Couturier in the league’s Ironman competition.
London 5, Belfast 4 – A close game came down to the wire and London goalie Martin Jones was able to hold off the Giants at the end and send 19,917 Dons fans into a frenzy in London. Belfast held a 4-2 lead nearly halfway into the game, but London came back to tie and win it on goals by former Giant Rick Nash and defensemen Jake Gardiner and Dmitri Orlov. Nathan MacKinnon scored twice for Belfast and he now has 19 goals this season, which equals his career-best goal total, set last season.
Oslo 4, Copenhagen 2 – Davis Jones converted a Mikhail Grabovski pass late in the game to break a 2-2 tie and help the Outlaws beat the Tridents. After a scoreless first period, both teams put two goals on the board in the second period. Olso defenseman Nikita Nikitin was the game’s first star, getting off 5 shots on goal, blocking 3 shots and coming up with a goal and an assist en route to a plus 3 game. In just 10 minutes of play, Copenhagen’s Mathieu Perreault got 4 shots on goal, scored once and won 5 of 7 faceoffs.
Madrid 3, Bern 0 – Johnny Boychuk wasn’t happy with the way he and his Bern Bear teammates played in Spain Wednesday. In fact he was fighting mad and Erik Gudbranson of victorious Madrid gave him a chance to blow off some steam with 17 seconds left. The two dropped the gloves to give the fans a little more for their money. On the way to the penalty box, Boychuk took a curved route and seemed to be yelling at his teammates on the bench, apparently telling them that’s the competitive spirit they needed to display. Gabriel Landeskog was the offensive star for the Royals and Robin Lehner was the defensive star. Landeskog scored a pair of goals in the second period and Lehner earned a shutout by stopping 27 shots including 2 of Boychuk’s.
Moscow 5, Lisbon 1 – The two teams were dead even for two-thirds of the game. It was the second period that was the difference. Moscow outshot Lisbon 16-4 and beat goalie Hayden Hawkey four times, including two on the powerplay. Max Pacioretty scored a pair of goals in the period and he took 8 shots in the game to lead all skaters. Kyle Palmieri had two assists for Spartak, who is now in third place overall, two points behind Minsk and two ahead of Belfast.