St. Petersburg 1, London 0 – Halfway through a quiet and frankly, flat first period, Danis Zaripov took a Devante Smith-Pelly pass from the side boards and snapped a shot toward the London net … and it snuck past goalie Martin Jones and crossed the line. Not a highlight reel goal by any stretch of the imagination. But the simple shot and goal wound up equaling 2 points in the standings for the Red Stars and left the home team with the nothing for the day. Jones made several good saves in the game, but Anttii Niemi was better in the St. Petersburg goal, making 31 saves and earning his first shutout of the year. Zaripov, 24, is considered to be a “tough guy.” In his first two years in the league, he saw regular playing time with the Red Stars, albeit on the fourth line, but he then spent most of the last two seasons with the Red Stars’ minor league affiliate in Yaroslavl. Zaripov is getting another chance to prove he should stick in the lineup and he’s doing pretty well with the opportunity. In 20 games, he has scored 5 times in 19 shots. While his calling card is intimidation, he has yet to get into a fight this season, leaving that dirty work for teammates Brenden Dillon and Wayne Simmonds. Zaripov got into 4 fights his rookie season, 3 more the next year and 1 in an 8-game call-up during Season 4. St. Petersburg is currently 20th overall and 9th in the Northern Conference. The Dons are 6th overall and 4th in the conference.
Prague 5, Athens 4 (OT-SO) – Goalie Calvin Pickard wasn’t great for the entire game, but he was when it mattered most. The Prague netminder stopped 7 Greek shots in the third period, then 5 in overtime, and he stoned 3 of 4 shooters in the shootout, including Alex Goligoski, leaving the door open for Justin Schultz to be the hero and win it on the next shot. Anze Kopitar did score in Pickard in the shootout and he had a very good day, collecting a goal and 3 assists to be named the game’s first star. He assisted on Ian White’s first goal of the year in the final minute of the second period to tie the score 4-4. Four Prague players had 2 points in the game, including Schultz, who also had 3 blocked shots and was plus 3.
Munich 4, Madrid 0 – Nikita Zadorov and goalie Cory Schneider were the best players on the ice, contributing greatly to Munich’s home shutout win, but Josh Bailey was the talk of the lockerroom afterward. Zadorov scored twice from the blueline and has 6 goals now this season and Schneider made 26 saves to earn his 3rd shutout of the year, but Bailey scored a goal. That was big news in Munich and a big relief to the hard-luck forward. Bailey scored 22 goals one season and 11 goals three other times to go with his worst season yet – 5 goals in 79 games of Season 3. Season 6 was shaping up to be a nightmare for the third-line left winger. His first goal came on his 79th shot of the season, giving him a shooting percentage of 1.3 percent. The snapping of the goal drought turns heads toward a few other players who yet without a goal this season:
- Trevor Daley, D, Athens, 0 goals on 39 shots in 33 games
- Luke Schenn, D, Edinburgh, 0 goals on 37 shots in 34 games
- Brent Seabrook, D, Milan, 0 goals on 35 shots in 33 games
- P-A Parenteau, F, Oslo, 0 goals on 34 shots in 34 games
- Gabriel Bourque, F, Belfast, 0 goals on 12 shots in 34 games
In Monday’s game, Madrid hurt themselves by going to the penalty box 6 times to Munich’s 1. The Dire Wolf scored once on the powerplay. Munich flies 520 kilometers due east for a game in Bratislava tonight. Madrid stays in Germany until a game in Berlin on Wednesday evening.
Minsk 1, Gothenburg 0 – There were a lot of penalties and a lot of shots in a hard-fought game in Sweden Monday. Nicklas Backstrom scored the only goal of the game, a second-period deke-and-backhand after taking a pass from Minsk teammate Gustav Nyquist. It was Backstrom’s 26th goal of the season. Carey Price made 35 saves for the winners while Gothenburg’s Pekka Rinne made 34 saves. Both teams did well while penalty killing. Minsk thwarted Frolunda’s PP units on 8 occasions, while Gothenburgh stopped Minsk on all 6 of their PP chances.
Paris 5, Bern 3 – Defenseman Jason Krog got his Paris Rouge Eiffels off to a good start, scoring a goal about 9 and a half minutes into the game and then another about 8 minutes later. Evgeny Malkin made it 3-0 Paris just before the first period ended. Radim Vrbata had a goal and two assists for Bern, which was overmatched in the faceoff circle, mainly by Paris centers Malkin, Mike Richards and Kyle Turris.
Helsinki 5, Belfast 4 (OT-SO) – Talk about your rough games! Belfast and Helsinki are known for their toughness and in the end, Helsinki was able to leave England with its chest puffed out a little more. Justin Faulk scored the first goal of the game within its first minute, but several shifts later he went crazy and elbowed Thomas Vanek, injuring the Austrian forward and earning himself an ejection and match penalty. In the first period, Belfast Micki Dupont fought Mark Stuart. Later that period, they had a rematch and two periods later, Dupont went at it again, this time with Steve Downie, giving Dupont a hat trick of fights. The second period was reserved for high sticking penalties to Helsinki. Nerius Alisauskas and Jared Cowen were each whistled for that infraction, as was Zack Smith, who received an extra 2 minutes in the box for drawing blood from P.K. Subban. Hits were only 19-16 in favor of Belfast, but it seemed like there were more. Oh, and goals. I almost forgot about the goals. Belfast’s James Neal led all skaters in scoring with three points on a goal and two assists. His tally gave Belfast a 4-3 lead in the third period and that would have held up as the winner, but Alisauskas scored later in the period to tie the game and force overtime. Brad Marchand of Helsinki was the only shooter to score in the shootout.