Munich 7, St. Petersburg 4 – A little gap has opened in the playoff race between the top 9 teams in the Southern Conference and the bottom three, and with their win against St. Petersburg on Sunday, Munich is on the good side of that gap. The Dire Wolf are currently in eighth place, a point ahead of Zurich. Five points behind Zurich are the two other Swiss
teams and Milan, three teams that will have to really press hard if they want to make the playoffs. Against St. Petersburg, Fyodor Malykhin was the star of the game, scoring a hat trick to give him 21 on the season. He also added two assists. It was a penalty-filled contest that the Dire Wolf controlled, outshooting the Red Stars 43-28. On his first shift of the game, Munich defenseman Ryan Wilson got a little tangled with teammates as he was heading to the bench for a change and ended up straining a groin muscle and that freak injury will keep him out of the lineup for a while.
Dublin 5, Milan 4 – An amazing first period propelled the Fighting Irish to a win in Italy, but not until some harrowing moments down the stretch. Dublin scored five times in the first period on just 9 shots on goal. Ryan Kesler, the team’s second-leading scorer, scored two of them. Milan was able to chip away at Dublin’s lead and when Patrik Thoresen beat Jonathan Bernier for a Guerriero goal, it was suddenly 5-4 with nearly eight minutes to play. Milan pulled their goalie at the end and in a mad scramble in front of Bernier with about 10 seconds remaining, James Van Riemsdyk of Dublin took a penalty that might have saved the game. He cross checked Tomas Zaborsky to the ice just as it seemed the Milan forward was going to get to a loose puck near the goal line.
Stockholm 5, Edinburgh 3 – Dublin’s win was bad news for Edinburgh, who compounded the gloom by dropping a game at home to Stockholm. Dublin is now a point in front of Edinburgh with three games in hand as the two teams battle for the final playoff spot in the Northern Conference. The Capitals scored two powerplay goals and had the lead, 3-2, heading into the final period, but Mattias Sjogren and Jeff Carter of the Eagles both scored goals to give Stockholm the lead. An Andy Sertich diving penalty with 1:44 remaining put his Edinburgh teammates on the penalty kill and pretty much sealed the win for Stockholm, even though the top line poured a little salt into the wound with a Bobby Ryan goal in the final 18 seconds. Dalton Prout of Stockholm and Brandon Dubinsky of Edinburgh fought each other in the first period and they staged a rematch bout in the third period.Each has now been involved in 5 fights this season. Brenden Dillon of St. Petersburg is the current heaveyweight champ of the EURO League with 9 fights, including 5 clear-cut victories.
Moscow 6, London 4 – The London Dons were at home and they outshot the visitors by 10 shots, but still managed to lose. Six different Spartak players scored for Coach Joel Quenneville including Moscow’s surprise star of the year, Kris Versteeg. The 30-year-old left wing who is in his third season in the Russian capital was voted onto the conference all-star squad and he has not lost any momentum since. He now has 38 goals and 70 points, easily surpassing his previous highs of 25 goals in Season 2 when he was a Smurf, and 56 points last season.He also has taken 222 shots on goal (17th best in the league) and is a plus 18. London’s best player in the game was Jeff Skinner, who had a goal and an assist, won 20 of 34 faceoffs, and led his team in blocked shots with 3. A day before, in the first leg of a home-and-home series, Moscow won 4-3, although London came close to making a comeback from a 4-0 deficit.
Athens 5, Prague 2 – The Greeks looked good Sunday, turning away the visiting Wolf Pack and outshooting them 44-27. After the score was tied 2-2, Alex Goligoski played a large role in the win by assisting on a Tomas Vincour goal and then adding one of his own. It was a bad day for Prague’s top line of Marcus Johansson, Ryan Getzlaf and Alex Galchenyuk, who produced a minus 4 effort in the game.