Zurich 3, Belfast 2 – By beating the two-time defending champs, the Zurich Lions leapfrogged Munich again in a fierce, multi-team battle for the last playoff spots in the Southern Conference. Jussi Jokinen was the hero for Zurich Monday, after scoring the game-tying goal late in the second period and then the winning goal near the middle of the third period. Young Lion defensemen Alexander Weiss and Jake Trouba combined for two assists and 10 blocked shots. For the Giants, three of four forward lines were stymied in the game, but the line of Matt Moulson, Mikko Lehtonen and Sergei Mozyakin gelled and accounted for both Belfast goals. Conversely, the line of James Neal, Evander Kane and Claude Giroux was minus 3. Belfast is in third place overall and will play at home Wednesday against Munich.
Berlin 5, Geneva 4 (OT-SO) – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins probably won’t concern himself with Tuesday’s game too much as he and his Smurf teammates try to perfect things for another playoff run, but the players and fans in Geneva know he hurt their team’s chances greatly. Nugent-Hopkins assisted on the game’s first goal and later in the opening period her scored a powerplay goal to put Berlin in front 2-1. But he really hurt the Generals in the shootout, roofing a backhander after a deke to score on goalie Frederik Andersen. At a time when every point in the standings is crucial, Nugent-Hopkins’ game-winner denied Geneva an important point. The Generals’ defense did a good job of jumping into the attack and three of the team’s four goals were scored by defensemen Jason Garrison, Carl Gunnarsson and Dennis Wideman.
Lisbon 7, Copenhagen 3 – It’s difficult to beat Lisbon H.C. in MEO Arena, and Copenhagen Trident players couldn’t upset the home team Monday. The game was close for a while. It was 2-2 with the first period winding down when John Tavares of Lisbon twirled behind the Trident net and whipped a pass in front of the net, right onto the stick of hard-skating linemate Steven Stamkos, who, with a flick of the wrists scored to give Lisbon the lead with just 3 seconds left in the period. That goal seemed to deflate Copenhagen and Lisbon ran away with the game in the second period by scoring three goals.Tavares and rookie Max Domi both had three points for Lisbon.
Madrid 4, Helsinki 3 – Paris is likely to finish as the top team in the Southern Conference and Berlin will be seeded second as Schloder Division champs, but Madrid might end up with more points than the Smurfs. The Royals’ win on Monday puts them 4 points behind the Smurfs but with two games in hand and plenty of games on both schedules. Marc-Andre Bourdon scored the game-winning goal with just under two minutes to play on Monday and he has been an important, perhaps overlooked piece in a five-piece deal made at the trade deadline. Bourdon and Blake Wheeler came over from Moscow along with a future draft pick in exchange for Nick Leddy and Chris Stewart. Bourdon is having a good year – arguably his best – and he’s only 27, so he could continue to pay dividends to the Royals. In his previous four seasons of playing at least 47 games per, he accumulated 11 goals. The goal that beat the Jokerit was his 9th of this season. Helsinki actually led 3-2 with 7:58 remaining, thanks to a Breyden Schenn tally, but Shea Weber, Wheeler and Gabriel Landeskog worked a play to tie the game less than two minutes later. The game was unusual from Helskinki’s point of view in that the other team had more hits. Almost every Royal playing got involved in the hitting and Madrid led in that category 33-28. Back to Schenn for a minute for a little trivia … Brayden and brother Luke, who has played his entire career in Edinburgh, have played almost an identical number of games and the defenseman is outscoring the forward. Luke has 176 points to Brayden’s 127. Brayden, however, is plus 49 to Luke’s plus 25.
Minsk 6, Gothenburg 2 – It will take Nicklas Backstrom a little longer to hit the 50-goal mark thanks to a minor injury. The Hussars will rest the league’s leading scorer for a game or two after he sustained a back strain against Frolunda. Still, Backstrom managed to win 24 of 39 faceoffs and add two assists to his point total (105) in the game, despite the injury. Thomas Powell scored twice for Minsk to give him 18 on the season, and he and all the Hussars gave Gothenburg goalie Pekka Rinne a real workout, firing 53 shots on goal.
Bratislava 6, Bern 2 – Two Eagles left wings scored two goals apiece to lead Bratislava to a home win. Matt Frattin and Daniel Sedin, playing on the fourth and second lines, respectively, each scored a goal in the second period and another in the last period. It was a tough game for the Bears’ top line of Mark Stone, Andrei Kostitsyn and Joe Thornton, as they were minus 4 together.