Niemi gets revenge on commissioner

St. Petersburg 5, Bratislava 0 – Antti Niemi played like he had something to prove Wednesday night. Earlier in the day, the commissioner posted a trivia question pointing out Niemi has the worst save percentage in the league. The commish should have checked the schedule before coming out with that question. As luck would have it, Niemi started against the commissioner’s team and he seemed exceptionally focused. In fact, the Finn stopped all 30 Bratislava shots to record his second shutout of the season. Defenseman Brent Burns scored a pair of goals for the Red Stars, while his defense partner Erik Johnson and fourth-line center Brock Nelson had two points apiece. Bratislava is the only team in the league whose road record is better than its home record.

Munich 3, Belfast 2 (OT-SO) – Red hot Fyodor Malykhin picked up assists on both Munich goals as the Dire Wolf handed Belfast its second straight loss and fifth “L” in the last 10 games. Munich was outshot 33-27, but they only took one penalty to Belfast’s four, and backup goalie Robert Tristan was on his game in the Dire Wolf net. Malykhin, who has 21 goals and 39 points this season, was named the EURO League first star of the week on Wednesday. In his last five games, Malykhin has 6 goals, 12 points and 20 shots on goal. His teammate Tomas Fleischmann has been impressive, too, in the last five games with 5 goals, 7 points and 11 shots.

Lisbon 5, Geneva 4 – The Generals made it close, but lost in regulation time to the visitors. It was their fifth loss in six games. John Tavares and Drew Doughty did most of the damage for Lisbon. Tavares took 8 shots on goal and collected 3 assists, while defenseman Doughty scored a goal and had 2 assists. Jay Bouwmeester had assists on two third-period goals for Geneva, but Lisbon and goalie Kari Ramo held them scoreless over the last 7 minutes to preserve the victory. Geneva’s recent swoon has severely damaged the Generals’ playoff hopes. With 14 games remaining, they face a 7-point gap to eighth place.

Minsk 5, Moscow 4 – Jordan Staal picked up right where Nicklas Backstrom left off before a back injury forced him out of the Minsk lineup. Staal scored twice against Moscow and had 6 shots on goal. The only Hussar who performed as well was winger Thomas Powell, who scored two and had 7 shots. Duncan Keith, himself returning from an injury recently, was the best Spartak player Wednesday, scoring a goal on 4 shots, with 3 hits and 3 blocked shots. In 35 games in Belarus this season, Minsk has only lost twice.

Zurich 4, Stockholm 2 – Lions veteran Patrick Sharp scored two important goals to lead his team to a win at home. With 5 minutes left in the second period, Sharp scored on a “sharp” angle to break a 2-2 tie, and early in the next period, he added the insurance goal by tapping in a rebound of a Jori Lehtera shot. The Finn Lehtera earned assists on both Sharp goals. Stockholm goalie Erik Ersberg faced 40 shots, including 8 from the most frustrated man in the place, Jakub Voracek, who didn’t score on any of those 8.

Athens 4, Oslo 1 – Jason Pominville and Brandon Sutter each had two assists and backup goalie Richard Bachman made 32 saves as the Greeks won a game in which the shots on goal were nearly equal. Greek Andrew Ladd scored a goal and led everyone in shots with 6, while Matt Niskanen was the most noticeable Outlaw with 3 hits and 4 blocked shots.

 

 

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