North, South seeing races for home ice

In both conferences, there is a three-team fight to the finish for the 4th place spot in the standings.

In the Northern Conference (current totals):

  • 4. Helsinki – 79 GP, 91 points
  • 5. Stockholm – 80 GP, 91 points
  • 6. Gothenburg – 77 GP, 87 points
  • London has an outside chance at 79 GP and 85 points to disrupt that group

In the Southern Conference:

  • 4. Athens – 79 GP, 88 points
  • 5. Munich – 81 GP, 88 points
  • 6. Bratislava – 78 GP, 86 points
  • Lisbon (79 GP, 82 points) has an outside chance to grab 4th place.

On Monday:

Gothenburg 3, Minsk 2 (OT-SO) – Frolunda kept leading scorer Nicklas Backstrom off the scoresheet and beat the league’s toughest team. In goal, Gothenburg’s Pekka Rinne out-dueled Carey Price of Minsk and Adam Henrique was the only shooter to score in the shootout. Mikko Koivu (18th of the season) and Jordan Eberle (32nd) scored for the winners, while Thomas Powell (25th) and Jordan Staal (23rd) tallied for the Hussars. Gothenburg’s John Carlson and Mark Fraser combined to block 9 Minsk shots.

Stockholm 6, Oslo 1 – Bobby Ryan hit the 30-goal plateau and went past it with a hat trick to lead Stockholm to a win on home ice. The Eagles came to play, outshooting Oslo 54-17. Connor McDavid scored his 15th of the season and that goal prevented Erik Ersberg from getting his first-ever shutout in 79 EURO League games. The only person who has played more games in goal without getting a shutout is Steve Mason, a free agent who played a season in Helsinki and then three in London. Ryan would up with 5 points in the game, Eric Staal had 4 and Keith Yandle had 3.

Munich 2, Bern 1 – The Dire Wolf are on the move again. After a surge that had them nipping at Berlin’s heels earlier in the season, Munich dropped in the standings like Dr. Ben Carson plummeted in the Republican Party presidential primaries. In the last 16 games, however, the boys from Bavaria have notched 13 wins. On Monday, they topped Bern by a goal. Two of the team’s main drivers these season – Talgat Zhailauov and Craig Smith scored first-period goals to give them 22 and 26 goals, respectively, this season. Both goals were powerplay goals. Later, Bern’s Joe Thornton threaded the needle with a pass to Andrei Kostitsyn and the Belarusian tapped the puck past Cory Schneider in the Munich goal, and that made for an exciting last 5 minutes of regulation.

Athens 6, Dublin 3 – The Greeks scored three goals in each of the first two periods and then adopted a defensive style and seemed to turn the ice to oatmeal in the third period, when the teams combined for only 9 shots on goal. Andrew Ladd and Brandon Sutter led the way for Athens, each scoring 2 goals and getting 1 assist. Ladd now has 44 goals for the season. Anze Kopitar picked up 3 assists for Athens, while Alexander Ovechkin scored 2 of Dublin’s 3 goals.

Moscow 4, Edinburgh 2 – Kris Versteeg scored twice for Moscow and he now has 44 goals this season. Max Pacioretty’s 34th of the season was an early punch to the gut for the Capitals. The American-born Spartak forward was penalty killing when he intercepted a Mike Hoffman pass intended for Sidney Crosby and raced in on a breakaway to score an unassisted goal. Moscow’s Alexander Salak made 32 saves and won, while Edinburgh Jakub Kovar made 31 saves in the loss.

Madrid 4, Bratislava 2 – The Royals played a stifling defense, limiting the Eagles to 12 shots on goal/ They also were leading 4-0 by the time Gabriel Landeskog scored his 34th of the season late in the second period. Troy Brouwer and Martin Hanzal helped Bratislava score two goals, but Madrid was too much for the Eagles to mount a serious comeback attempt. The Royals’ Patrik Berglund and Derek Roy led their team with 2 points each.






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