It looks like either Paris or Minsk will be the next home of the EURO Cup. The Rouges Eiffels and Hussars are both enjoying 3-0 leads in their conference finals series. Berlin and Belfast will have to pull off miraculous runs – four straight wins – to change things.
Minsk has looked unbeatable against Belfast, winning the first three games by scores of 6-0, 3-0 and 6-2.
Game 1: Carey Price didn’t have to work too hard to get the shutout as Minsk outshot Belfast 34-11. The Hussars’ top line of Nick Backstrom, Patrick Kane and Milan Lucic scored three times and defensemen Max Chudinov and Janne Niskala were each plus 3 with 2 points.
Game 2: The Giants’ powerplay units failed to score on any of their 9 powerplays (15 in the first two games) as Price made 20 saves for another shutout.
Game 3: An 11-minute stretch of the first period was a nightmare for the home fans in Northern Ireland. Goalie Jonathan Quick left the contest after allowing 6 goals on 14 shots. Kane scored a hat trick in a span of 7 minutes and all three members of his line had 4 points.
You want to see goals? This is your series. Paris has won by scores of 8-4, 6-4 and 4-3.
Game 1: Eight different Paris players scored 2 points on Berlin goalies Jimmy Howard and then Nicklas Svedberg as Paris more than doubled Berlin’s shot total, 43-20. David Perron and Kris Letang each scored two powerplay goals.
Game 2: Shots were just about even 43-41 in favor of Paris but the Eiffels were a little better. Martin Erat scored twice in the first period to lead the way for Paris. Corey Perry, who scored twice in Game 1, didn’t score in the next game, but he kept Howard busy with 10 shots on goal. Smurf Logan Couture had 7 shots on Tuukka Rask and finished with a goal and an assist.
Game 3: Perry scored in the second period to put the Eiffels ahead 2-0, but the Smurfs came storming back in front of the home folks, getting three powerplay goals, two of them from Loui Eriksson. But with 1:16 to play, Travis Hamonic and Perry got the puck to Evgeny Malkin, who scored to quiet the screaming German fans and send the game into overtime. Just about 3 minutes into the extra frame, the winner came, as Jason Krog got to a loose puck in the neutral zone, passed up to Josef Vasicek, who threaded a risky pass between Smurf defensemen Dion Phaneuf and Alexander Edler to David Bolland, who was breaking to the front of the net. Bolland just redirected the puck and it slid underneath Howard’s pads as he dropped to the ice.