Prague 5, Paris 3 – It seemed to be business as usual for the Paris Rouge Eiffels: a one-goal lead with half a powerplay left going into the final period, when suddenly Prague erupted and dealt the French team its first loss of the season. Penalty killers Aleksander Barkov and Martin Ruzicka worked the puck into the Paris zone and Roman Josi finished off the play with a wrist shot that scored and simultaneously woke up Sparta’s bench and shocked Paris. Within the next 7 minutes, Prague had a two-goal lead, as Barkov and Marcus Johansson scored with Ruzicka figuring into one play and Josi into the other. Barkov had a wonderful evening, finishing with 2 goals and 2 assists and leading all skaters in shots with 6.
Minsk 6, Moscow 1 – Milan Lucic, who scored two hat tricks last week, decided to let Nicklas Backstrom in on the fun Wednesday against Moscow. The big guy assisted on two of three Backstrom goals as the Hussars walked all over visiting Moscow. The Lucic-Backstrom-Patrick Kane line was plus 4. Conversely, Moscow’s Ryan O’Reilly, Dustin Brown and Kris Versteeg were a dismal minus 5.
Milan 2, Athens 0 – Penalties hurt the Greeks a little Wednesday but Andrew Hammond did way more damage. The second-year Milan goalie saved all 28 Athens shots to earn his fifth shutout in 71 career games. Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Okposo scored the goals and each assisted on each other’s tally, with linemate Tyler Johnson getting assists on both.
Belfast 4, St. Petersburg 3 – Evander Kane and Ondrej Palat scored third-period goals to lift the Giants to a win they deserved to have. Belfast outshot the Krasnyye Zvezdy 42-19 in the game and 16-2 in the final period. Each team scored a shorthanded goal and St. Petersburg tallied twice in six powerplay attempts. Karl Alzner, a defenseman that St. Pete traded for in the off season, left the game during his third shift when a puck struck him near the eye. Dmitri Kalinin will fill in for him while his is out of the lineup.
Gothenburg 6, Munich 0 – Frolunda looked as good as they ever have in stomping out the Dire Wolf, outshooting them 41-21 in the process. Cal Clutterbuck and Carl Hagelin scored twice each and Alec Martinez and Petr Vrana added single tallies to the total. Gothenburg fans are giddy but they don’t seem to know how to react to their newfound strength. They have never been used to seeing their team tied for the lead in the standings, tied for the lead in goals scored and right near the top of league defensive statistics all at the same time. With the shutout, Pekka Rinne tied Jonathan Quick as the EURO’s all-time leaders in shutouts.
Lisbon 3, London 2 – Sam Gagner scored with 1:06 remaining to bring London to within a goal, but the rally fell short thanks to Lisbon goalie Kari Ramo and determined play from his teammates. The game was 0-0 after one period and 1-1 after two, but Lisbon was able to create some breathing room for themselves by scoring twice early in the third. Wayne Simmonds scored a powerplay goal and Ryan Kesler scored less than 7 minutes later. Those goals were good signs for Lisbon, who need supplemental scoring to come from lines other than the John Tavares-Steven Stamkos-Matt Moulson trio.