Paris 5, Milan 3 – Evgeny Malkin scored three even-strength goals and assisted on an Alex Pietrangelo goal to lead Paris to another home win. Malkin is now third in the league in goals and he and Steven Stamkos are tied for the all-time lead with 287 each. Malkin linemate Corey Perry had four assists in the game and the Rouges Eiffels outshot the Guerriero 47-27. Marcus Kruger and Tyler Johnson each had a goal and an assist for Milan. Paris is now 21-3 at home and the team leaves today for a three-game swing through Germany and Austria. It will play in Munich Friday and again on Sunday before going to Geneva on Monday. Milan, meanwhile, gets a rare 5-day break in the schedule to prepare for a five-game homestand which starts with two games against the Bern Interrail.
Minsk 7, Prague 1 – Second liners Thomas Powell, Gustav Nyquist and Jordan Staal were in top form Wednesday, with Powell notching a hat trick and Staal and Nyquist contributing with three and two assists, respectively. While that line was resting on the bench, defenseman Michael Del Zotto, now a three-time all-star, took control and he wound up with assists on three other goals. Mark Scheifele’s goal was Prague’s lone tally and it prevented Carey Price from getting a shutout. Minsk is the top team in the league so far and the Hussars have only lost twice on home ice in 27 games.
Copenhagen 3, Dublin 2 – The Fighting Irish had great success in the faceoff circle and they outshot Copenhagen 42-30, but still couldn’t win the home game. Brandon Dubinsky played his usual up-tempo, good all-around game for the Tridents, blocking 3 shots, delivering 3 hits and setting up Johnny Gaudreau for a goal that broke a 1-1 tie in the third period. Stephen Weiss added a powerplay goal shortly thereafter and that ended up being the game-winner. Maxican goalie Andres De La Garma made 40 stops for Copenhagen.
Berlin 6, Bern 5 – The two teams played a wild game in Bern, with the visiting Smurfs coming out on top by a goal. At one point in the second period, Berlin was leading 4-1, but penalty trouble gave Bern an opening and the Interrail responded with three quick powerplay goals to tie the contest. Josef Vasicek assisted on one of those powerplay goals and he scored the other two. The hero Smurfs were Andrey Bykov and Jeff Carter, who scored two goals apiece. Both players were acquired by Berlin in off-season trades and they have paid dividends for GM Guybrush Threepwood by scoring 45 goals combined so far. Bykov actually returned to Berlin. He was taken by the Smurfs in the second round of the Season 2 draft but was promptly traded – along with Tim Erixon and a second-round pick – to London for Semyon Varlamov. Varlamov spent just a year with the Smurfs, being later shipped to Oslo with Jarko Immonen for Jimmy Howard. Bykov, meanwhile, never played for London. He went to Prague in a mystery trade (I just can’t pin it down), played five seasons there and was traded last off season to Berlin for a first- and a third-round pick. Wednesday’s game also featured a lot of hitting. Erik Gudbranson led Berlin in that category with 6, while Jeff Petry and Leo Komarov had 5 each for Bern.
Helsinki 3, Belfast 2 – Speaking of hitting, the Jokerit seemed to be a search-and-destroy mission against Belfast, hitting everything that moved, and the strategy paid off with a win. Helsinki started the game nasty, took four first-period penalties, and they kept the nasty up all night long. Nick Holden, Jared Cowen and Boone Jenner had 5 hits each and the team dished out 33 hits to Belfast’s 19. But Helsinki’s best hitter, Daniel Fernholm, didn’t get much of a chance to add to his 158 hits this year, a total that has him tied for third in the league. Early in the second period, he came together with Belfast tough guy Micki Dupont and the two tumbled to the ice. Dupont got to his feet first and as Fernholm was getting up, Dupont kneed him in the head. Fernholm suffered a concussion and left the game. He is expected to miss significant action and Dupont has been levied a three-game suspension by league Director of Discipline and Player Safety Sepp Blatter. Oh, there was a handful of goals scored in the game too. Nathan MacKinnon and Ondrej Palat each scored his 18th of the season for Belfast, but Helsinki prevailed on tallies by Zach Smith (9th), Paul Stastny (20th) and Nerius Alisauskas (8th).
Stockholm 3, Edinburgh 2 – Eagle Luke Adam’s second goal of the season was a big one because it broke a 1-1 tie in the third period. But David Savard countered with his second of the season four-and-a-half minutes later on the powerplay to tie the game with 13:10 remaining. Capital forward Scott Conway, a native of England, doesn’t get called for too many penalties, but he was whistled for a trip late in the game and wouldn’t you know it – Stockholm made him pay with a game-winning goal. Jack Eichel laid off a puck for Keith Yandle to one-time and the shot whizzed past Edinburgh goalie Jakub Kovar. The goal was very similar to a Yandle-from-Eichel goal that opened the scoring in the first period. Kovar and former Arizona Coyote Louis Domingue both had good games in goal for their teams.