Belfast 3, Oslo 2 – Ondrej Palat had 11 shots on goal and scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal for Belfast in Norway. The visitors deserved the win, outshooting the Outlaws 42-21. Palat, who now has 19 goals and 43 points, also assisted on a shorthanded goal by Claude Giroux that opened the scoring. For Oslo, Devante Smith-Pelly also scored a shorthanded goal, his second shorty of the season.
Athens 4, Berlin 3 – The Gods have ascended to the top of the Southern Conference standings by erasing a 3-0 deficit in a furious finish against goalie Calvin Pickard. All of Athens’ goals came in the final 10 minutes of the game, started by an Alex Goligoski slapshot that deflected off Berlin defenseman Erik Gudbranson’s skate. Loui Eriksson followed with his league-leading 37th goal of the season – unassisted – and then Nick Kronwall tied it with a shorthanded goal. With 2:17 left, Andrew Ladd finished off a play with Anze Kopitar and Jason Pominville for the game-winner.
Paris 6, Munich 1 – The Rouges Eiffels seem to be hitting their stride, winning their sixth straight game and doing so with a dominant scoreline in the first of two games in Munich this weekend. The three members of Paris’ second forward line had three-point nights. David Perron scored twice and linemates Mike Richards and Alexander Semin each added one goal. Tuukka Rask looked sharp in goal for Paris, making 32 saves. The only puck that got past him was a shot by Fyodor Malykhin.
Helsinki 3, Dublin 1 – The Jokerit looked strong at home and got excellent goaltending from Henrik Lundquist. Alexander Radulov, Nerius Alisauskas and Pavel Datsyuk scored the Helsinki goals and Eli Sherbatov had two assists.
Zurich 2, St. Petersburg 1 – Zurich backup goalie Marek Mazanec nearly had a shutout, but former Lion Ilya Kovalchuk ruined the party with 36 seconds left. The Lions got a goal in the first period from Jacob Trouba and one in the second from T.J. Oshie, and those were all the goals they needed. There were not many shots in the game, but there were a lot of penalties and some really good penalty killing work. Zurich was 0 for 7 in man-advantage situations, and St. Petersburg was 0 for 9. Karl Alzner blocked 4 shots for the Krasnyye Zvezdy.
Bratislava 5, London 1 – The home fans in Britain weren’t very happy with their team’s performance, especially after they took a 1-0 lead on Jason Zucker’s fourth goal of the season about 10 minutes in. Bratislava got two powerplay goals from winger Tyler Toffoli. London’s Dylan Olsen played well, blocking 4 shots and delivering 3 hits in 15 minutes of ice time. The real key to the game came every time a referee or linesman dropped a puck for a faceoff. Bratislava won a very impressive 66 of 91 draws, which us a little more than 72 percent.
Trivia answer: Patrice Bergeron of Zurich is the active player with the best all-time faceoff win percentage at 59.5 percent. Jonathan Toews is next at 59.3; Bobby Butler 59.3; Joe Pavelski 57.7 and Rich Peverley 57.6.