Madrid 4, Lisbon 2 – The Madrid Royals have consistently been near the top of the league this season and their team-first attitude brought them another 2 points in the standings Saturday when it looked for a while they would get nothing against Lisbon. Coach Dan Bylsma tends to keep his very best players separated in the lineup and spreading the talent has worked for Madrid, who has a legitimate chance of finishing atop the Southern Conference. Most coaches would probably keep Shea Weber and Erik Karlsson joined at the hip on defense, but Bylsma keeps them separated. The same up front, where Blake Wheeler is on one line, and Derek Stepan is on another. The result gives Madrid real scoring threats – and solid defensive players – on the ice more minutes per game. On Saturday, the Royals saw themselves down 2-0 after a pair of Steven Stamkos goals before the Spanish machine started churning. Halfway through the game, Stepan scored a goal to get Madird on the board and a few minutes later, Karlsson set up Sean Couturier to tie it. Then in the third, Landeskog and top line center Patrik Berglund added goals and Madrid had another win. It was the first time Madrid has defeated its Iberian Peninsula rival this season. They will meet for the fourth and final time 13 days from now.
Bratislava 4, Berlin 0 – Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his 6th shutout of the season – the most shutouts he’s ever had in a season – and the Eagles marched out of Berlin with a win. Jonathan Toews, the team’s leading scorer, notched a pair of goals. Fleury will not get a rest as he has been ordered to go again tonight in Athens where he will face the league’s top goal scorer, Loui Eriksson. The Greeks are currently in fifth place in the Southern Conference, six points behind Bratislava, but don’t count them out for the top spot. The conference’s top three teams – Bratislava, Madrid and Paris – all have to play Athens before the regular season ends and the Rouge Eiffels have to face them twice. Athens could be their own best friend by winning those games. Not only would that give them 8 points, it would also stall the progress of Bratislava, Madrid and Paris. The real spoiler team in the Southern Conference could be a team from the North. Edinburgh still has two games scheduled against Bratislava and two against Athens.
Athens 6, Edinburgh 4 – And speaking of Edinburgh and Athens, the teams met Saturday and the Greeks won, thanks in part to three shorthanded goals (Brandon Sutter, Alex Edler and Anze Kopitar). Thomas Greiss made 32 saves in the win for Athens. Defenseman Gurkan Cetinkaya played a great game for the Capitals, with 3 points and a plus 3 rating. Despite the 2 points Athens gained, the game was a disaster for them. Patrick Marleau and Alex Goligoski were both hurt and they’ll join Nicklas Kronwall on the injury list, and center Logan Couture faces a suspension after match penalty. Couture threw an elbow that injured Alexander Sulzer of Edinburgh.
Dublin 1, Milan 0 – A goalie duel in Italy was won by the visitor. Cam Talbot made 27 saves for Dublin to get the shutout and thanks to a powerplay goal in the third period by Clarke MacArthur, he and the Fighting Irish earned a win over Andrew Hammond and the Guerriero. Milan is currently in 7th place in the South, while Dublin is trying to fend off three challengers for the 8th-place spot in the North.
Geneva 4, Zurich 3 – After a video review to see if the puck crossed the line before the third period ended, it was determined it did, and Nazem Kadri was credited with a goal with one second left to give visiting Geneva a win over their Swiss rivals. Marian Gaborik assisted on the goal and it was his third point of the game. Gaborik is now 35 and in the final year of his contract. The fourth player taken by Geneva in the league’s initial draft, he was the team’s second-leading scorer in Season 1, the year they won the EURO Cup. He joins Dennis Wideman, Nick Foligno, Darren Helm and David Desharnais as the only players who have stayed on the team during these seven seasons. Zurich actually outshot Geneva Saturday by a wide margin, 47-31, but Fredrik Andersen was strong in goal for the Generals. The teams will meet again Wednesday.
Oslo 4, Copenhagen 3 (OT) – Tomas Hertl scored in overtime and added two assists to lead the Outlaws to a win at home. Oslo was facing defeat until Eric Gelinas scored his 10th goal of the season in the final minute of regulation. Copenhagen received wonderful play from Matthieu Perreault (2 goals and 8 of 11 in faceoffs) and Kevin Bieksa (3 assists and plus 3 rating).