Paris regains top spot in the South

Paris 6, Minsk 0 – In the tight Southern Conference, Paris moved up into first place as both Bratislava and Madrid lost ground.  The Rouge Eiffels clobbered Minsk, scoring 4 goals in the first period and getting multi-point games from David Perron, Mike Richards, Corey Perry and Alexander Semin. Philipp Grubauer made his 14th appearance of the season and notched his third shutout,  making 20 saves against the top team in the EURO. Milan Lucic, the big Hussar who leads a tight individual scoring race, was minus 4 and he and linemates Patrick Kane and Nicklas Backstrom were limited to 5 shots in total.

Athens 3, Bratislava 2 – Minus four of their starters, the Athens Greeks dealt a blow to the Eagles, knocking them from the top of the standings in the conference. Defenseman Mark Giordano led everyone in scoring with two assists and center Anze Kopitar blocked 4 shots and added an assists for the Greeks. Andrew Ladd, who opened the scoring in the game with his 34th of the season, will be day-to-day with the flu. For the time being, he joins Logan Couture (suspension), Alex Goligoski (shoulder), Nicklas Kronwall (leg) and Patrick Marleau (upper body) on Athens’ unable to perform list. Thanks to the injuries, Athens will have two Greece-born left wings in their next game as both veteran Dimitrios Kalyvas and rookie Georgios Kouleles are penciled in. Unfortunately for the home fans, the Greeks’ next game is in Milan.

Milan 4, Madrid 3 – Coming into Sunday’s games, Madrid had 10 games remaining to play with three against Milan and two against Munich. To capture the top seed in the Southern Conference, the Royals need to win their games in hand, especially against teams like Milan, which are down the standings several places. The Guerriero made the Royals’ journey tougher with a stunning win in regulation time in Italy. Milan was outshot 39-21 but won anyway. Tyler Johnson scored the back-breaking goals, two on the powerplay, to give him 28 goals this season. His second of the game, which came with 7:49 to play, gave Milan the lead for the first time in the game. Guerriero goalie Andrew Hammond stopped 36 Madrid shots. Penalties hurt Madrid, as they took five straight minors during a 12-minute stretch of the second period. With the win, Milan officially makes the playoffs for the first time since Season 2.

Prague 3, Gothenburg 2 – Justin Schultz and Cory Conacher scored goals in the third period to push Sparta past Frolunda in the Czech Republic. Mark Fraser, the league’s all-time leader in fights, instigated another one early in the contest, getting young Robin Grossman to drop the gloves for the third time in his 62-game career. Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves to earn the win for Prague.

Helsinki 6, Moscow 2 – The Jokerit came to Moscow and took the Dynamo off their game with their trademark heavy hitting in a penalty-filled game. Defenseman Jared Cowen and center Jason Spezza each had a goal and  two assists and Henrik Lundquist made 33 saves for Helsinki. The Jokerit are currently 10th in the league and 4th in the Northern Conference, but they are in a good position to catch and pass Gothenburg because they trail by just a point with four games in hand.



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