Paris stays ahead of rivals; Smith scores again

Paris 3, Gothenburg 1 – Benoit Pouliot scored a goal to make it 2-0 and then he assisted on Ossi Vaananen’s goal in the third that relieved a lot of pressure and put the Rouge Eiffels up 3-1. Alex Pietrangelo scored the game’s first goal and in the process, he set a new personal best for goals in a season. His 22 leads all EURO defensemen this season. Gothenburg made it interesting in the third period, when Mikel Backlund slide one under Tuukka Rask to make the score 2-1. Frolunda tough guy Mark Fraser was slapped with a misconduct penalty for instigating a fight for the second game in a row. That’s a quick 34 minutes in penalties for Fraser who leads the league in PIM (183) and fights (13). Last year, Brenden Dillon of St. Petersburg finished with the most penalty minutes (196).

Munich 6, Munich 4 – Paris needed their win because both Madrid and Bratislava also won. The three teams all are scrapping for the top seed in the Southern Conference.  Munich had Madrid where they wanted them, up by a goal in the third period, but penalties led to two powerplay goals by the Royals, allowing them to take their second lead of the game. Madrid scored three times in the first period, but the Dire Wolf countered with three in the second. About four minutes into the third period, Munich’s Craig Smith did something he has done often lately: score a goal. He has scored in each of his last 8 games. He also had three assists to lead all players in scoring in the game.

Bratislava 7, Edinburgh 3 – The Eagles top line of Jonathan Toews, Alexander Ovechkin and Tyler Ennis carried most of the load as Bratislava won at home. Ovechkin and Ennis each scored twice. Bratislava was very impressive in the faceoff circle, winning 49 and losing only 28. Jamie Benn and Sidney Crosby both had 2-point games.

Stockholm 2, Helsinki 1 – The Finnish team will play host to their Swedish “friends” again in three nights and not too many people want to referee that one. The teams hooked up Tuesday and wore out paths to the penalty box. There were three checking from behind majors, a roughing, an unnecessary roughness and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in addition to 11 other calls. Amazingly, there were no powerplay goals scored in Stockholm’s 10 powerplays or Helsinki’s seven. Luke Adam opened the game’s scoring for Stockholm and Bobby Ryan notched his 30th of the season not long after Helsinki’s Zack Smith tied the score at 1-1 in the third period. Louie Domingue made 30 saves for the winners.

Belfast 4, Oslo 0 – The Outlaws seemed to get more and more frustrated at the Giants’ stifling defense and their frustration boiled over in the third period when Oslo all-star Shayne Gostisbehere lost his cool and elbowed Evander Kane after a stop in play in the Oslo end as Kane was unsuccessfully trying to score his third goal of the game. Gostibehere earned a match penalty for his indiscretion and a one-game suspension from the league. Here’s what made Gostibehere and his teammates so frustrated: they managed 6 shots in the first period, just 1 in the second and only 4 more in the final period. Gabriel Bourque tallied the other two Belfast goals and the easy shutout was Jonathan Quick’s 38th of his career, a number that puts him on top of the all-time list for shutouts. Kane has not been placed on the team’s injury list, but he will play hurt in the Giants’ next game on Friday against Copenhagen.

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