Italian fans mix emotions in big Milan win

Milan 5, Berlin 2 – The Guerriero evened the series with a home win, getting a big goal in the third period from Marcus Kruger and then an insurance goal from young Matthew Tkachuk. The game was marred by a fan incident midway through the second period. Milan was on top 2-0 after goals by speedy forwards Tomas Zaborsky and Tyler Johnson, when Berlin got on the scoreboard for the first time, Jeff Carter getting credit for the goal after a scramble in front of Milan goalie Andrew Hammond. Seeing the replay on the big scoreboard, Italian fans became furious when the puck seemed to be kicked into the goal by Carter, but after a video review the goal was allowed to stand. The Italian fans hurled cups and calzones onto the ice, causing a delay of about 12 minutes before order was restored. Guerriero forward Jamie McGinn helped release the tension when he skated off the bench during the delay, picked a calzone up from the ice and started eating it. When he waved to the crowd, it turned some anger into laughter. The tomato sauce from the calzones left little red dots on the ice surface and turned part of both blue lines purple. Most of the sauce came off when the ice was resurfaced for the third period. It was a particularly bad night for the top Smurf forward line of Vadim Shipachyov, Andrey Bykov and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. They were limited to 5 shots in the game and were able to record just a point, but what’s worse, two of them were minus 5 on the night. Milan got a great performance from their defensemen, especially Andrew MacDonald and Luca Sbisa, who were each plus 3 with a combined 5 blocked shots. The series returns to Berlin Tuesday.

Athens 6, Paris 1 – The math didn’t add up too well in Greece Sunday, but the Gods were happy with the solution. Visiting Paris outshot Athens 34-27 but still got outscored by 5 goals. Tuukka Rask was not at his best in the Paris goal, while Jaro Halak was in tip-top form for the Gods, stopping 33 shots and getting a lot of help in rebound clearance from his defensemen. It helped Athens that they scored on the very first shift of the game. Forechecker Logan Couture dug a puck out of a corner and slid it to Loui Eriksson, the league’s regular season goal scoring champ, who rifled it past Rask. Athens also can thank its powerplay for scoring three times in six opportunities; and its penalty killers, who snuffed out three Paris PPs. While the teams were at even strength, Alex Edler scored his first two goals of the series, which is now tied 2-2 and headed back to France. Athens won’t have defenseman Alex Goligoski joining them on the trip because he got hurt Sunday, joining fellow blueliner Nicklas Kronwall on the IR. Goligoski, who scored 3 points in the 4 games, will be replaced by Bobby Sanguinetti, 28, who has played in 36 games over the last two seasons.

Lisbon 5, Madrid 0 – Lisbon has Madrid on the brink of elimination after a spotless performance in Game 4 in Portugal. John Tavares scored a hat trick, with linemate Steven Stamkos getting assists on all three goals and Kari Ramo continued his strong play with a 23-save shutout. Everyone knows Lisbon can put together a deadly powerplay unit and they proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt late in the first period on the only powerplay Madrid gave them. In about 50 seconds of PP time, Lisbon applied monumental pressure on Madrid and goalie Robin Lehner, getting off 6 clearcut scoring chances before Tavares scored to end the powerplay. By contrast, Madrid was credited with only 4 scoring chances in 6 man-advantage situations. Lisbon’s powerplay goal opened the scoring in the game and seemed to shift momentum firmly in the home team’s favor. The only dark spot for Lisbon came late in the game when Marian Hossa left with a wrist injury.Doctors say the Slovakian veteran forward will miss significant time. While he only managed an assist through the first four games of the series, the 38-year-old scored 18 times during the regular season while playing good defense. To replace him, Coach Willie Desjardins went a little younger: 37-year-old Mike Fisher, who won a Cup in Season 1 with Geneva. Fisher, normally a center, will play wing on the fourth line. He saw only 10 games for Lisbon this season.

Bratislava 2, Munich 0 – Alexander Ovechkin was brought into Bratislava during the off season because of his lethal shot, and although he didn’t score in the first three games of the series, his goal early in Game 4 was deadly to the Dire Wolf. That’s because Bratislava goalie Marc-Andre Fleury only needed one Eagle goal to win. He shut out the Dire Wolf by saving 23 shots. Bratislava has now put together four straight games of about 40 shots on goal and few, if any, penalties. Cory Schneider has been great in goal for Munich and he stopped 36 of 37 Bratislava shots Sunday. Munich pulled Schneider at the end of the game, trying to tie it up, but Bratislava held them off and deposited the puck into the empty net with a second left to prompt most of the nearly 18,000 Bavarians in attendance to grab their coats and leave. Bratislava now leads the series 3-1 and will play at home Tuesday.

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