Lisbon conquers Madrid; two Game 7s upcoming

Lisbon 6, Madrid 3 – A furious rally in the third period allowed Lisbon to get over a giant playoff hurdle and at the same time, they assured that the rivalry between the EURO League’s Portuguese and Spanish teams will remain spicy hot. The Royals, fighting for their playoff lives against the sixth seed in the Southern Conference, led 3-1 at one point in the game, but Lisbon was relentless in the third period, tying the game on a Steven Stamkos goal and surging to a comfortable lead on goals by Mike Fisher and Ryan Kesler. The goal by Kesler was his second of the game. A difference in the game came in the faceoff circles, as Lisbon centers such as Kesler, John Tavares and Joe Pavelski won 50 of 79 draws, taking a lot of Madrid’s momentum and chances away from them. Madrid finished fourth overall in the league during the regular season with 111 points.

Athens 4, Paris 3 – The Gods powerplay gave them a win in Game 6 and set up an epic duel in Game 7 in Paris on Saturday. Defensemen Mark Giordano and Alexander Edler, along with forward Brandon Sutter, scored powerplay goals in the first two periods, wiping out two leads that the Rouges Eiffels enjoyed. Paris needed two goals to come back and tie the game in the last two minutes and they nearly did it. Evgeny Malkin and Corey Perry worked the puck around well in the Athens zone, getting assists on a Travis Hamonic goal with 1:06 remaining and they nearly squeezed out another goal, hitting a goal post with 31 seconds left. In the series, the two big centers – Paris’ Malkin and Athens’ Anze Kopitar – have been playing head-to-head and their statistics are virtually even. Both have 6 points in 6 games and they have generated nearly the same number of shots on goal. Logan Couture is easily the offensive star of the series. He has 5 goals and 9 assists in the 6 games.

Milan 2, Berlin 1 – Andrew Hammond stole a game for Milan against Berlin on Thursday and he’s set up a Game 7 in Germany on Saturday. The Guerriero goalie stopped 33 pucks, allowing just one during a 14-shot barrage in the second period. Tomas Zaborsky of Milan scored the only goal of the first period, Vadim Shipachyov scored for Berlin in the second, and Jake Muzzin’s screened slapper in the third period turned out to be the game-winner. Zaborsky and linemate Jaden Schwartz were involved in both Milan goals. Berlin went with youngster Calvin Pickard in goal and he made 17 saves and allowed 2 goals. Veteran Jimmy Howard, who has started 4 of the 6 games in the series and has a 2-2 record, has been penciled in as the starter for Game 7. Kyle Okposo, Milan’s second-leader scorer during the regular season, is banged up, missed Game 6, and is questionable for Game 7

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