Panthers In Europe: Bergenheim, Goc And Kulikov See Action

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Sean Bergenheim scored his first goal in Finland while Marcel Goc picked up his fourth point of the season and Dmitry Kulikov shined defensively.

Sean Bergenheim scored his first goal of the season but it wasn’t enough as HIFK fell 3-2 to Tappara in Tuesday night SM-Liiga action from Helsinki. With a raucous weeknight crowd of 6,767 on hand, Bergenheim moved up to HIFK's third line, skating with Florida Panthers prospect Iiro Pakarinen and center Patrick O’Sullivan, He finished with an even +/- rating in addition to the goal. After a scoreless first, former NHLer Ville Nieminen opened the scoring for Tappara with a power play goal at 6:36 of the second period. Bergenheim would even the game up less than a minute later, beating Pekka Tuokkola off a feed from the crafty O’Sullivan, The tie would not last long as Alexsander Barkov and Kalle Kaijomaa scored even strength goals to help Tappara build a two goal advantage before the end of the period. With Markus Kankaanpera in the penalty box, Patrick O’Sullivan would cut the lead in half with a power play goal on assists from Ville Varkas and Arttu Luttinen just under three minutes into third. HIFK would carry the play during the rest of the period but would not be able to come up with the equalizer. Tuokkola ended up stopping 34 shots in the winning effort while Joni Ortio took the loss for HIFK. IFK Helsinki's next game will be Thursday night against cross-town rival Jokerit.

Marcel Goc was bumped down to the fourth line but the Florida Panthers center still contributed by setting up the final goal of the game to finish off a 5-0 Adler Mannheim rout of the Iserlohn Roosters on home ice. Goc also had one shot on goal and an even rating for the night. My guess is the move down was made to help manage Goc’s ice time as he continues to work himself into peak shape with weak Iserlohn providing a sweet spot on the schedule to do so. Powerful Mannheim broke open a scoreless game by exploding for four goals in the second period. Ronny Arendt opened the scoring with assists going to Steven Wagner and Yanick Lehoux at the 3:25 mark. Michael Glumac made it 2-0 scoring at even strength from Craig MacDonald and Yannic Seidenberg. Adam Mitchell would extend the lead to three with a power play goal and Frank Mauer capped the barrage with just over six minutes remaining in the period. Arendt and Lehoux would pick up their second points of the night by assisting on Mauer’s tally. In the third period, Goc would get on the score sheet by teaming with Seidenberg to set up Glumac’s second goal of the evening. Dennis Endras posted the shutout for Adler Mannheim who raised their record to 6-1 on the season.

Dmitry Kulikov saw his ice time and responsibility increase in his second KHL outing of the season. He logged just over twenty one minutes while registering one shot on goal with an even +/- rating during a tough 2-1 road win over Dinamo Minsk. Former Calgary Flames defenseman Staffan Kronwall was the only Yaroslavl player who saw more ice time than Kulikov. Lokomotiv’s Sergei Plotnikov opening the scoring on the power play at the 1:36 mark of the first period with assists going to former Panther Viktor Kozlov and Columbus Blue Jackets center Artem Anisimov. Niklas Hagman, another former Florida skater, scored the eventual game-winner just under three minutes later, finishing off a pass from Alexei Kulyuzhny. Andrei Stas would get Dinamo on the board with an even strength goal at 7:21 of the first but they would get no closer as Lokomotiv netminder Semyon Varalomov would shut the door the rest of the way. Minsk would finish with 39 shots on goal while Yaroslavl took 27 shots at Nashville Predators star Pekka Rinne. The win was the ninth of the season for Lokomotiv and moved them to the top of the KHL's Western Conference.

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