Brynas 0 @ Frolunda 3
Johan Harju, Brynas, 0-0-0, E, 2 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: 29 GP, 10-6-16, +4, 33 PIM
After jumping out to a 2-0 first period lead, Frolunda, a team bolstered by a mix of current and former NHLers (P.J. Axelsson, Fabian Brunnstrom, Christian Backman, Matt Duchene, Joel Lundqvist and Fredrik Sjostrom), held visiting Brynas at bay offensively to secure a shutout victory. Johan Harju played 19:26, the second-most minutes among forwards, for Brynas and former Lightning netminder Johan Holmqvist, who stopped twenty-one of twenty-three Frolunda shots, took the loss. On Tuesday, Brynas (11-9-3-6, 45 PTS) will hit the road again to take on third-place Skelleftea (16-9-2-2, 54 PTS).
Brynas 4 vs. Vaxjo 2
Johan Harju, Brynas, 0-1-1, +1, 0 SOG, 2 PIM (delay of game)
Season totals: 28 GP, 10-6-16, +4, 33 PIM
Trailing by one after the first period, Brynas put up three goals in the second to muster its own one goal lead heading into the third where Calle Jarnkrok's power play strike would help the home squad close out Vaxjo. Both goalies in the match had Lightning connections: Johan Holmqvist, in net for Brynas, spent two seasons with Tampa Bay and Fredrik Norrena, who was signed in 2006 before weeks later being packaged with Fredrik Modin and shipped to Columbus as part of the now-infamous Marc Denis trade, took the loss for Vaxjo. Johan Harju registered an assist on the first goal of the match for Brynas but it was Sebastian Enterfeldt who did the hard work, delivering, as he spun along the endboards, a beautiful backhand feed into the high slot to locked-out Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson. Franson, allowed to drift unmarked into the soft spot in Vaxjo's defensive coverage, was able to one-time a snapshot past Norrena, who had little time to react coming off the post to square up in his crease. Former Lightning defenseman Noah Welch, now playing his second Elitserien season, had four penalty minutes for Vaxjo. Brynas (11-8-3-6, 45 PTS) next travels to face Frolunda (11-12-1-3, 38 PTS), which has lost its last three home games against Brynas, on Saturday.
Brynas 5 vs. Linkopings 0
Johan Harju, Brynas, 1-0-1, +1, 2 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: 27 GP, 10-5-15, +3, 31 PIM
Former Lightning netminder Johan Holmqvist stopped all thirty-three shots he faced and Sebastian Enterfeldt scored twice to lead Brynas, which had lost its last five home games, to a decisive shutout victory over visiting Linkopings. As a result, the gap between the two clubs in the league's standings narrowed to just three points. Johan Harju's power play goal early in the third period bolstered the home club's lead to 3-0. On the play, Harju skated unmarked between two defenders to the edge of the crease as the puck was muscled into the opposing corner behind the net to Jonas Nordquist. There, with attention fully on him, Nordquist fed a crisp pass that found Harju's sticktape which, with a half-empty net to place the puck, made for an easy tap-in. Brynas (10-8-3-6, 42 PTS) hosts Vaxjo (6-12-6-3, 33 PTS), which has lost six-straight to Brynas, on Thursday.
Brynas 1 @ Lulea 8
Johan Harju, Brynas, 0-0-0, -1, 4 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: 26 GP, 9-5-14, +2, 31 PIM
Linus Persson and Niklas Olausson totaled seven assists and eight different goal-scorers helped Lulea crush Brynas, which actually took the initial lead in the match. Ex-Bolt Johan Holmqvist relieved Robin Rahm, who finished with seventeen saves on twenty-one shots, in net for the visiting squad to start the third period but ended up allowing four goals as well and ended up with just 10 saves. Harju, like the rest of his club, had a quiet, forgettable night. Brynas (9-8-3-6, 39 PTS) hosts Linkopings (13-10-1-1, 42 PTS) on Tuesday.
Brynas 3 vs. Farjestads 4 (OT)
Johan Harju, Brynas, 1-0-1, -1, 4 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: 25 GP, 9-5-14, +3, 31 PIM
Farjestads jumped out to a 2-0 lead midway through the first period and led until Johan Harju scored near the midpoint of the third period to send the game to overtime. There, in the final minute, Marcus Paulsson tapped in a loose rebound after a blast from the right circle to win the game for Farjestads, which really came on strong with seven shots in the extra session. Brynas earned a point, but it was the club's fourth consecutive loss. Harju's goal was a thing of beauty; on the play, he took a pass to his backhand while moving behind the net and, with a defender leaning on his back, angled the puck on his forehand towards the top of the crease before stopping and spinning to his backhand suddenly, shedding the defender, and then leisurely lifting a backhander up and over down-and-out Farjestads netminder Alexander Salak and into the wide-open net. Brynas (9-7-3-6, 39 PTS) next travels to face Lulea (11-6-5-2, 45 PTS), which it has beaten each of the last five games Lulea has been the host, on Saturday.
Brynas 1 @ AIK 2 (OT)
Johan Harju, Brynas, 0-1-1, +1, 2 SOG, 2 PIM (slashing)
Season totals: 24 GP, 8-5-13, +4, 31 PIM
Brynas ran up an impressive 39-19 shot advantage but was repeatedly stymied by AIK netminder Daniel Larsson and ultimately came up short on the road Tuesday in what was its second-consecutive overtime loss. This time, though, Brynas met its demise in the shootout thanks to the hands and creativity of Niklas Jensen, selected 29th overall in the 2011 by the Vancouver Canucks. On the game-winning attempt, Jensen pulled a backhand deke back to his forehand in one slick motion before, with a quick release, tucking the puck just inside the blocker-side post and past Robin Rahm. Harju, who scored on the initial attempt of the shootout, registered a secondary assist on the game-tying goal by Calle Jarnkrok a few minutes into the second. Brynas (9-7-3-5, 38 PTS) returns home to face Farjestads (10-7-3-4, 40 PTS) on Thursday.
Brynas 5 vs. MODO 6 (OT)
Johan Harju, Brynas, 1-0-1, +4, 3 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: 23 GP, 8-4-12, +3, 29 PIM
Brynas earned a point but squandered three separate leads, twice after being up by two goals, en route to its fifth-straight loss at home. David Gunnarsson scored for MODO just 19 seconds after Calle Jarnkrok put Brynas ahead with just under seven minutes to play in regulation and Richie Regehr finished MODO's comeback with less than a minute remaining in the overtime session by striking on the power play. MODO won the special teams battle, scoring two timely goals with the man-advantage in three opportunities while Brynas failed to solve the MODO penalty-kill four different times. Daniel Widing had hat trick in what amounted to a whale of a game (4 PTS, +3, 6 SOG) for Brynas' right-winger. Harju, who helped pad the home club's initial lead in the first period after getting behind the opposing defenders and gathering a stretch pass that sent him in alone on MODO netminder Bernhard Starkbaum, was one of the even-strength stalwarts tonight and shared the night's best +/- rating with teammate Sebastian Enterfeldt, who assisted on three Brynas goals. Up next for Brynas (9-7-3-4, 37 PTS) is a tilt against slumping AIK (6-12-1-4, 24 PTS), which has had its own troubles closing out games and has a league-high four losses in overtime, on Tuesday.
Brynas 0 vs. HV 71 3
Johan Harju, Brynas, 0-0-0, -2, 0 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: 22 GP, 7-4-11, -1, 29 PIM
Gustaf Wesslau stopped all 32 shots he faced to propel HV 71 to its fourth-consecutive win over Brynas and atop the league standings. Brynas fell behind early in the first period when Mattias Karlsson and David Petrasek capitalized on even-strength scoring chances just minutes apart. Brynas continued to trail by two until Robin Rahm was pulled to give Brynas an extra attacker in the final two minutes of the game and Andreas Jamtin added an empty-netter for HV 71. This was the 14th game Lightning overage prospect Johan Harju was held pointless this season. Brynas (9-7-3-3, 36 PTS) now has a couple days to rest before playing host to MODO (8-9-1-4, 30 PTS), which Brynas has has had recent success against at home having defeated MODO the last four times the teams have played in Gavle.
Brynas 4 @ Linkopings 1
Johan Harju, Brynas, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 21 GP, 7-4-11, +1, 29 PIM
Bolstered by Andreas Thuresson's two goals and and Robin Rahm's steady performance (28 total saves) in net, Brynas leapfrogged Linkopings in the standings with a decisive road victory. Johan Harju had the primary assist on what proved to be the game-winning goal by Sebastian Enterfeldt with just over three minutes remaining in the first. Harju now has points (2 goals, 2 assists) in three of his last four Elitserien games dating back to October 30th. Calle Jarnkrok, selected in the 2nd round of the 2010 NHL entry draft by Detroit, hit the stat sheet with two assists. Late in the second period, Simon Hjalmarsson managed the lone score for Linkopings, which sent plenty of rubber (23 shots) Rahm's way over the middle and final frame but could not get the score any closer. Up next for Brynas (9-6-3-3, 36 PTS) is a showdown with league-leading HV 71, (12-4-3-1, 43 PTS), which has won the last three matches between the two clubs, on Thursday.
Brynas 0 vs. Frolunda 4
Johan Harju, Brynas, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 20 GP, 7-3-10, E, 29 PIM
Locked-out Chicago Blackhawk Victor Stalberg (2 G, 1 A, 4 SOG) and former Dallas Star and Detroit Red Wing Fabian Brunnstrom (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG) led Frolunda to a decisive victory over Toronto's Cody Franson and Brynas. Brynas only trailed by a goal through the first thirty minutes of action before Frolunda put the game out of reach by scoring twice a few minutes apart in the second and using the momentum to largely dictate play through the remainder of regulation time. Johan Harju had a game-high five shots on goal and won the only face-off he took but otherwise didn't hit the stat sheet while former Lightning netminder Johan Holmqvist, who stopped 29 of the 33 shots he faced, took the loss. Brynas (8-6-3-3, 33 PTS) next faces Linkoping (11-8-0-1, 34 PTS), which has won the the last five games it has played at home against Brynas, on Tuesday.