Two goals in barely a minute put CSKA on its way to a comeback win at home to Avangard, keeping the league leader out in front and leaving the visitor four points adrift of Ak Bars in the Eastern Conference.
The game started slowly with both sides cautious in offense and congesting center ice for much of the opening minutes. But it was CSKA that let its guard down first, allowing Igor Musatov to rush the net and failing to produce a convincing clearance before Alexander Popov was left all alone to score on Stanislav Galimov.
Two goals in 62 seconds transformed the game, though: first Nikita Zaitsev converted the first power play of the evening, picking his spot low to Eduard Reizvikh’s right off an Alexander Radulov pass. Then new signing Igor Makarov made it two goals in two games for the Army Men, hustling the young netminder to force home the rebound from Alexei Bondarev’s shot.
The second period was again short on chances. Musatov might have hauled Avangard level in the 25th minute but ...