Salavat Yulaev followed up its win over defending champion Metallurg Magnitogorsk with a victory over Eastern Conference leader Ak Bars, downing its traditional rival 5-3 in Ufa.
The game was very different from the cagey clash between the two teams earlier in the season, which remained scoreless until Salavat took a shoot-out verdict.
This time the teams traded first period goals before the host seized control in the middle session. Denis Tolpeko and Anton Slepyshev scored two goals in four minutes to put Salavat Yulaev 3-1 ahead, and a power play goal for Teemu Hartikainen early in the third seemed to have made the points safe.
Ak Bars had other ideas, though. Igor Mirnov pulled a goal back and when Andrei Kostitsyn’s neat pass fed Mikhail Varnakov it was 4-3 with just over two minutes to play. Varnakov’s goal came after Ak Bars withdrew goalie Anders Nilsson and the visitor tried the same trick again in search of an equalizer, only for Alexander Kutuzov to score on the breakaway, claimi ...