Salavat Yulaev Ufa and Ak Bars Kazan both made long trips east - and both went down to defeat against lowly opposition on Saturday.
There was a dramatic finish in Novokuznetsk where Metalurg’s Alexander Bumagin got the winner on 59:31. It was his second goal in the 4-3 win over Ak Bars: earlier he had put his team 3-2 ahead. His game-winner proved fourth time lucky for Metalurg after the hosts had taken the lead three times in the game, only to be pegged back on each previous occasion. Alexei Morozov, Kirill Petrov and Alexei Tereshchenko were the Ak Bars scorers; Sergei Brylin on his debut and Randy Robitaille were on the mark for Metallurg.
The difference a day makes
Less than 24 hours after losing 5-2 at home to Salavat Yulaev, Amur gained instant revenge in Khabarovsk, sinking the defending champions 3-1. Alexander Osipov was the hero of the day, scoring twice after Igor Grigorenko had cancelled out Mikko Maenpaa’s opener. Maenpaa also chipped in with an assist, while Grigorenko’s strike took him to seven goals for the season, the best in the KHL.
Best of seven
Another high-scoring game in Omsk saw Avangard win a seven-goal thriller against Spartak. Alexander Nesterov’s effort on 53:36 gave the hosts a 4-3 win. The Moscow side, with just two wins so far this season, continued to struggle and contributed to their own downfall in Siberia. Leading 1-0 through an early Denis Bodrov goal, the Red-and-Whites gave up a short-handed strike to Alexander Perezhogin to put Avangard back in the game.
There was another shock in Magnitogorsk where Severstal Cherepovets beat Metalurg 5-2. It had seemed straightforward for the hosts when Sergei Fyodorov put them in front on 8:34, but that was before goaltender Georgy Gelashvili found himself in the midst of a game to forget. He conceded four times in barely 20 minutes, prompting his return to the bench in favor of Ivan Lisutin. After that Tomas Rolinek gave the home side some hope, but Maxim Chudinov got his second and Severstal’s fifth to wrap things up.
Around the league
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk enjoyed the trip to Novosibirsk after beating Sibir 4-1. First period goals from Sergei Demagin, Nikita Shitov and Ivan Savin, followed by an empty-netter from Nikolai Belov settled the game, despite Vyacheslav Belov’s late strike for the hosts.
In the clash of the strugglers in Khanty-Mansiysk, hosts Yugra edged out Vityaz Chekhov by a single goal. Ivan Lekomtsev scored on 04:03, and that was enough to secure a slender win.