Moscow clubs Spartak and Dynamo both won on Wednesday evening, with the latter returning to the top of the Western Conference after sinking SKA St. Petersburg.
Clash of the Titans
Dynamo beat SKA 2-1 in a bruising encounter at Megasport, with all the goals coming early and most of the fighting following later. The hosts, eager to atone for a 1-4 reverse against Spartak in their previous outing, went ahead on 13:54 through Artyom Chernov. Skipper Alexei Kudashov doubled the advantage on 25:36, but penalty problems soon saw SKA back in contention. Forwards Denis Tolpeko and Leonid Komarov were both sin-binned when Tony Martensson got his sixth of the season to make it 2-1.
But it was the aggro which bubbled over at the end of the second period: SKA's Evgeny Artyukhin picked up a 5+20 for fighting with Janne Jalasvaara just seconds after Patrick Thoresen was given a minor for tripping Komarov. Later in the third period Fyodor Fyodorov was given a 2+10, but Dynamo were unable to convert their powerplay chances. SKA went close to forcing overtime through Gleb Klimenko and then Thoresen missed a great chance with 25 seconds left, but Dynamo held on to take a share of the championship lead.
For the Red-and-Whites things were a bit less stressful in a 3-0 win at home to Dinamo Riga. Following Monday's impressive derby success, Spartak edged a competitive first period 1-0 thanks to Stefan Ruzicka. Then the hosts took control in the second session, with Ivan Baranka and Josef Stumpel on the mark. As Spartak relaxed, Dinamo dominated the shooting in the third period, but could find no way past Ivan Kasutin, who made 38 saves.