Metallurg Magnitogorsk became the first club to fire its head coach, dismissing Alexander Barkov after a run of four defeats. Fyodor Kanareikin returned to the team, and promptly endured a roller-coaster of a debut, losing 6-5 at home to Dynamo Moscow. Defenses were largely in disarray as the goals flew in at both ends, before Dynamo came out on top. It took a late flurry to give Dynamo the win which took them to the top of the Western Conference: the Muscovites trailed 5-4 until Sergei Konkov’s powerplay goal – Dynamo’s third converted powerplay on the night – tied the game on 54:40. Then Marek Kvapil made it 6-5 on 55:35, continuing a series of quickfire pairs of goals which had characterized the encounter.
Earlier the teams had traded goals just as readily: Dynamo’s Denis Tolpeko opened the scoring on 12:11 but Alexei Mikhnov equalized within two minutes. At the start of the second period the turnaround was even faster when Tomas Rolinek gave Magnitka a lead which lasted just 61 seconds before Konstantin Volkov tied the game. Konstantin Glazachev and Maxim Spiridonov made it 4-2 to Metallurg, but just as it seemed that things were calming down the final three minutes of the of the second period brought three more goals. Dynamo pulled level thanks to Vyacheslav Kozlov and Dominik Granak, only for Sergei Fedorov to cut short the visitors’ joy on 39:13.
A hat-trick from youngster Vladimir Tarasenko helped Sibir to a 6-3 win over Salavat Yulaev Ufa in Novosibirsk. Russia’s under-20 captain cancelled out Alexander Svitov’s opener, and later got the game-winning fourth and fifth goals in the third period. Jori Lehtera was on the mark twice for Sibir, and added an assist, with Alexander Chernikov completing the home scoring. But Salavat was left cursing its inability to hold the lead given by two quick goals from Igor Mirnov (31:30) and Igor Radulov (31:55), which had put the visitors 3-2 ahead.
Six of the best
Amur Khabarovsk maintained its impressive form with a thumping 6-1 win at home to Spartak Moscow. The men from the Far East showed no signs of strain after their travels last week, romping to victory despite conceding a powerplay goal to Stefan Ruzicka on 13:59. After the first interval Amur turned the game around through Denis Yezhov (22:45) and Dmitry Lugin (26:17), and Igor Ignatushkin extended the advantage on 34:28. A two-goal blitz early in the third saw Alexei Kopeikin make it 4-1 before Lugin got his second, and Jakub Petruzalek completed the rout on 49:21.
Roman Cervenka’s goal five seconds from time saved Avangard from defeat against Torpedo in Omsk. The visitors had taken control of the game through first-period goals from Alexander Yevseyenkov and Mikhail Varnakov. But Avangard hit back with a powerplay goal from Igor Volkov on 37:00 and Cervenka’s late intervention saw the game go into overtime. After Saturday’s shoot-out defeat to Dynamo, the hosts held their nerve this time to win thanks to three saves from Karri Ramo and successful shots from Alexander Frolov and Cervenka.