Dynamo defenseman Ilya Gorokhov picked the pockets of Moscow rivals CSKA to grab the winning goal in a hard-fought derby. He snuck in to steal the puck as Dmitry Monya and Alexei Badyukov looked to clear their lines with ease, and cracked a low shot past startled goaltender Rastislav Stana to give the visitors a 3-2 lead on 51:16.
Earlier CSKA had taken the lead on 1:40 thanks to Badyukov only for Dynamo to equalize through Marek Kvapil moments later, with an assist from Gorokhov. Then Dominik Granak’s defense-splitting pass released Sergei Konkov, who fired over Stana’s shoulder to make it 1-2. A goalless second period kept both sets of fans anxious before Tomas Surovy equalized for CSKA on 44:06 but there was no way back after Gorokhov snatched the lead back for a Dynamo squad which now stands clear on top of the Western Conference.
SKA St. Petersburg suffered a surprise defeat at Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod on Friday, going down 5-3 and losing ground at the top of the Western Conference. Two goals apiece from Matt Ellison and Martin Thornberg did most of the damage: the pair shared Torpedo’s first four goals, with Gleb Klimenko’s effort briefly bringing SKA back into contention at 2-1. Alexei Potapov completed the home scoring on 22:22, and despite goals from Igor Makarov and Viktor Tikhonov SKA could not recover the deficit.
Juhamatti Aaltonen bagged a hat-trick as Metallurg Magnitogorsk continued its revival with a third successive win under new coach Fyodor Kanareikin. Despite conceding early on in Yekaterinburg, Magnitka eased to a 6-2 victory over Avtomobilist, with the Finnish forward playing a starring role. He put his team in front for the first time after Maxim Spiridonov had cancelled out Sergei Ogorodnikov’s opener, and went on to score the fourth and sixth goals to complete the rout. Anton But and Mikhail Yakunov were Magnitka's other scorers, Filipp Savchenko got Avto's second.
A game of two halves
Ak Bars Kazan proved too strong for Atlant Moscow Region, winning 6-3 after the sides were locked at 3-3 until deep into the second period. The opening exchanges were pulsating, with the teams trading six goals in a breathless first period. Altant raced into a 3-0 lead thanks to Jonas Andersson, Branko Radivojevic and Nikolai Zherdev – all within the first 14 minutes. But the hosts struck back impressively before the first interval, with Danis Zaripov, Niko Kapanen and Nikolai Lemtyugov scoring three goals in the space of two minutes.
Atlant began the season by throwing away a 3-0 lead to lose the opening game to Salavat Yulaev, and went out after the break looking to avoid a repeat. But at the end of a cagey second stanza Zaripov poached his second to put Ak Bars ahead for the first time on 39:02 – a lead they never relinquished. Ilya Nikulin extended the lead before Zaripov completed his hat-trick on 58:52.
Around the league
Avangard Omsk failed to score for the second game running in a 0-1 defeat at Metallurg Novokuznetsk. Dmitry Kagarlitsky got the only goal on 52:39 as Avangard suffered defeat for the third time this week.
Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk enjoyed th trip to Kazakhstan after beating Barys Astana 7-0. Stanislav Zhmakin (2+0) and Igor Yemeleyev (1+2) did much of the damage; the other goals came from Igor Skorokhodov, Ivan Khlyntsev, Igor Magogin and Artyom Bulyansky.
Struggling Dinamo Riga picked up a valuable 5-3 win at Lev Poprad thanks to Guntis Galvins on 55:55. His game-winning goal came after he had supplied assists for the other three goalscorers, Fredrik Warg, Janis Sprukts and Martins Karsums, who went on to add the fifth in the final seconds. Ladislav Nagy and Juraj Mikus (2) scored for Lev.