A late winner from Kirill Petrov saw Ak Bars Kazan overcome a dogged display from Spartak in Moscow and move his team up to second in the league table. There were just 89 seconds left when Petrov capitalized on a loose puck in front of goaltender Ivan Kasutin after Nikolai Lemtyugov’s solo run sliced through the defense.
Earlier Ak Bars dominated the first period and deservedly led 2-0 at the interval thanks to goals from Jarkko Immonen (5:38) and Evgeny Skachkov (9:26). But after the break Spartak rallied strongly, with a thumping slapshot from Ivan Baranka putting them back in it on 25:14 and a powerplay goal from Alexei Zavarukhin tying the game at 2-2 two minutes later. The final period was end-to-end stuff with both goaltenders pulling off some fine saves before Petrov’s decisive intervention at the death.
Defending champion Salavat Yulaev has been somewhat off the pace this season - and a defeat at Severstal Cherepovets merely intensified the pressure on Sergei Mikhalyov and his squad. The men from Ufa have just one win in seven following Monday’s 4-2 defeat, and languish among the also-rans at this stage. It could have been so different - Viktor Kozlov put Salavat in front on 4:14 - but Severstal equalized quickly through Andrei Sidyakin. In the second period it all went the hosts’ way. Maxim Chudinov, Vadim Shipachyov and Josef Straka all scored on Vitaly Kolesnik to open up a 4-1 lead. Vitaly Proshkin’s powerplay goal on 49:50 gave Salavat Yulaev hope at 4-2, but it wasn’t enough.
Struggling Vityaz Chekhov picked up only its fourth win of the season at home to Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk. Andrei Posnov was the key player in the 4-3 win, scoring one and adding an assist on young Nikita Dvurechensky’s opener. Two goals from Maxim Pestushko briefly put Neftekhimik on top, but Alexei Troshchinsky and Mikhail Anisin scored on either side of Posnov’s effort to help Vityaz to a rare success despite a tense finish after Alexei Simakov pulled one back with 76 seconds left to play.