High-flying SKA St. Petersburg went down to a surprise shootout defeat after a 3-3 draw at Metallurg Novokuznetsk - the third loss in succession for Milos Riha's team. Powerplay goals from Evgeny Artyukhin and Petr Prucha twice put SKA in front, but on both occasions Randy Robitaille tied the game. Mikhail Kuklev's strike on 43:38 seemed to have secured Metallurg's win, with goaltender Teemu Lassila in inspired form, but a late Tony Martensson goal leveled the game. Alexei Kosourov settled matters in the shoot-out.
Avangard Omsk had sharpshooting and stellar goaltending to thank for its 3-1 win at Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk. Karri Ramo impressed between the pipes, making 33 saves, while the Omsk club’s forwards scored 3 times from 13 shots on goal. Andrei Ivanov, Sergei Kalinin and Alexei Kalyuzhny hit the target for Avangard after Igor Polygalov had given Neftekhimik a first-period lead.
Barulin holds firm
Atlant Moscow Region weathered a storm of pressure to come away from Amur Khabarovsk with a 2-1 win. In a hard-fought game, the hosts threatened to besiege Atlant's goal at time, firing in 27 shots to 9 in the second and third periods. But it was Atlant's Patrick Zackrisson who got the decisive goal on 53:34 while Konstantin Barulin stood firm at the other end. In the first period Dmitry Lugin opened the scoring for Amur, Alexei Glukhov equalized for Atlant. Last year's Gagarin Cup finalist now lies second in the Western Conference, with signs that the team is beginning to hit its stride.
Ufa at the double
Two goals in 23 seconds midway through the second period proved the turning point as Salavat Yulaev Ufa beat Metallurg Magnitogorsk 3-1. Alexander Radulov opened the scoring on 32:23, and within seconds Antti Pihlstrom had doubled the hosts' advantage. Konstantin Koltsov struck in the third period before Anton But managed a late consolation for Magnitka.
Riga revival halted
Dinamo Riga's revival hit the buffers in Novosibirsk as the Latvians lost 5-3. That ended a five-match winning streak for the visitors, and made it back-to-back wins for Sibir after a long losing streak. Dinamo made the brighter start, opening up a 2-0 lead through Martins Karsums and Sandis Ozolins. But Sibir powered back with five goals, including two from Alexander Suglobov and a rare assist for goaltender Bernd Bruckler. Ozolins got his second of the game in the final period, but there was no way back for Riga.
Ak Bars ease to victory
Ak Bars Kazan gave up a 2-0 lead at home to Yugra Khanty Mansiysk – but recovered to win 4-2. Niko Kapanen and Ilya Nikulin got the key goals after Yugra’s had fought back thanks to Igor Yemeleyev and Linus Videll.