Torpedo trainer Kari Jalonen produced an inspired time-out to salvage his team’s game at Atlant. Trying to overturn a 2-1 lead, Jalonen stopped the clock on 58:17 - and five seconds later he was celebrating as Ruslan Zainullin got his second of the game to force overtime. The extra minutes could not settle the issue, despite several chances for Nikolai Zherdev to add to his goal in regulation time. Martin Thornberg ensured that the shoot-out went Torpedo’s way to lift the Nizhny Novgorod team into second place in the Western Conference.
Dynamo fights back
Dynamo Moscow recovered from conceding the first goal to sink Lev Poprad 4-1, but the early stages of the game went some way to illustrating why the Blue-and-Whites signed Mikhail Anisin from Vityaz earlier on Thursday. For much of the first period the home side looked toothless in attack, with plenty of possession but few serious tests for Tomas Duba in the Lev goal. Home anxieties were heightened on 16:44 when Tomas Netik put the outsiders in front, and Lev survived more than a minute of a 5-on-3 powerplay either side of the first interval.
In the end, though, two goals in two minutes in the second period turned the things around with Leonid Komarov tying the game and a Filip Novak powerplay effort on 26:43 giving Dynamo a lead which they were never to relinquish. And two goals in 30 seconds early in the third period, from Yury Babenko and Konstantin Volkov, put Dynamo in complete control long before the final hooter. Despite an eventually comfortable win, however, Anisin’s 29 points in a struggling Vityaz team represent a bigger individual haul than any of his new team mates this season and coach Oleg Znarok will hope his new man can help fire Dynamo to a serious Gagarin Cup challenge in the spring.
Metallurg marches on
In form Metallurg Magnitogorsk kept up the pressure on Eastern Conference leaders Traktor Chelyabinsk with a 4-3 win at Dinamo Minsk - while the Belarusians lost ground in the race for a top two finish in the West. It was nip and tuck for the first half-hour of play, with Dinamo left to regret Andrei Mikhalyov’s penalty miss when the scores were tied at 1-1. But Dmitry Bykov and Oleg Tverdovsky struck in the latter half of the second period to put Magnitka in control and leave them just four points adrift of Traktor despite a late rally from Dinamo.
Salavat Yulaev goaltender Erik Ersberg had a busy evening in Ufa, making 39 saves to keep a clean sheet against Avangard Omsk. At the other end, meanwhile, the home forwards showed how it should be done with a clinical first period display to claim a 3-0 win. Yury Trubachyov, Igor Mirnov and Igor Grigorenko got the goals; for Avangard Roman Cervenka saw seven shots saved by Ersberg.
Around the league
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk left it late to snatch a derby win over Ak Bars Kazan. Denis Sergeyev got the winning goal on 56:05 to secure a 2-1 success. Late arrivals in Neftekhimik might have missed Denis Arkhipov putting the hosts ahead after just 22 seconds; Evgeny Medvedev got the Ak Bars equalizer.