Mixed returns

14 January 2012, 23:25

Oleg Piganovich recently left Spartak to make the long trip to Amur Khabarovsk - and on his first return to Moscow after that transfer he reminded his former employers what he had to offer by giving his new side the lead on 9:01. But Spartak, who lost 6-1 in Khabarovsk earlier this season, battled back and Mikhail Yunkov cancelled that out in the second period. That eventually meant overtime - and Spartak’s Stefan Ruzicka nicked the win with just 12 seconds remaining.

Dynamo halts Magnitka’s march
Two goals from Jakub Klepis gave Dynamo a perfect start to its clash with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in Moscow. The Czech, who began the season with Salavat Yulaev, opened the scoring on 4:52 and doubled the home advantage on 18:21, slipping round the goal before beating goaltender Ari Ahonen. For Magnitka it was the first time since Dec. 21 that the team had conceded twice in a single period, and it set the Ural side on its way to only a second defeat in 14 games. Indeed, Dynamo’s attack succeeded in forcing Ahonen out of the game in the first interval, but replacement Georgy Gelashvili could do little to stop Yury Babenko extending the advantage on 32:54. Klepis was denied a hat-trick after Gelashvili thwarted him in a one-on-one break before Sergei Fedorov pulled one back on a 5-on-3 powerplay at the end of the second period. But it was never enough: despite dominating the final period Metallurg could not find another goal, and after Fyodor Kanareikin bravely withdrew his goalie with more than two minutes to play it merely gifted Konstantin Volkov an empty net goal to complete Dynamo’s second 4-1 win in a row.

Tough at the top
Getting to the top of the table is hard, but staying there can be even harder as Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod found out. Victory on Thursday had put the team on top of its division, but that VIP status was undermined in just 58 seconds at home to Avangard Omsk. Yury Alexandrov got that goal, and despite an equalizer from Martin Thornberg, the Siberian side regained the lead through Alexander Nesterov and eventually secured a 3-2 win.

A Chekhov drama
Vityaz Chekhov and Sibir Novosibirsk might not have set the KHL alight this season, but the two teams produced a thriller when they met in Moscow Region on Saturday. Goals flowed at both ends in a 6-4 win for Sibir, especially in a second period which was a goalkeeping nightmare at both ends of the ice as 17 shots led to six goals. That flurry left the game tied at 4-4, with young Vityaz forward Evgeny Timkin scoring twice to record his first points in over a month. But his efforts were to little avail: Konstantin Makarov got the decisive goal on 51:00.

Sevestal scrapes home
Metallurg Novokuznetsk put up a stirring defense of its four-game winning streak at Severstal Cherepovets, despite trailing 2-0 and 3-1. Finnish defenseman Jyrki Valivaara - who previously hadn’t scored all season - got two goals in the final period - including the vital equalizer on 59:12 to force overtime. But eventually in a shoot-out Vadim Shipachyov won it for Severstal.


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