Wednesday's results saw CSKA Moscow and Yugra Khanty Mansiysk confirm their play-off spots - and with two games left in the regular season all 16 contenders for the Gagarin Cup are now known. But there's still plenty to play for as many teams are still scrambling for the best finishing position and the easiest play-off draw before those final stages begin on February 29.
CSKA advances despite defeat
CSKA went down to a 1-0 defeat against city rivals Dynamo Moscow, but still confirmed a top-eight finish thanks to Spartak's defeat in Kazakhstan. At Luzhniki, Alexander Yeryomenko stopped 23 CSKA shots, while Vyacheslav Kozlov got the only goal to give Dynamo local bragging rights. Other results ensured that
Spartak's hopes end
Two goals from Roman Lyuduchin could not keep Spartak's slim hopes of extending the season alive in Astana. The Red-and-Whites knew that any dropped points this week would end the play-off dream, and when Nigel Dawes equalized for Barys on 53:22 that proved enough to condemn the visitors to ninth place. Lukas Kaspar went on to win it for Barys in overtime to complete a sad day for Spartak.
Yugra books its place
Yugra Khanty Mansiysk confirmed its play-off place - but did it the hard way with a shoot-out win against Salavat Yulaev Ufa. The teams tied 3-3 in regulation time, with Salavat leading twice in the first period but needing an equalizer from Oleg Saprykin to tie it up at the end of the second. A further 25 minutes of play could not separate the two, but Ivan Khlyntsev got the only goal of the shoot-out to secure Yugra's top-eight spot.
Metallurg knocked out
Metallurg Novokuznetsk's theoretical prospects of progress ended with a 5-2 defeat in St. Petersburg, which leaves SKA just one point behind overall KHL leaders Traktor. Metallurg's hopes flickered briefly when Filipp Metlyuk opened the scoring on 5:18, but Alexander Kucheryavenko tied it up on 5:51 and after that SKA largely took control. Kucheryavenko got an assist on Vladimir Tarasenko's game-winner on 28:19 as he returned to the roster after a couple of weeks away.
Traktor shocked at home
Traktor Chelyabinsk went down to a surprise shoot-out defeat against lowly Vityaz, harming its chances of winning the Kontinental Cup. Evgeny Timkin was the hero for Vityaz, tying the game at 2-2 on 59:01 and going on to score the winner. Petri Kontiola got two for Traktor, which sees its lead cut to a single point.
Thriller in Nizhny
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod withstood a brave Dinamo Minsk fightback to tighten its grip on second place in the West with a 6-4 win. Things seemed straightforward when Martin Thornberg made it 5-1 on 23:01, but goals from Teemu Laine and Daniel Corso (2) made it a single goal game by 53:49. Home nerves were quickly eased, though, when Alexander Romanovsky made it 6-4 on 54:18.
Avangard Omsk stretched its winning streak to five games after getting the verdict over Ak Bars Kazan by the odd goal in seven.
Around the league
Metallurg Magnitogorsk continued to stutter, losing 3-2 in overtime at home to Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk to post a third successive defeat. Yegor Milovzorov got the winner, his second of the game.
Atlant Moscow Region proved to be no match for Amur Khabarovsk in Mytishchi, losing 4-1 at home. Defenseman Mikko Maenpaa posted 1+1, including the game winner.
Dinamo Riga confirmed seventh place in the Western Conference with a shoot-out win over Sibir Novosibirsk went to overtime. Aleksandrs Nizivijs tied the game at 2-2 on 59:22; Maris Bicevskis got the winner.