The start of Week 2 certainly kept goaltenders busy as Monday brought a series of high-scoring games. SKA St. Petersburg beat Yugra 7-5, Salavat Yulaev got its first win of the season 6-3 over Dinamo Minsk, while Lokomotiv shared eight goals with Metallurg Novokuznetsk in the day’s most action-packed encounters. By contrast, Traktor Chelyabinsk recorded its second successive shut-out – the only team in the league not to concede so far this season.
Salavat strikes back
Two home defeats against moderate opposition had raised question marks over the state of Vener Safin’s Salavat Yulaev squad, but finally fans in Ufa had something to cheer with a 6-3 win over Dinamo Minsk. All the goals came in the first two periods, with Salavat Yulaev opening up a 6-1 lead by 33:43. Nikita Filatov’s first goal for the club turned out to be the game-winner, and the youngster added a second. For Dinamo, Tim Stapleton scored twice but couldn’t save his team from defeat.
Thoresen leads goal rush
Patrik Thoresen’s 2+2 return helped SKA St. Petersburg to a 7-5 win over Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk in a thrilling encounter in the Northern Capital – but only after the hosts battled back from 0-3 after just 4:46. Yugra’s dream start, which began with Alexander Golovin’s opener on just 34 seconds, turned into a nightmare late on, however, as the home side tied it up before the first interval, and then hit four unanswered goals in less than 20 minutes to turn the game on its head. Tony Martensson also caught the eye with three assists for SKA.
Shirokov sinks Dinamo Riga
Sergei Shirokov got the all-important goal on 40:22 as CSKA beat Dinamo Riga 2-1, but once again the Moscow team had to come from behind to prevail. Martins Karsums opened the scoring on 5:24, and the Latvians had the edge until a powerplay goal late in the second period from Alexander Guskov. Gints Meija spurned a great chance to level for the visitors on 44:20 when he failed to beat Ilya Proskuryatov with a penalty shot.
Hagman the hero
Niklas Hagman was one of the mostly high-prized captures for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl this summer, and the Finnish international began repaying that faith with a game-winning display in Novokuznetsk. The 32-year-old, a veteran of 770 NHL appearances, got his first goal for the club in a 4-4 tie with Metallurg, and went on to seal the result with the decisive penalty shot. The victory maintains Loko’s winning start to the season, but the Yaroslavl side twice had to come from behind against a spirited opponent which boasted its own goalscorer NHL alumnus in Chris Simon.
Traktor Chelyabinsk had to bide its time before running out 3-0 winners at Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. The teams remained deadlocked until Evgeny Kuznetsov opening the scoring on 51:22, with what proved to be the decisive goal. Further strikes from Andrei Popov and Maxim Yakutsenya completed Traktor’s second win of the season. Goaltender Michael Garnett has begun the season in fine form with two shut-outs in two games.
First win for Slovan
Slovan Bratislava got its first KHL win over a late equalizer set up a shoot-out success over Spartak Moscow. The Red-and-Whites again proved hard to break down, with visiting goalie Sergei Borisov only beaten on 57:18 when Libor Hudacek converted Miroslav Satan’s pass to cancel out Andrei Shefer’s opener. In the shoot-out, Satan kept his nerve to win it for Slovan.
Avangard’s summer signing Tomas Zaborsky put in a game-winning performance for his new club. The Slovak forward got the overtime winner against Barys Astana, and also scored in the 3-3 tie in regulation time. Barys, meanwhile, fought back from 0-2 and 1-3 to record its first point of the season with Brandon Bochenski grabbing the crucial equalizer on 57:33.
Lev leads the new boys
Lev Prague picked up a narrow win over Donbass Donetsk to inch ahead in the race between the league’s three new boys. Jakub Klepis got his second of the season for the Czech team, and that proved to be the only goal of a hard-fought encounter in Prague. The Czechs have two wins from three, but have yet to face a road trip in the KHL. The first away game for Lev is at Vityaz Chekhov on Thursday.
Around the league
Ak Bars Kazan beat Vityaz Chekhov 2-1 with Alexei Tereshchenko picking up a goal and an assist to condemn the Moscow Region side to its first defeat of the season after two shoot-out wins.
Amur Khabarovsk got the better of Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in a shoot-out following a 2-2 tie. Mika Pyorala got the winning goal.
Atlant Moscow Region picked up its second successive shoot-out win following a 2-2 tie at Sibir Novosibirsk. The visitors recovered from 0-2, with Alexei Mikhnov scoring for the second game in a row to tie it on 57:27. Alexander Rybakov got the winner in the shoot-out.
All the action came late in Nizhnekamsk where Neftekhimik prevailed in overtime against Severstal. After two scoreless periods the teams traded goals early in the third before young Pyotr Khokhryakov got the winner on 62:22.