Evgeny Malkin marked his first appearance on home ice with a goal and two assists – and Metallurg racked up a 6-1 win against Lev Prague to crown the celebrations in Magnitogorsk. Lev, leader of the Western Conference, had enjoyed a dream start to its KHL career – but that dream quickly turned into a nightmare in the steel city as Magnitka racked up five unanswered goals in the second period.
The opening exchanges were competitive: while Malkin’s first assist helped Denis Platonov give Metallurg the lead, Lev soon leveled through Alexandre Picard on 8:19. But the first five minutes of the second stanza settled the outcome. Malkin and Sergei Gonchar shared the assists as Sergei Mozyakin made it 2-1 on 23:21, and by 25:12 it was 4-1 and the shell-shocked Czechs were calling a time-out.
That slowed the home team’s progress, but there was still time for Malkin to get his first KHL goal on 39:26 to set the seal on a happy homecoming.
Losing start for Bryz
Andrei Kostitsyn came out on top in the latest NHL head-to-head, with Ilya Bryzgalov suffering a losing debut for CSKA at Traktor Chelyabinsk. The home side trailed three times, but eventually won 4-3 thanks to Andrei Popov’s goal on 58:30.
Earlier Kostitsyn had scored Traktor’s third equalizer, while Pavel Datsyuk got two assists for CSKA. Petri Kontiola also had a good game, posting 1+2 to help the Chelyabinsk side to a narrow victory.
Four goals in less than three minutes set SKA St. Petersburg on the way to a 7-2 win over Salavat Yulaev. Although Igor Mirnov gave Salavat the lead, a goal blitz early in the second period saw SKA race into a 4-1 lead between 24:02 and 26:54. SKA had seven different goalscorers, with notable contributions from Kevin Dallman (1+2), Petr Prucha (1+1) and Ilya Kovalchuk and Tony Martensson (both 0+2). Vladimir Tarasenko, the most recent signing from the NHL, scored in his first shift in the third period after spending most of the game on the bench.
Around the league
Struggling Donbass Donetsk had a morale-boosting shoot-out win after a 3-3 tie in Nizhny Novgorod. The Ukrainian side might have won it in regulation time, but Torpedo’s Robert Nilsson scored on 58:31 to force overtime. With no further goals, it was down to Vaclav Nedorost’s successful penalty shot – and three saves from goalie Erik Ersberg - to see Donbass come away with two points.
Sibir’s winning streak came to an end in Kazakhstan where Konstantin Rudenko scored twice to give Barys a 2-1 win and deny the Siberians the chance to return to the top of the championship table.
Avangard Omsk let slip a 2-0 lead before finally beating Metallurg Novokuznetsk in overtime to end a five-game losing streak. Anton Belov settled matters 40 seconds into the extras after Metallurg had recovered from conceding twice in two second-period minutes.