Alexander Ovechkin produced another moment of magic – and reminded TV audiences back in the US what they are missing during the NHL lock-out. In front of a KHL record-breaking crowd of 16,317 at Prague’s O2 Arena, and a bumper TV audience witnessing the first live KHL broadcast on ESPN’s US and British channels, Ovechkin broke the deadlock for Dynamo Moscow 33 seconds into the final session with an unassisted goal, forcing the puck home even though he was sprawled across the ice.
It proved to be the decisive moment of Dynamo’s sixth successive victory, and moved the defending champion back to the top of the Western Conference, one point clear of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. As well as Ovechkin’s goal, the Muscovites also had Alexander Yeryomenko’s 29 saves to thank for securing a vital win against a Lev team which remains handily placed in the chasing pack in an assured debut season.
Donbass delight at first home win
It’s been a long time in coming, but league newcomer Donbass Donetsk finally celebrated a home win in regulation after seeing off Severstal Cherepovets 4-1. The breakthrough came just after halfway, when Tuomas Kiiskinen was first to the rebound after Ruslan Fedotenko’s shot was saved, and it was a similar story late in the second when Vaclav Nedorost scored following Evgeny Dadonov’s shot. A well-worked powerplay saw Peter Podhradsky make it 3-0 in the 54th minute then Dadonov got his second assist of the game as Fredrik Pettersson made it four. Gennady Stolyarov got Severstal’s consolation and wrecked Erik Ersberg’s hopes of a shut-out with barely two minutes to play.
Riga rejoices as Minsk misery continues
An overtime goal from Jamie Johnson settled the Dinamo duel in favor of Latvia, following a 1-1 tie between the clubs from Riga and Minsk. The Belarusians took the lead through Alexander Kulakov, only for Alexandre Giroux to level it before the first hooter. Johnson’s decider on 62:27 means Dinamo Minsk has now lost four in a row – and eight of its last 10.