CSKA and Avangard swapped four players during the international break – and duly came face to face in the first game as action resumed. But a rapid return to the familiar surroundings of the CSKA Arena proved to be a big disappointment for Sergei Shirokov, a player who had risen through the ranks at the Army Club.
His evening ended early after he was expelled for a juddering challenge which slammed Oleg Saprykin into the boards on 45:36. At the time the game was tied at 1-1, but on the subsequent powerplay Nikolai Prokhorkin got his second goal of the game – and that proved to be decisive. Saprykin himself had the last laugh, putting away an empty netter to secure a 3-1 victory.
CSKA’s night was all the more satisfactory thanks to the successful return of Alexander Radulov, who had assists on both of Prokhorkin’s goals. For Avangard, an improved defensive display left CSKA with relatively few chances – but now Milos Riha’s focus must switch to the other end of the ice to add some penetration to a stuttering offense.
Admiral sinks Ak Bars
Admiral made light of the absence of top scorer Enver Lisin to beat Ak Bars 3-2 as the KHL returned to action after the international break.
It was also an eventful day for defenseman Mike Commodore, who marked his home debut with his first KHL goal after stepping up from the blue line to fire home a Vladimir Pervushin pass. That reinstated Admiral’s lead after Commodore was caught out by Tomas Vincour when Ak Bars tied it up early in the second.
The winner came with 10 minutes left, from a well-worked exchange of passes on the right-hand channel. Konstantin Sokolov found the net, while Igor Bortnikov’s contribution made up for his earlier failure from a penalty shot.
Dynamo downed in Novosibirsk
Dynamo Moscow welcomed back some of its injured players – but the return of Janne Jalasvaara and Sergei Soin could not save the defending champion from a 1-0 defeat at Sibir. The only goal came in the 49th minute when Stepan Sannikov got onto the slot to convert Dmitry Monya’s breakaway.
Sibir generally had the better of the game, out-shooting Dynamo throughout, but could only get a single goal on Alexander Lazushin.
The shut-out brigade
As well as Sibir’s Mikko Koskinen, three other goalies enjoyed shut-outs in a day of low-scoring games. Mike Leighton of Donbass had the edge in a goal-tending duel with Michael Garnett in Chelyabinsk – both teams had 25 shots on goal, but Tuomas Kiiskenen’s strike in the 43rd minute was the only goal.
Vasily Koshechkin made 37 saves in Metallurg Magnitogorsk’s 3-0 win over Dinamo Minsk. The Belarusians were shown how to do it at the other end, where Danis Zaripov and Jan Kovar kept up their impressive form before Rinat Ibragimov wrapped it up in the third.
Around the league
It took 22 penalty shoots to separate Dinamo Riga and Barys after a 2-2 tie between two of the league’s unexpected high-fliers. The North Americans from Barys were unusually quiet, but Dinamo’s Kyle Wilson kept up the Trans-Atlantic connection with 1+1 in regulation. Marcel Hossa finally settled the shoot-out to give Dinamo the points.
There was a similar story in Bratislava, where home side Slovan battled back from 0-2 to force overtime against Ugra. Tomas Mojzis completed a third-period recovery, before Tomas Netik secured the win for Slovan in the shoot-out
Neftekhimik picked up its first win under new head coach Dmitry Balmin, edging Medvescak in a shoot-out after a 2-2 tie. Petr Koukal got the winning penalty shot.
Deron Quint was Spartak’s overtime hero, securing a 2-1 win at Salavat Yulaev with just 23 seconds left to play.
Vadim Krasnoslobodtsev scored in regulation time and went on to get the shoot-out winner for Torpedo following a 1-1 tie at Amur.