Admiral sank SKA for the second time this season, continuing the Petersburg team's unsteady recent run.
It took a shoot-out to decide the outcome following a 4-4 tie in Vladivostok as the KHL season welcomed 2014 with a pulsating game. SKA twice opened up a two-goal lead, with Artemy Panarin scoring twice - including the first goal of the new year - but the Army Men could never quite get away from Admiral. Evgeny Grachyov tied it up in the 58th minute, capitalizing on a defensive error before beating Alexander Salak at the second attempt.
Both teams had good chances in overtime, with Dmitry Kalinin hitting the piping before Viktor Drugov was denied by Salak, but in the shoot-out Admiral's Justin Hodgman was the only player to find the net. That sent SKA to a fifth defeat in six games.
Dynamo downs Avangard in goal feast
Two seasons ago Dynamo Moscow and Avangard played a tense, low-scoring Gagarin Cup play-off - but today's game between the two threw off all the caution of those encounters. The outcome, however, did not change; Dynamo emerged victorious with a 6-4 verdict to start the New Year in style.
Avangard twice held a two-goal lead over the Moscow team, with former Spartak man Stefan Ruzicka getting the better of his old foe early in the first two periods. But Dynamo hauled itself level thanks to Yury Babenko on 29:35, and the Blue-and-White captain went on to grab a hat-trick.
First he cancelled out an Alexander Perezhogin goal to make it 4-4, then, after Marek Kvapil put Dynamo ahead for the first time on the night, Babenko got a short-handed goal with 10 minutes to play to secure the win.
Salavat survives fightback
Dinamo Riga clawed back a 0-3 deficit to force a tie at Salavat Yulaev - but suffered a third straight defeat in overtime.
Goals from Alexander Mereskin, Tomas Zaborsky and Igor Mirnov put the home team in command inside 22 minutes, but Dinamo battled back. Marcel Hossa and Miks Indrasis made it a one-goal game before the second interval, and five minutes into the final sessions Roberts Bukarts tied it up. Neither team could get a winner in regulation, but Nikita Filatov spared home blushes on 63:03.
Around the league
Eastern Conference leader Ak Bars had little difficulty in beating Ugra 4-2 and maintaining its advantage over Barys. Kirill Petrov scored twice in the second period to set his team on its way; Alexander Svitov and Alexander Burmistrov completed the win in the final session.
Canadian center Zach Hamill made a winning start to his Barys career, getting the shoot-out winner after a 1-1 tie at Vityaz. All the scoring came late on, with Vyacheslav Solodukhin giving the home team the lead before Nigel Dawes tied it up with barely a minute left to play. Hamill, a former member of the Boston Bruins organization, made the evening's final contribution to wrap up the win for Barys.
CSKA returned from its Spengler Cup campaign to pick up a convincing road win at Neftekhimik. Alexander Frolov's early goal set the team on the way to a 4-1 victory, with further scoring from Denis Denisov, Ivan Nepryayev and Alexei Morozov.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk romped to a comfortable home win over Slovan after scoring six goals in 33 minutes. Francis Pare continued his scoring run, while the prolific Mozyakin-Kovar-Zaripov line served up four goals. Slovan reduced the deficit to 6-2 but never threatened to test Magnitka.
For the second game running Jakub Klepis handed Lev a shoot-out win. The Czech team triumphed at Traktor following a 2-2 tie to make it four wins in a row. Traktor twice led in regulation, but David Ullstrom's 55th-minute goal took the game into overtime.
Denis Parshin gave Torpedo a shoot-out win over Avtomobilist after a 3-3 tie. The clash between two Eastern Conference play-off contenders almost went Avto's way, but Artyom Chernov was denied a game-winning goal when Sakari Salminen leveled just 16 seconds before the siren.
A powerplay goal from Anatoly Nikontsev snatched a late win for Severstal at Sibir. Nikontsev grabbed his second of the game on 57:58, breaking a 2-2 tie and ending the home team's resistance. Earlier Alexander Nesterov had scored twice for Sibir, but ultimately his efforts were in vain.
Amur won 2-1 at home to Lokomotiv, thanks in no small part to a strong display by goalie Alexei Murygin. He made 44 saves to keep the visitor at bay until the last seconds. By then, however, Dmitry Lugin and Mikhail Klimchuk had done enough to keep the points in Khabarovsk.
Oleg Yashin scored a hat-trick to lead Atlant to a comfortable 5-2 victory at Metallurg Novokuznetsk.