Sunday’s two big games in the KHL were both settled by last-minute winners. First Ak Bars won the big battle in the Eastern Conference, downing Metallurg Magnitogorsk thanks to a Vladimir Denisov goal on 59:23.
Then Dynamo Moscow maintained its hoodoo over SKA thanks to a Maxim Karpov strike on 59:32, sealing a 2-1 victory in St. Petersburg.
The decisive action came in the last 30 seconds: SKA, pouring forward in search of a winner, lost possession close to Dynamo’s net. Alexei Tsvetkov led a three-on-one breakout and fed Maxim Karpov for the game-winner with just 28 seconds left to play.
To make defeat harder to swallow for SKA, the home side outshot Dynamo 17-4 in the final period, tying the game early on but failing to apply the knock-out blow and ultimately being caught by the sucker punch.
After a tense opening session Dynamo took the lead midway through the second. Alexander Osipov’s shot was deflected onto Mikko Koskinen’s pads by Konstantin Volkov but the rebound went straight to Maxim Pestushko who slid a precise shot into the unguarded side of the Finn’s net.
SKA levelled in the 46th minute when Patrick Thoresen’s slick pass picked out Andrei Kuteikin to score from a tight angle with a well-placed shot. That prompted a spell of dominance from the home team, which looked the likelier winner. But not for the first time Dynamo successfully punished an opponent for over-reaching itself in offense.
It took a dramatic late goal to snatch the win, however: Vladimir Denisov swept home the rebound after Artyom Lukoyanov battled around the net and shot into Vasily Koshechkin’s pads with just 43 seconds left on the clock.
Magnitka, with two wins over its old rival already in this campaign, had made a bright start and Danis Zaripov soon kept up his personal scoring run against Ak Bars when he converted a power play in the fifth minute. But Vladimir Tkachyov tied it up quickly and Evgeny Medvedev put the visitor ahead in the 26th minute.
Sergei Mozyakin, who is closing in on Maxim Sushinsky’s all-time Russian domestic point-scoring record, tied it at 2-2 early in the third but overtime seemed inevitable until Denisov’s last-gasp winner.
The league leader needed two goals and two assists from its top scorer to overturn a 2-3 deficit against the play-off outsider and maintain its run of just one defeat in 17 games.
But Sochi, winless in four going into this one, battled hard and even led briefly around the halfway point after Evgeny Lapenkov converted a penalty shot.
That sparked Radulov into scoring action, after the forward had already played a role in Andreas Engqvist’s first goal since joining CSKA and helped Nikita Zaitsev to a power play effort early in the second.
The game finished 5-3: Igor Makarov continued his scoring run for his new club late on, putting away the only marker that didn’t involve Radulov.
Andrei Loktionov got Lokomotiv’s winner at home to Severstal, scoring just 25 seconds after the visitor tied it up at 1-1 through Sergei Kuptsov. Earlier Yegor Averin gave Loko the lead and the Yaroslavl team held on for a 2-1 win to make it five victories in a row.
Admiral fired 41 shots at Alexander Salak’s net but could not find a way to score on Sibir. Instead the Vladivostok team went down to a 3-0 defeat. Two goals from David Ullstrom and another from Jarno Koskiranta – his sixth successive game among the points – gave Sibir the win.
There was a rare win for the KHL’s bottom club, Amur, thanks to a 3-2 success at fellow struggler Metallurg Novokuznetsk. Vyacheslav Litovchenkogot the decisive goal in the 48th minute to move his team to within one point of its opponent at the foot of the table.