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Leader marches on. February 3 round-up

3 February 2015, 23:38

CSKA made it four wins in a row with a 3-2 success at home to Lokomotiv, with the visitor slipping to a third straight defeat. Victory keeps the Moscow team on course for the Continental Cup, which would be its first domestic trophy since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Admittedly CSKA didn’t have everything its own way – Lokomotiv took the lead when Emil Galimov capitalized on some slack defense to thread a wonderful pass for Sergei Konkov to open the scoring in the 10th minute – but after that the home team assumed control.

Simon Hjalmarsson tied it up seconds before the intermission with a one-timer off a neat pass from Jan Mursak. Then two goals in 25 seconds early in the second period killed off the contest. Nikita Kvartalnov put CSKA in front before Igor Volkov gave the host some breathing space.

CSKA controlled the rest of the second period, but gave up a power play goal to Staffan Kronwall midway through the third to ensure interest remained until the hooter. But with Lokomotiv mustering just five shots on goal in the final two periods, this was a more convincing win than the scoreline might suggest.

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Dynamo demonstrates depth
Yegor Dugin has been something of a bit-part player for Dynamo Moscow this season, but the forward stepped up to orchestrate his team’s victory at Ak Bars with two assists in the decisive second period.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Dugin played the puck back to the blue line for Alexander Budkin to thump a slap shot past Anders Nilsson. The defenseman is another player who only features intermittently in the KHL – this was his first goal since December 2012, and only the ninth of his career.

Then Dugin got involved again, sowing confusion around Nilsson’s net before Konstantin Glazachev forced the puck over the line from close range. Martins Karsums extended the lead to 4-1 in the final session and Ak Bars could not find a way back even after 90 seconds of playing 5v3.

Earlier Oscar Moller scored on Alexander Lazushin to put Ak Bars 1-0 up and beat the Dynamo goalie for the first time in 205:51 of game time. Nikolai Zherdev cancelled that one out before the first intermission.

The win lifts Dynamo to third and – if the standings don’t change before the end of the season – would see a repeat of last year’s play-off encounter with Lokomotiv.

SKA sinks Avangard
Avangard’s end-of-season blip is in danger of turning into a crisis after the Omsk team lost its fifth game in a row. SKA was the latest victor in Siberia, taking a 3-2 verdict and maintaining its pursuit of CSKA for the Continental Cup.

The home team started well with Igor Musatov’s solo effort putting it 1-0 up in the sixth minute, but that was as good as it got. Vadim Shipachyov and Artemy Panarin turned the game around before the first intermission and Evgeny Dadonov made it 3-1 midway through the second.

Vadim Khomitsky pulled one back for Avangard in the second period but there was no recovery as SKA controlled the third period with few incidents of note.

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Around the league
A late goal from Igor Polygalov gave Neftekhimik a 3-2 win at Traktor – and sparked controversy along the way. Polygalov scored off Maxim Berezin’s pass with just two minutes to play, but the home team believed goalie Mike Garnett had been fouled seconds before. Earlier Yegor Martynov inspired Traktor to fight back from 0-2, but it wasn’t enough to save the game.

Andrei Stepanov scored twice to help Dinamo Minsk to a 3-2 win over Medvescak. The home team looked to be in control with a 2-0 lead after two periods, but Medvescak hit back to tie the game thanks to Bill Thomas and Ville Leino before Stepanov settled it in the 57th minute.

Atlant edged Slovan 4-3 despite letting a 3-0 lead slip. Andrej Kudrna, Libor Hudacek and Tomas Netik hit the net in the space of just 90 seconds midway through the game, but Evgeny Bodrov won it for Atlant.

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Semyon Valuisky’s shoot-out winner gave Lada the verdict following a 1-1 tie at Avtomobilist. The teams traded first-period goals with Jiri Hunkes putting Lada up before Sami Lepisto levelled. 

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