Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 2 Medvescak Zagreb 1

Two first period goals set Loko on track for victory against the Bears, picking up its first win in five games.

Petri Kontiola’s wrist shot gave the home team the lead in the sixth minute before Emil Galimov’s classy finish doubled that advantage. The forward broke into Medvescak’s zone, glided around Thomas Larkin and slipped in a shoot between his own legs.

The visitor fired in 34 shots on Alexei Murygin’s net, but only Alexandre Giroux found the target. He struck in the 37th minute, but Loko held on to move up to fifth in the Western Conference.

Vityaz tightens grip on playoff spot

Vityaz Podolsk 3 Slovan Bratislava 1

Vityaz faced Slovan in an important game in the race for a top-eight spot. The home team was looking to consolidate in eighth place, but if Slovan recorded its fourth victory in a row it would move to within a single point of its Moscow Region rival.

So getting a good start was crucial, and Miro Aaltonen delivered exactly that with a goal for Vityaz after just 75 seconds. The Finn got a big assist from visiting goalie Barry Brust, whose misjudged clearance behind the net presented a simple chance on the wraparound.

Slovan continued to make its own problems, giving up a power play goal to Alexei Kopeikin after 15 minutes, but the visitor got more competitive as the game went on. A strong second period kept home goalie Harri Sateri busy before Jeff Taffe halved the deficit early in the third. Taffe then had a great chance to tie the scores, only to fire wide in his duel with the netminder.

Vityaz took full advantage of that reprieve, adding a third goal through Alexei Makeyev moments later and holding on to claim the victory despite Andrej Meszaros’ late goal for Slovan.