Bobkov freezes out Magnitka

Admiral Vladivostok 3 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 0

Igor Bobkov made 29 saves to deny Metallurg the chance to return to the top of the Eastern Conference table.

The defending champion suffered a surprise shoot-out loss at home to Ugra in its last game, which enabled Ak Bars to take over on top in the East.

And the hangover from that game continued after the long trip to the Pacific coast, with a jet-lagged Magnitka giving up two goals in the opening minutes of the game.

A botched line change handed Admiral a third-minute power play and Vladimir Tkachyov took full advantage to give the home team the lead. Then Mikhail Fisenko doubled the advantage on 5:06 as Robert Sabolic picked up his second assist of the night. The visitor’s sluggish start saw it trail 13-4 on shots at the first intermission.

Metallurg’s efforts to get back into the game were hampered by a series of minor penalties, making it hard to generate any momentum. The second period produced a further goal for Admiral when Oskars Bartulis found the net from the blue line.

It was only in the final session that the visitor managed to exert pressure on Bobkov, firing in more than half its shots in the third period. But the goalie proved equal to the onslaught, keeping Magnitka at bay to secure an impressive victory.

Slovan edges Ak Bars

Slovan Bratislava 2 Ak Bars Kazan 1 (OT)

After Metallurg’s defeat, Ak Bars extended its lead at the top of the Eastern Conference to two points.

The visitor had seen its eight-game winning streak end in Zagreb on Monday and suffered a further bout of travel sickness after moving on to Slovakia after trailing until deep into the final stanza.

A strong third period showing got the visitor back on level terms, but just three seconds before the end of overtime Slovan got the winner thanks to Vaclav Nederost’s goal off a Ziga Jeglic assist. That confirmed the host’s first win in three games and left Ak Bars suffering its second successive loss.

Earlier Slovan’s Kyle Chipchura was credited with the opening goal after the forward got the decisive touch on a Tomas Kundratek shot in the 29th minute. And for a long time that looked like it would be enough to send Ak Bars to a second successive loss until Mikhail Varnakov tied the game with nine minutes to play.

Yurzinov outwits former club

Kunlun Red Star 3 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 2

Shanghai was the unlikely setting for a clash between two of the KHL’s most experienced coaches when Vladimir Yurzinov faced Igor Zakharkin.

And Yurzinov, a distinguished coach of Salavat Yulaev in times past, claimed victory over the current incumbent in Ufa thanks to a Chad Rau goal on 36 minutes.

That snapped a 2-2 tie after Oleg Yashin had fired Kunlun into a 2-0 lead, scoring his second and third goals of the season either side of the first intermission.

But Salavat Yulaev hit back, with in-form Kirill Kaprizov extending his productive streak to five goals in four games and seven points from five. Teemu Hartikainen tied the game on the half-hour mark.

Around the league

Spartak’s upturn in form continued with a powerful 5-1 win at Dinamo Minsk. Konstantin Glazachev and Anatoly Nikontsev both scored two and Matthew Gilroy picked up two assists as the visitor opened up a 5-0 lead. Andrei Stepanov’s last-minute goal denied Nikita Bespalov a shut-out, but could not prevent Spartak recording a third straight win.

An overtime goal from Denis Tolpeko gave HC Sochi the points at Jokerit after the teams tied 2-2 in regulation. The Finns led twice thanks to goals from Tomi Maki and Petteri Wirtanen, but Igor Levitsky twice tied the game for Sochi.

Dmitry Semin scored twice, including a shoot-out winner, as Torpedo edged the verdict at Dinamo Riga. Defenseman Georgijs Pujacs put the Latvians ahead in the 31st minute, but Semin tied it up 10 seconds into the third period before deciding the outcome.

A bright start from Amur helped set up a 4-2 win at home to Traktor as Vladislav Ushenin and Oleg Li gave the host a 2-0 lead inside seven minutes. The visitor hit back to tie the game through goals from Dmitry Pestunov and Ryan Vesce, but Jan Kolar and Teemu Ramstedt reinstated Amur’s advantage.

Gilbert Brule made a quick return to Zagreb after his recent transfer from Medvescak to Neftekhimik, but ended up on the wrong end of a 1-4 scoreline. Two goals from Alexandre Giroux helped Medvescak to a 3-0 first period lead Lukas Lessio getting his first goal for the club. Mark Katic added a fourth in the 44th minute before Dan Sexton potted a late consolation.