Barys Astana 2 Medvescak Zagreb 0
Barys moved closer to a playoff spot as the KHL returned to action after the international break.
The Kazakhs made it three wins from three, continuing the upswing that began last month and climbing to ninth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Lada with a game in hand.
But for Medvescak, second bottom in the west, it was more of the same as Gordie Dwyer’s team saw its losing streak extend to a fourth game. One small consolation: after giving up 13 goals in the previous two games, this was a much-improved defensive display and the game was live until the last seconds. Defenses were on top early on and the first period produced no goals and few chances. Barys got in front early in the second with a power play goal: Roman Savchenko lurked on the blue line and his one-timer off Evgeny Rymarev’s pass was too much for Drew MacIntyre to handle.
Medvescak tried to up its own offense in response, but could not find a way past Henrik Karlsson. Those frustrations bubbled over in the closing stages and hopes of a last-gasp equalizer evaporated into the mist of two penalty calls in the last minute. Brandon McMillan and Shaone Morrisonn both went to the sin bin, while Edwin Hedberg’s angry reaction saw him talk his way into the locker room ahead of the hooter. Amid the confusion Martin St. Pierre scored into the empty net with one second remaining.