Spartak Moscow 1 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 5
Sergei Mozyakin hit a hat-trick to become Metallurg’s all-time record goalscorer as the defending champion powered to an assured victory over Spartak.
Only in the first period was there much doubt about the outcome of the game, as visiting goalie Ilya Samsonov was kept busy by a lively Spartak offense desperately seeking to snap a three-game losing streak.
But Mozyakin soon changed all that, scoring 30 seconds into the middle stanza. Spartak never really recovered and power play goals from Mozyakin and Oskar Osala just before the half-hour put the outcome beyond doubt.
The home team swapped goalies, but Markus Svensson soon gave up another power play goal to Jan Kovar before Moyzakin completed his treble early in the third. Ryan Stoa deprived Samsonov of a shut-out, but nothing would deny Magnitka the win.
HC Sochi 4 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 3 (SO)
Not even a game-tying goal three seconds from the end could prolong Salavat Yulaev’s winning run to an eighth game. Enver Lisin salvaged a point for his team in dramatic fashion, beating Konstantin Barulin off a Teemu Hartikainen feed with the last play of regulation time, but Sochi held its nerve to win it in the shoot-out.
Ben Maxwell got the deciding goal, having earlier given the host a 3-2 advantage in the 47th minute when he touched home Oskar Fantenburg’s shot from the blue line. That was the first time Sochi had led in the game.
Salavat arrived full of confidence, and took the lead at the end of the first period through Maxim Mayorov. Sergei Kuznetsov tied it up in the second, but Linus Omark continued the trend of scoring close to the hooter to reinstate the visitor’s lead. Alexander Mereskin made it 2-2 early in the third before Maxwell stepped up to turn the game upside down.
CSKA Moscow 4 Barys Astana 2
Canadian forward Greg Scott hadn’t scored since September 11, but he found two goals to help CSKA overcome a resilient Barys and warm up for next week’s big clash against SKA.
Despite the cushion of Kirill Petrov’s fifth-minute opener, CSKA found it difficult to impose its game on the Kazakhs. Scott’s first came just before the half-hour, making it 2-0 and seemingly making the game safe. But Martin St. Pierre got one back almost immediately, keeping the game on a knife-edge.
Scott struck again early in the third and Vyacheslav Osnovin scored into an empty net late on to secure the win, despite a late consolation goal from Vladimir Markelov.
Kunlun Red Star 3 Sibir Novosibirsk 1
KHL newcomer Kunlun came from behind to pick up an important win over Sibir to maintain its push for a playoff spot.
With plenty at stake for both teams, the first period was cagey: amid few chances, Sibir finally conjured an opening for Maxim Shalunov to smash home a one-timer in the 18th minute.
The prompted the Chinese team to raise the tempo in the second period, dominating the play and scoring three unanswered goals from a shot count of 19-4. Alexei Ponikarovsky tied it up after a beautiful pass from Tobias Viklund turned offense into defense. Then, late in the session, a 5-on-3 power play reaped maximum reward.
First Chad Rau continued his impressive scoring streak, flashing an angled shot off the inside of Danny Taylor’s post. By the time play had halted so the video judge could confirm Rau’s eighth goal in seven games, Tuukka Mantyla had also found the net. The Finn missed out when his team-mate’s strike was awarded, but within a minute he had a big assist as Janne Jalasvaara made it 3-1. Mantyla unleashed another mighty blow from the blue line and his captain was on the spot to deflect it past Taylor.
The victory gives Kunlun a six-point cushion over Sibir and strengthens Red Star’s grip on sixth place in the East.
Around the league
Avangard came from behind to win 2-1 at Admiral. James Wright opened the scoring for the host with a power play goal in the second period, but Nikolai Lemtyugov tied it up in the 34th minute. Alexander Perezhogin’s 10th of the season gave the verdict to Avangard early in the third; Vladimir Sobotka assisted on both the visitor’s goals.
Torpedo struggled to get on top of Traktor, with head coach Peteris Skudra blaming the emotional impact of Thursday’s hard-fought win over Magnitka, but eventually found the strength to succeed. Artyom Alyayev put Torpedo ahead in the 35th minute, only for Traktor’s Maxim Yakutsenya to level early in the third. Finally, though, the last 10 minutes saw the home team take control thanks to goals from Vladimir Galuzin, Alexei Potapov and Dmitry Semin.
Fresh from ending SKA’s winning streak, Avtomobilist continued along the right road with a 4-2 win at Severstal. The Motormen trailed to a fourth-minute Pavel Chernov goal but hit back in the second period when Dmitry Monya, Roman Ivanov and Nikita Shchitov all found the net. Nikolai Timashov and Nikolai Kazakovtsev traded markers in the third as Avto climbs to within two points of the playoff spots.
Dinamo Minsk created some breathing space in the race for a playoff spot thanks to a 2-1 win at Slovan. Matt Ellison’s early goal gave the Belarusians the lead but Kyle Chipchura tied it up in the 12th minute. Ellison then had an assist on Andrei Stepanov’s game-winner on 24 minutes. Dinamo climbs to seventh, three points clear of ninth-placed Vityaz.
Juha Metsola’s third shut-out of the season helped Amur to a 2-0 victory over Metallurg Novokuznetsk. The Finn made 20 saves as Amur shrugged off the expulsion of Vladimir Malevich in the first period to win it on goals from Alexei Byvaltsev and Tomas Zohorna.
Michael Garnett was another goalie to have a good day, recording his first shut-out for Medvescak since he arrived to replace Danny Taylor. Garnett made 26 saves to frustrate Dinamo Riga in Zagreb, Edwin Hedberg’s 11th minute goal was the only score of the game.