The league leader reaches 100 points with an overtime win at Lada, the defending champion edges a narrow verdict over Slovan and Dinamo Riga hits six in the clash of the strugglers in Novokuznetsk.
Vadim Shipachyov’s overtime strike saw SKA become the first team this season to reach three figures.
The Russian international snapped a 2-2 tie two minutes into the extra, scoring a power play goal on his former team-mate Ilya Ezhov with a one-timer from the right-hand face-off spot to give SKA its 23rd win in 24 games.
But Oleg Znarok’s team didn’t have it easy against the Motormen as Lada battled hard to keep its playoff hopes on the road. Nikita Filatov gave the home team a 10th-minute lead, but Shipachyov conjured two assists to help Evgeny Dadonov and Nikita Gusev turn the game around before the first intermission.
The big play in the middle stanza saw SKA waste a chance to stretch that lead. Sergei Shirokov was hooked by Yefim Gurkin as he shaped to shoot, but the resultant penalty shot found Ezhov’s pads.
Then Ilya Kovalchuk, who also missed a big chance in the second period, was ejected from the game early in the third for spearing, giving Lada a 5-on-3 advantage and a great chance to tie the game. Taylor Aronson duly obliged on 45 minutes and the game went into overtime.
Magnitka rebounded from its defeat in Zagreb to overcome Slovan thanks to goals from Tomas Filippi and Danis Zaripov.
The early stages of the game belonged to Alexander Semin, who was in clinical form to give Metallurg a 2-0 lead. His team only managed six shots on Justin Pogge’s net in the first period, but both of Semin’s efforts found the target.
Slovan, buoyed by back-to-back wins over Salavat Yulaev and Traktor, hit back. Jeff Taffe halved the deficit before the first intermission and when Semin was sent to the sin bin, Ziga Jeglic converted the power play and tied the game.
Cue Filippi, and an unassisted goal late in the second period to put Metallurg back in front. The Czech forward robbed Tomas Surovy of the puck in the Slovan zone and rushed on Pogge to score. This time, there was no fight back. Zaripov extended the lead in the final session and Slovan had no answer.
The race for the playoffs is the main talking point at this time of the year, but for these two teams the battle to escape the ignominy of finishing rock bottom of the table is the principle issue.
On today’s evidence, though, Dinamo looks to be the team with greater fighting spirit after powering to a comprehensive victory over a Metallurg side marooned at the foot of the Eastern Conference.
The damage was done in the second period when the Latvians added five unanswered goals to Mikelis Redlihs’ sixth-minute opener. The forward’s brother, Krisjanis, added a second in the 25th minute before penalty trouble at the midway mark left Kuznya flattened. Gints Meija and Miks Indrasis took the lead out to 4-0, chasing starting goalie Andrei Kareyev in the process.
The incoming Vladislav Podyapolsky also found things tough as Mikelis Redlihs got his second of the night and Edgars Kulda rewarded Dinamo’s dominance with a sixth before the second intermission. The final stanza was goalless as Janis Kalnins claimed a shut-out with 24 saves. Dinamo wrapped up a second big win over Metallurg, having won 5-1 in the previous meeting in Riga, and is now seven points clear of the Siberian team in the overall KHL table.
Kanareikin ejected as Dinamo Minsk wins in Omsk
Avangard Omsk 0 Dinamo Minsk 1
A solitary first-period goal was enough to settle this game, boosting Dinamo’s playoff prospects in the West and dampening Avangard’s hopes of topping the table in the East.
But the big talking point came on the bench, where Avangard head coach Fyodor Kanareikin was sent to the locker room following an altercation with the officials. As a niggly game threatened to boil over in the middle stanza, Kanareikin lost his temper and got a bit too physical in his protests.
It was the second game running that Dinamo had been involved in a hot-blooded confrontation; the previous 3-1 win at Sibir also turned into an arm-wrestle. Once again, though, the Belarusians prevailed on their Siberian tour. Ben Scrivens was inspired between the piping, making big saves early on to deny Pyotr Khokhryakov, Anton Burdasov and Mikhail Yunkov before Alexander Pavlovich went to the other end and scored the only goal of the night. Scrivens finished with 35 saves, Dinamo left with all three points.
Sibir Novosibirsk 3 Jokerit Helsinki 0
Danny Taylor’s fourth shut-out of the season boosted Sibir’s playoff prospects, lifting the Novosibirsk team to within two points of the top eight.
Taylor made 37 saves to frustrate the Finns in a game that remained scoreless for the first two periods.
In the third, though, Sibir found the way past Ryan Zapolski, opening the scoring in the 41st minute with a power play goal from Vladislav Naumov. A high hit from Joey Hishon gave the host another power play soon after and Adam Polasek took advantage to double the lead before Vladimir Pervushin wrapped up the win. Sibir climbs to ninth in the East, but Jokerit missed the chance to improve on its six-point cushion in the West.
Around the league
Admiral returned to the top eight in the East thanks to a 4-1 win over Ugra while Barys went down 3-4 at home to Traktor.
In Vladivostok, a three-goal salvo in the second period made the difference. Maxim Kazakov opened the scoring in the 26th minute, Dmitry Sayustov doubled the lead 44 seconds later and Vladimir Tkachyov got his 14th of the season to make it 3-0 in the 29th. Evgeny Lapenkov scored for the second game running to reduce the arrears but Pavel Makarenko completed the win for Admiral.
In Astana, two third-period goals from Nigel Dawes could not salvage anything for Barys after Alexei Kruchinin had a stellar game for Traktor. The young forward bagged a hat-trick of assists as two goals from Paul Szczechura and another from Alexei Petrov gave Traktor a 3-0 lead. Then, after Cam Barker and Dawes’ first had put Barys back in the game, Kruchinin scored himself to make it 4-2 and render Dawes’ final contribution meaningless in terms of the final result.
It took a shoot-out to separate Medvescak and Salavat Yulaev in Zagreb. Lukas Lessio claimed the deciding goal, snapping a 2-2 tie. Earlier Lessio helped Medvescak into a 2-0 lead in the second period, with Colby Genoway also on target. But Salavat responded with two in 40 seconds from Evgeny Bodrov and Denis Parshin to force the extras.