Ak Bars ended the year on a winning note with a 3-2 success at home to Ugra – but the Eastern Conference leader had a more difficult evening than expected in Kazan.
It all seemed straightforward early on as Justin Azevedo orchestrated a 2-0 lead in the first 13 minutes. The Canadian helped Oscar Moller open the scoring before adding the second himself as the home team assumed control.
But the middle session saw Ugra roar back into contention, outshooting Ak Bars 18-2 in a dominant display. Emil Garipov was at full stretch to limit the opposition to a solitary power play goal from Alexander Korolyuk in the 26th minute.
Igor Mirnov gave Ak Bars a bit more comfort with a goal right at the start of the third but Ugra continued to have more of the chances and Philip Larsen made it an anxious finish when he pulled it back to 3-2 with just over two minutes to play.
Seven up for Sibir
The New Year holiday will be a festive one in Novosibirsk as Sibir made it seven wins in a row ...