Ak Bars leave it late in Kazan, while Neftekhimik win a 13-goal epic in Nizhnekamsk
Ak Bars Kazan 3
Traktor Chelyabinsk 2 OT
Talismanic skipper Alexei Morozov (pictured) scored his first goal after returning from injury as Ak Bars rallied bravely to grab an unlikely overtime win against a Traktor side which came within three seconds of a first road win since October 3. After two goalless periods, Pavel Boychenko must have thought he had won it with a double strike on 46:08 and 53:52. But Dmitry Kazionov pulled one back for the hosts within a minute, and with the hooter imminent Ak Bars withdrew their goaltender and were rewarded when Morozov set up Janne Pesonen to level on 59:57. With Traktor shorthanded as overtime began Morozov settled the match on 61:47 after combining with Ilya Nikulin.
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 7
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 6
There was no shortage of excitement in Tatarstan as these two sides traded 13 goals in a pulsating game. Avto got things on the road after just 19 seconds through Radek Philipp, prompting an immediate reaction from Neftekhimik. The hosts generated three quick-fire goals of their own through Maxim Pestushko, Niklas Persson and Andrei Ivanov to take a 3-1 lead on 11:30. But by the first break the scores were level, with Andrei Subbotin (14:41) and Alexander Streltsov (17:32) hitting the target.
Both sides changed goaltenders after conceding their third goal, but the new men couldn't stem the attacking tide. Two goals in 79 seconds after the restart put Avto back in control, with Igor Magogin and Anatoly Nikontsev netting in quick succession. Again, the hosts battled back with Evgeny Ryasensky, Igor Polygalov and Persson's second of the night putting them 6-5 in front before the second siren sounded.
Lada Togliatti 5
Metallurg Magnitogorsk 1
Eastern Conference leaders Metallurg went down to a shock defeat at Lada, who remain ahead of defending champions Ak Bars in seventh place. Sergei Andronov was the key player early on, creating the opening goal for Vadim Golubtsov on 05:34 before converting Roman Kukumberg's pass on 33:52. Magnitka's hopes of continuing their two-match winning streak ended early in the final period with Konstantin Panov's first unassisted goal of the night on 42:51. Stanislav Chistov pulled back a consolation for the visitors, but Panov kept Lada motoring on with a second unaided strike before providing the assist for Viktor Drugov to complete the rout in the last minute.
Dynamo Moscow 3
Sibir Novosibirsk 2
Youngster Igor Golovkov grabbed the go-ahead goal as Dynamo kept their recent revival on course with a battling win over Sibir. Incoming coach Andrei Khomutov was rewarded for giving youth a chance when 19-year-old Golovkov got his first goal in senior hockey on 29:29, with an assist for 18-year-old Alexander Avtsyn. That completed a rapid recovery for the hosts, who produced a lackluster first period and were caught cold by Vladimir Tarasenko 56 seconds after the interval. Alexei Kaluzhny turned in a slapshot from Daniil Markov on 28:36 to level, with man-of-the-match Golovkov putting them in front inside a minute. Free-scoring Mattias Weindhandl got his 20th point of the season with a powerplay goal on 34:22, and Dynamo seemed to be cruising to their third straight win. But Sibir's Yegor Milovzorov ensured a nervous finale when he made it 3-2 on 50:13.
Dinamo Minsk 1
Amur Khabarovsk 4
Amur Khabarovsk gave new coach Alexander Blinov a boost with a win from their long trip to Belarus. The far east outfit fell behind on 5:26 thanks to Dinamo's Andrei Mikhalev, but turned the game around before the interval. Alexei Kopeykin equalized on 15:07 before on 19:26 Alexander Krysanov put them in front - with Alexander Yunkov getting an assist on both efforts. Minsk missed out on an equalizer for Mikhalev in the second period, due to encroachment on the goal area, and goals from Ruslan Khasanshin and a short-handed empty-net effort from Kopeykin completed the scoring on 55:28 to give struggling Amur a valuable boost.
Dinamo Riga 4
Metallurg Novokuznetsk 2
The Latvians got off to the perfect start thanks to Krisjanis Redlihs, who opened the scoring after just 29 seconds, with an assist from Janis Sprukts. And the defenseman was on the mark again on 11:21 to double the hosts' lead against the visitors from Siberia. After a goalless second period, Mikelis Redlihs' unassisted goal on 46:27 seemed to have ended the contest - only for Metallurg to mount a brave, if ultimately unsuccessful fightback. Alexei Krivchenkov (47:58) and Alexander Golovin (56:26) pulled it back to 3-2, but Marcel Hossa's empty net goal with 34 seconds to play ended any hopes of an upset.