Defending champions Salavat Yulaev won Friday's big game, edging out Ak Bars Kazan by the odd goal in nine. Alexander Svitov was the hero for the Ufa side, getting the winner on 57:28, but goaltender Erik Ersberg also played a big part. He made 31 saves in the 5-4 win as the visitors outshot Salavat Yulaev 35-25.
The home side was never behind, but rarely had total control of the game with Ak Bars refusing to yield in a battle between two of this season's top contenders. And Salavat had to withstand a late storm as the Kazan side enjoyed a 6-on-4 powerplay for the final 20 seconds as they desperately sought to force the game into overtime.
Victory maintains Salavat Yulaev's winning start to the season after they battled back to lift the Lokomotiv Cup on Monday, and with 10 goals scored in two games they look to be a potent attacking force again this time around. Meanwhile Ak Bars were left to rue defensive errors as a new-look squad beds down under incoming coach Vladimir Krikunov.
A hat-trick from Sergei Mozyakin helped Metallurg Magnitogorsk to an easy 5-1 win over Traktor Chelyabinsk. The former Atlant frontman got two first period goals and completed his team's scoring on 54:51. His goals made him the first forward in KHL history to get 100 goals in the competition, though he modestly passed the credit to his strike partners for feeding him the opportunities. For Traktor, rising star Evgeny Kuznetsov converted a late penalty shot for his second goal in successive games, but otherwise the south Ural derby was a match to forget for his team.
Best of the West
Minsk hosted an early summit meeting in the Western Conference, but it was Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod who came away with a 100% record intact. The visitors hit Dinamo with a three goal blitz in 169 first period seconds. Mikhail Varnakov, Ryan Vesce and Dmitry Makarov got on the scoresheet before shellshocked Dinamo goalie Kevin Lalande was replaced by Andrei Mezin. The new man between the pipes could do little to retrieve the game, though, and Torpedo eased to a 3-0 win to take an early lead in the west.
Around the league
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg beat Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 3-1 thanks to Alexander Streltsov's brace, while Barys Astana lost in shootout to Avangard Omsk despite a late rally led by Kamil Kreps. He struck on 54:51 and 55:13 to tie the game at 4-4, only for Alexander Perezhogin to add a shoot-out winner to his goal in regulation time.
League newboys Lev Poprad lost their second game of the season 3-1 at home to Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk. The Slovak side is still awaiting its first points of the campaign, while goals from Maxim Belyayev, Igor Magogin and Igor Yemeleyev got Yugra off the mark. Former CSKA man Tomas Netik netted a late consolation for the hosts.