Lev Poprad pulled off its best win since joining the KHL, outclassing AK Bars 4-1 in Kazan. The Slovak side had Tomas Netik to thank: his two second period goals followed an assist on Lubos Bartecko’s opener on 18:32. Ak Bars finally got on the scoresheet on 37:00 through Ilya Nikulin, but could not find a way to break down an obdurate Slovak defense, with Tomas Duba making 37 saves. In the last second Branislav Mezei added to Kazan’s misery with an empty net goal while Lev played shorthanded.
Traktor on top
Traktor Chelyabinsk - a team which failed to make last season’s play-offs - sits proudly on top of the table after a gritty 2-0 win at Dynamo Moscow. In a game which set the league’s current leaders against one another, it looked like a solitary first period effort from Jan Bulis would be enough to separate the teams, but an empty net goal from Vladimir Antipov put the issue beyond doubt with 36 seconds remaining. The success was a personal triumph for Traktor goaltender Michael Garnett, who kept a clean sheet on his return to Luzhniki.
Salavat shot down
Clinical finishing made all the difference for SKA St. Petersburg in a 4-2 win at Salavat Yulaev Ufa. The defending champion outshot the visitors 39-24, but could not get ahead. Maxim Afinogenov (15:35), Anton Korolyov (38:54) and Patrick Thoresen (50:23) looked to have put SKA in complete control, but Salavat finally got on the scoresheet with a quickfire double to pull the game back to 3-2. However, after Maxim Sushinsky had netted against him former club and Alexander Svitov set up a tense finale, Fyodor Fedorov settled matters with an empty net goal on 59:58 to secure the points for SKA. That condemned Salavat Yulaev to a fourth defeat in 6 games, increasing the pressure on the Ufa team.
The Tarasenko show
Vladimir Tarasenko (1+2) had a hand in all three goals as Sibir beat Severstal 3-1 in Novosibirsk. Vadim Shipachyov, the leading Russian scorer this season, put the visitors in front before Tarasenko got to work. He had a hand in Artyom Kryukov’s equalizer before scoring himself to put Sibir in front. In the dying seconds he set up an empty-net goal for Stepan Sannikov to complete the scoring.
Around the league
Amur Khabarovsk continued its impressive form with a 5-2 win over lowly Vityaz Chekhov. Jakub Petruzalek maintained his place at the top of the point-scoring table with another goal, and fellow Czech Petr Vrana finished with 1+1.
Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk beat Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 3-1 despite going behind. Dmitry Makarov put the visitors in front after just 30 seconds, only for Artyom Bulyansky to equalize in the first period. Nikolai Bardin and an empty netter from Ivan Khlyntsev won it for Yugra.
Spartak fought from 2-0 down to beat Metallurg Novokuznetsk in a shoot-out. Oleg Gubin got the winner after Alexander Komaristy and Andre Benoit clawed back strikes from Alexander Golovin and Randy Robitaille.
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk got a late winner to see off CSKA 3-2. Alexander Korolyuk’s goal on 53:28 tipped the balance in a game which looked to be heading for overtime. Alexander Islamov and a penalty shot from Igor Polygalov were the hosts’ other scorers; Sergei Shirokov and Tomas Surovy scored for CSKA.