A late goal rush saved Salavat Yulaev from a fifth successive defeat as Lev Poprad continues to impress. The Slovak side will feel aggrieved that it failed to add victory in Ufa to successes in Kazan and Nizhnekamsk after leading 3-1 and 5-3 before going down 6-5. But two goals apiece for Alexander Radulov and Oleg Saprykin spared the blushes of the defending champions as penalty trouble in the third period sank Lev. Twice in the space of two minutes Radulov converted passes from Sergei Zinovyev to tie the game at 5-5 by 50:58. Then Saprykin, who had earlier leveled affairs at 3-3, put Salavat ahead for the first time on 55:51, ultimately settling a pulsating game. It was particularly harsh on Ladislav Nagy, who had earlier scored twice for Lev. The other scorers were Juraj Mikus, Vaclav Nedorost and Lubos Bartecko for Lev, Zinovyev and Alexander Svitov for Salavat Yulaev.
SKA’s shoot-out success
SKA St. Petersburg needed penalties to see off Barys Astana after a 3-3 tie. Norwegian hot-shot Patrick Thoresen was the star man, converting both his attempts in the shoot-out after earlier getting a goal and an assist in regulation time.
The hosts had to recover from 0-2 and 1-3 in a bad-tempered game which saw Maxim Afinogenov rack up 34 penalty minutes on his way to a dismissal in overtime. Kevin Dallman and Lukas Kaspar put Barys on top before Ivan Nepryayev pulled one back in the first period. After the interval Kamil Kreps reinstated the two-goal cushion on 21:32 but Thoresen and Dmitry Kalinin tied the game at 3-3, prompting a long evening beside the Neva.
CSKA fight back in vain
There was another shoot-out in Kazan after hosts Ak Bars failed to hold a 2-0 lead over CSKA Moscow. Evgeny Skachkov and Jarkko Immonen put Ak Bars ahead, but Vyacheslav Kulyomin and Ilya Zubov tied the game by 39:18. A further 25 minutes couldn’t separate the teams, but Ak Bars prevailed in the shoot-out thanks to a goal from Immonen and two saves from fellow Finn Petri Vehanen.
Amur stay on top
Amur Khabarovsk picked up a valuable 3-1 win over Eastern Conference rivals Avangard Omsk. Czech mates Jakub Petruzalek and Petr Vrana combined for the opener on 30:20, and Petruzalek went on to add a goal to his assist on 43:48, taking his season’s tally to 20 points. Vrana currently has 7+8=15. A powerplay goal from Alexei Kopeikin on 46:48 made it 3-0 to the hosts before Roman Cervenka pulled one back for Avangard.
Traktor Chelyabinsk recovered from Sunday’s loss at Atlant to beat struggling Dinamo Riga 3-1 in Latvia. The visitors took an early grip thanks to goals from Stanislav Chistov (3:44) and Petri Kontiola (11:57). Dinamo hit back through Fredrik Warg’s powerplay goal on 33:04 but there was to be no recovery and Evgeny Kuznetsov secured the points with a goal seven seconds from time. Traktor and SKA are now tied on 31 points, one behind Amur.
Around the league
Severstal Cherepovets won 3-2 at Metallurg Novokuznetsk. Mikko Lehtonen scored twice to add to Andrei Sidyakin’s opener; Dmitry Kagarlitsky and Alexei Medvedev replied for Metallurg.
Dinamo Minsk recovered from 0-2 to beat Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk on penalties. Lukas Krajicek and Daniel Corso cancelled out efforts from the hosts’ Denis Sergeyev and Martin Cibak before Zbynek Irgl converted the decisive penalty.
There were few problems for Sibir Novosibirsk in a 4-0 home win over Vityaz Chekhov. Goals from Yury Petrov, Timofei Shishkanov, Alexander Chernikov and Vladimir Tarasenko did the damage while goaltender Brend Bruckler enjoyed a clean sheet.