Traktor Chelyabinsk is closing in on top spot after a win at perennial powerhouse Ak Bars Kazan. The Ural team has revitalized after missing last year's play-offs, and held off a late rally to win 3-2. Goals from Andrei Popov, Alexander Ryazantsev and Vladimir Antipov put Traktor in control; Alexei Tereshchenko and Jarkko Immonen struck in the last eight minutes to set nerves jangling for the visitors.
Six of the best
SKA St. Petersburg made it six wins in a row - but left it late to overcome Avangard Omsk 3-1. Igor Makarov put the hosts 1-0 up on 5:54 but Avangard battled back to equalize on 32:17 through Alexander Frolov. The Petersburg team, however, always held a slight edge on possession and made the advantage count in the closing stages. Gleb Klimenko made it 2-1 on 53:19 and Evgeny Artukhin's empty netter secured the points and lifted SKA level on points with league leaders Amur.
Staying in contention
If the mark of a good team is winning even when things are going badly, it's clear that last year's champion Salavat Yulaev cannot be written off yet. For the second game running the Ufa team found the strength to prevail after regulation time ended level. On Wednesday it was Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg who pushed Salavat all the way in a 3-3 tie before Alexander Radulov got the decisive penalty in the shoot-out. Earlier Radulov had an assist on all three home goals, but two strikes in the first minute of the final period wiped out Salavat's advantage and led to the extras.
A win at last
Newboys Lev Poprad ended a six game losing streak in fine style, handing out a thumping win at home to Severstal Cherepovets. The contest was over by the half-hour mark as the hosts raced into a 5-0 league thanks to Emil Lundberg (2), Juraj Mikus, Jiri Sekac and Jaroslav Kristek.
Niemenen's winning debut
Dinamo Riga handed Metallurg Magnitogorsk a second away defeat in three days in the Baltic town of Liepaja. Mikhail Yakubov gave Magnitka the perfect start when he scored after just 48 seconds, but youngster Juris Upitis leveled it just after the halfway point. Ville Niemenen, who signed for the club on Tuesday, got the winner in a post-match shoot-out.
Around the league
Vityaz Chekhov's recent revival continued with a shoot-out win at CSKA making it five in a row for the Moscow Region team. Alexei Yashin opened the scoring for CSKA but Nick Tarnaski equalized and Georgy Belousov got the decisive penalty.
Another high-scoring game in Nizhnekamsk saw Neftekhimik lose 5-3 to Barys Astana. Dustin Boyd scored twice for the winners, Neftekhimik have conceded 13 goals this week.
Stefan Ruzicka scored twice for Spartak - including the crucial overtime goal - to give the Moscow men a 4-3 win at Dinamo Minsk. That success snapped a four game losing streak for the visitors but left the Belarusians winless in their last three outings.