Severstal Cherepovets left it late to see off Vityaz Chekhov, but three goals in the last 10 minutes eased the Steelmen to a 4-1 win. Defenseman Ondrej Nemec made a perfect start to the New Year, bagging his first goal of the season on 2:45, but a short-handed effort from Andrei Posnov tied the game on 9:00. The second period was the Danila Alistratov show, with the Vityaz goaltender stopping 21 shots - he faced an incredible 54 in total - but his efforts were ultimately to no avail. Vadim Shipachyov (1+1) and Maxim Chudinov (0+2) took command in the closing stages to steer Severstal home.
Happy New Year for Spartak
The clash of the Western Conference strugglers brought good news for Spartak after a shoot-out win at Lev Poprad. Goaltender Ivan Kasutin made two saves in that shoot-out to add to an assist chalked up during regulation time and steer his team to victory. Stefan Ruzicka claimed the winning goal. Earlier Spartak had opened up a 2-0 lead through Yegor Mikhailov and Andre Benoit - but homes hopes were revived as Lev tied the game thanks to Rastislav Spirko and Jaroslav Kristek.
Persistence pays off
Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk refused to be subdued at home to Ak Bars Kazan, despite seeing the visitors equalize on three occasions during the game. Igor Yemeleyev’s second goal of the night, on 48:46, finally handed Yugra a 5-4 victory in the first KHL fixture of 2012. Yemeleyev’s two-goal heroics were matched by Ak Bars’ Danis Zaripov in an entertaining clash.