Goalies on top

16 January 2012, 23:58

Dynamo wasted little time in opening the scoring at home to Avangard, but it took a shoot-out to settle the game in the visitors' favor. Marek Kvapil put Dyanmo 1-0 up after just 43 seconds, finishing calmly after Dmitry Pestunov's pass sent him one-on-one with Karri Ramo. But the Finn, who shut out Dynamo when the sides met earlier this season in Omsk, was not to be beaten again while his opposite number Alexei Volkov also performed superbly. It took a memorable strike from Nikita Pivtsakin - a first ever KHL goal for the young defenseman - to level the scores, with Volkov pulling off a fine save to deny Dmitry Syomin and Ramo making 24 saves by the end of overtime. Ramo maintained that form in the shoot-out, remaining unbeaten while Alexander Perezhogin got the decisive goal for Avangard.

In-form fight
Nizhny Novgorod hosted two of the league's form teams, with local Torpedo going hard for a seeded spot in the West as Metallurg Magnitogorsk looked to extend a sequence of 12 wins in 14 outings. Not surprisingly, it took a shoot-out to separate the two, with Metallurg getting the verdict thanks to Dmitry Kazionov and quickly recovering from the weekend's 4-1 loss at Dynamo. The game began at a blistering pace, with Torpedo's Vladimir Galuzin opening the scoring only for Sergei Mozyakin and Alexei Kaigorodov to turn the scores around by 6:03. The second period was almost a mirror of the first: Metallurg extended its lead before Torpedo hit two quick goals to tie the game; Galuzin claimed an assist as Ilya Krikunov leveled it at 3-3.

Severstal sinks Amur
Severstal Cherepovets did enough in the first period to beat Amur Khabarovsk - but despite a strong start it was a hard-fought 3-2 success. Prolific pointscorer Vadim Shipachyov got the hosts' third goal on 14:05, and that ultimately proved decisive after a fight back from the Far East side. Petr Vrana and Andrei Stepanov saw Amur go close, but a penalty called on Vrana with 90 seconds to play halted the revival in its tracks.

The late show
All the action at Spartak came in a frantic final period as Sibir snuck a 3-2 win at Sokolniki. Forty goalless minutes gave little clue as the excitement to come, but Mikhail Yunkov set the tone on 40:07 when he fired the hosts ahead. That lead didn't last, but the home crowd's hopes were raised on 51:41 when Yegor Mikhailov made it 2-1. However, Spartak have struggled to hold on to winning positions all season, and once again it all went wrong: Vyacheslav Solodukhin equalized and with 45 seconds to play Jonas Enlund grabbed the winner.

Fightback falls short
Vityaz Chekhov failed to overturn a 3-0 deficit, despite a stirring revival at home to Metallurg Novokuznetsk. The visitors raced into a three-goal lead inside 11 minutes after Alexei Medvedev gave them the perfect start on 48 seconds. But Jon Mirasty and Evgeny Timkin - his third in two games - made it a tense finale as Metallurg hung on for the 3-2 win.

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