Unstoppable SKA

24 January 2012, 23:59

Table-topping SKA St. Petersburg emphatically beat Dynamo Moscow 5-1 - with much of the damage done by the team's youngsters. Viktor Tikhonov scored twice to wrap up the win in the final period, and the third goal seeing recent signing Vladimir Tarasenko claim an assist on Sergei Monakhov's strike. For Dynamo there was little to cheer despite Ilya Gorokhov's second period goal which briefly tied the game at 1-1.

Spartak springs a surprise
Spartak Moscow's play-off hopes may be slim, but a shock 3-1 win at Ak Bars Kazan keeps them alive for a bit longer. The decisive goals came at the beginning and end of the third period, with Stefan Ruzicka putting Spartak 2-1 up on 41:08 then getting an assist on Andre Benoit's empty-netter with six seconds to play. Goaltender Sergei Borisov made 37 saves, while former Spartak first-choice stopper Ivan Kasutin spent the evening on the Ak Bars bench.

Traktor's late show
Eastern conference leader Traktor Chelyabinsk saved the best until last in a 3-2 win over Sibir Novosibirsk. Two goals in 50 seconds snatched victory for the visitors as first Anton Burdasov then Evgeny Kuznetsov beat Bernd Bruckler in the home goal. Traktor probably just shaded it on the balance of play, out-shooting Sibir 37-30.

Metallurg slips up
Metallurg Novokuznetsk knows that every point counts in a four-way race for a play-off berth in the East - and could ill afford to let anything slip against bottom club Avtomobilist. But even if Dmitry Megalinsky's shoot-out goal gave the home side a win, failing to see off the strugglers in regulation time increases the pressure on a side featuring the talent and experience of Brent Sopel - who scored the first equalizer in a 2-2 tie on Tuesday evening.

Easy for the champion
Defending champion Salavat Yulaev had few problems in beating lowly Vityaz Chekhov 3-0 in Ufa. The game was settled in the first period with powerplay goals from Antti Pihlstrom and Igor Grigorenko putting the home side in complete control. Vityaz managed just 18 shots on Erik Ersberg's goal.

CSKA stunned
A high-scoring clash in Minsk ended with a dramatic home win - but it took two late goals for Dinamo to prevail 6-5. Libor Pivko (57:44) and Charles Linglet (58:29) settled it for the Belarussians, but CSKA thought Denis Parshin's 5-4 goal on 54:09 had completed a recovery from 0-2 and 1-3 in a topsy turvy game.

Afterparty in Riga
Fresh from the excitement of the All-Star game, Riga's hockey fans witnessed another high-scoring - but despite winning in a shoot-out against Torpedo, the evening would have frustrated much of the crowd. At first it looked like the Latvians were cruising after opening up a 3-0 first period lead. And when Guntis Galvins made it 4-2 to the hosts on 49:32 it seemed that Torpedo's fightback was destined to fall short. But Mikhail Varnakov cut the deficit within seconds and Maxim Potapov tied it up on 58:46 as the Nizhny Novgorod side stormed the Riga goal. Alexandrs Nizivijs did the honors in the shoot-out.

Around the league
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk always had too much for Severstal Cherepovets in a 4-2 win in Tatarstan. Maxim Pestushko got the game-winner on 47:34, but the home side never trailled after Alexander Islamov's early opener.

Barys Astana's play-off hopes took a dent after throwing away a 2-0 lead at Avangard Omsk. Dmitry Syomin got the winner for Avangard on 53:14.

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