Moscow is about to host the Miss Universe contest, and the KHL welcomed some of the contestants to Friday’s game between Atlant and Lev. But it seemed that it was the home players who were dazzled by the beauties in the arena, slipping to a heavy home defeat.
Ryan O’Byrne, Patrik Zackrisson and Michal Birner did the damage for Lev, opening up a 3-0 lead before halfway while Atlant’s offense stuttered to just 8 attempts on goal in the first two periods. The game finished 4-0 to the visitor.
Third time unlucky
Metallurg Magnitogorsk forward Danis Zaripov fired in three more goals – but still ended up on the losing team in Yekaterinburg. Fast-improving Avtomobilist continued its promising progress with a shoot-out win after a 4-4 tie.
Zaripov’s scoring feats this time came in a fight-back: Avto led 3-0 and 4-1, thanks largely to an Anton Lazarev double, before the forward got to work and took the game to 4-4 in the 49th minute.
But his goal touch deserted him at the worst possible moment as he missed Magnitka’s first penalty shot and saw Fyodor Malykhin capitalize to claim the win for the home side. The final act of the shoot-out brought the Kovar brothers face-to-face, but Avto goalie Jakub was wise to the tricks of Metallurg forward Jan and made the crucial save.
New coaches, familiar tale
Neftekhimik and Ugra took to the ice for the first time following the departure of their head coaches – but neither began the new era with a win.
Ugra did manage its first point under Oleg Davydov, tying Traktor 3-3 before losing in overtime. Jan Bulis got the winner after Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice in regulation, his second cancelling out Igor Skorokhodov’s late strike and forcing overtime.
Neftekhimik, meanwhile, fell to Avangard. In the absence of Vladimir Krikunov the Nizhnekamsk team trailed 4-0 by the midway stage, Sergei Kostitsyn leading the way with 1+2. A rally late in the second session halved the deficit but a scoreless finale saw Avangard safely home.
Fantastic forty for Tellqvist
Dinamo Riga had goalie Mikael Tellqvist to thank after a 1-0 win at Severstal. He pulled off an incredible 40 saves, ensuring that a powerplay goal from Martins Cipulis back in the 12th minute proved enough for the win. Dinamo, which missed out on last year’s play-offs, remains third in the West during a much-improved campaign this time around.
Around the league
Table-topping SKA had little difficulty disposing of struggling Slovan. The Slovaks did find a response to Artemy Panarin’s opening goal, but when he and Vadim Shipachyov added two in the space of a minute in the second period the outcome of the game was clear. SKA skated to a 4-2 win.
Brandon Bochenski made the difference as Barys edged Salavat Yulaev 3-2. He struck twice in Astana, helping his team to a 2-0 lead then grabbing a 46th-minute winner after Teemu Hartikainen and Igor Makarov tied the game at 2-2 in the second.
CSKA recovered from an early shock to take the points at Lokomotiv. Alexei Kruchinin put the hosts ahead in the third minute, but Ilari Filppula leveled before the interval. Two goals early in the third, from Sergei Shirokov and Mikhail Naumenkov, put CSKA on the way to a 3-1 win.
Sibir surprised Donbass with a 2-1 win in Ukraine. The low-scoring result was in contrast with a game full of attacking action, but Dmitry Kurgyshev’s 1+1 for Sibir included the decisive goal on 51:20.
Struggling Metallurg Novokuznetsk pushed Medvescak all the way before succumbing to Ryan Vesce in the shoot-out. The teams tied 3-3 in regulation, after Damir Zhafyarov scored twice to helped the visitor recover from 0-2 and 2-3.
Spartak earned a narrow victory at home to Amur, with Viktor Bobrov finally breaking the deadlock in the 47th minute. That, and another shut-out for Jeff Glass, proved enough to keep the points in Moscow.