Penalties and power plays made all the difference as Slovan picked up a 3-2 win at Dynamo Moscow.
The home team took the lead on a first-period power play, with Dmitry Pestunov scoring at the second attempt off a Konstantin Volkov pass but Michel Miklik cancelled that out with a power play goal of his own in the middle session.
Penalties continued to shape the evening and right at the start of the third Slovan won a 5v3 advantage. Although it lasted just eight seconds that was long enoughfor Branko Radivojevic to win a face-off and see Martin Skoula put a one timer past Alexander Yeryomenko from wide on the right channel. Slovan extended its lead while short-handed, with veteran forward Miroslav Satan making good use of his experience to spearhead a solo break that ended with him scoring on Yeryomenko.
Dynamo pulled one back through Yegor Dugin – this one on a delayed penalty – to set up a frantic finish, but further penalty troubles saw Slovan secure another 5v3 which helped run down the clock and seal the win.
Ugra’s play-off hopes suffer
Ugra went into Tuesday’s trip to Barys knowing that it could still dream of sneaking into the play-offs – but the Khanty-Mansiysk team also knew that victory in its remaining games was essential if it was to close the gap on Traktor and Admiral.
But the task of taming a Barys team which has consistently been among the front-runners in the East proved too much: the home side edged a 4-3 verdict to leave Ugra with just four games to claw back eight points on its rivals.
The second period proved decisive: after trading goals in the opening session Barys eased clear thanks to goals from Mikhail Rakhmanov, Nik Antropov and Brandon Bochenski. That proved to be enough to hold off Ugra’s efforts to get back in the game, efforts led by Artyom Bulyansky’s two goals.
Around the league
Justin Azevedo gave Lev a shoot-out win after an entertaining 3-3 tie at Vityaz. Earlier the teams traded five goals in an action-packed opening stanza, but Martin Cibak tied it up for Vityaz midway through the second and that was the end of the scoring.
Defenses were on top in Nizhny Novgorod where Torpedo and Dinamo Riga played out a 0-0 tie. Dinamo’s Jakub Sedlacek was the busier of the two goalies, making 26 saves to Ivan Kasutin’s 19 in regulation before Alexandrs Nizivijs won it for Dinamo in the shoot-out.