Avangard Omsk 1
Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk 2 (OT)

Avangard returned to the top of the Eastern Conference – but failed to claim victory at home against a Ugra team in need of an urgent boost for its play-off prospects.

The game started out as expected with Avangard leading the way in the first period. Pyotr Khokhryakov, recently arrived from SKA, made it two goals in two games for his new club. This time he was assisted by Anton Burdasov, another ex-SKA man who moved to Siberia as part of the deal that saw Sergei Shirokov head to the Baltic.

But the home team failed to build on that advantage: despite out-shooting Ugra the Hawks could not find another way past Georgy Gelashvili. That profligacy was punished late on when Artyom Bulyansky tied the game in the 56th minute.

Home disappointment deepened in the extras when Vitaly Sitnikov got the game-winner for Ugra. Avangard returns to top spot, but is level on points with Sibir. Ugra remains in 10th place, seven points adrift of the play-off spots.

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Barys edges vital win in play-off race

Barys Astana 4
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 3

Avtomobilist returned to KHL action after its Spengler Cup exploits knowing that victory in Astana would put it back into the play-off places. Host Barys, meanwhile, needed a win to reinforce its own post-season prospects.

With eyes firmly on that play-off prize, Avto started strongly: two goals in the first period from Vitaly Popov and Anatoly Golyshev put the visitor in control.

However, the long journey home from Switzerland may have taken its toll. In the middle stanza Barys fought back to tie the game with markers from Kevin Dallman and Roman Starchenko. Avto regained the lead early in the third on a Petr Koukal strike but Barys recovered when Brandon Bochenski set up Dustin Boyd for an equalizer before going on to get the game-winner himself in the 54th minute.

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