CSKA made it three wins in a row after a fightback in the final stanza saw off Ak Bars.
Trailing 2-1 after 40 minutes, the Army Men turned it around thanks to an equalizing goal from Kirill Petrov followed soon after by Denis Denisov’s game winner.
The defenseman, who had already contributed an assist on Petrov’s goal, scored on the power play in the 48th minute. He met Igor Ozhiganov’s pass with a powerful one-timer that left goalie Emil Garipov clutching at thin air as Jonas Enlund provided the screen. An empty-net goal from Ivan Telegin wrapped up the game for CSKA while Ak Bars continued its frustrating start to the season.
That put smiles back on home faces, but earlier the CSKA fans had to endure some anxious moments. Last time out, Ak Bars set a KHL record by scoring four times off a single power play after giving up an early goal in St. Petersburg. So when Bogdan Kiselevich took a 5+20 penalty for slashing at Anton Glinkin with his team in front on Alexander Popov’s goal, the omens were not great for the host.
And Ak Bars delivered once again – albeit not as emphatically as against SKA – as Justin Azevedo tied the game with a one-timer from the face-off spot off Vladimir Tkachyov’s pass. But a penalty on Azevedo soon after removed the bite from Ak Bars’ offense and there was no opportunity to repeat Tuesday’s heavy scoring. But the visitor’s PP did fire again in the second period when Mikhail Zhukov made it 2-1 – a lead that was wiped out by the Army Men in that third period.
Two goals from young Ugra forward Pavel Varfolomeyev led his team to victory over the defending champion – leaving Sergei Mozyakin still waiting to reach Boris Mikhailov’s All-time scoring record of 428 goals.
More worryingly for Magnitka, though, this was the team’s fourth successive defeat since lifting the Opening Cup with a victory over CSKA on August 22.
It started off well enough for the visitor with Sergei Tereshchenko giving Metallurg a sixth-minute lead, but Varfolomeyev, 21, tied the game early in the second.
Magnitka continued to pepper Alexander Sharychenkov’s net with shots – the final count was 41-17 in the visitor’s favor – but Mozyakin was unable to find the target with any of his four attempts.
And midway through the final session Varfolomeyev got the winning goal, although he was aided by an uncharacteristic blunder from goalie Vasily Koshechkin. The forward looped in a hopeful shot from the blue line and could hardly believe his good fortune as it bounced off Koshechkin’s shoulder and spun lazily into the net. That was Varfolomeyev’s fourth goal of the season: two against Magnitka and two against the other Metallurg, from Novokuznetsk.
Magnitka strove for an equalizer but might have ended up losing 3-1: Ugra scored into the empty net but the goal was ruled out because it came after the final hooter.
Mozyakin’s next chance to reach Mikhailov’s tally comes on Sunday with a home game against Amur Khabarovsk.
Severstal slumped to a fourth loss in five games after going down 2-0 at home to Neftekhimik. Richard Gynge broke the deadlock in the 48th minute with a goal on the counter attack before Dan Sexton wrapped it up with an empty-netter. Ivan Lisutin made 32 saves for his shut-out.
Kunlun Red Star made a perfect start to life in the KHL with a 2-1 win at Amur Khabarovsk. A full report on that historic game can be found here