Metallurg Magnitogorsk 3 Jokerit Helsinki 1
The moment finally came on 55:15 of Saturday’s game. Sergei Mozyakin got his 428th goal in top-flight Russian hockey, matching Boris Mikhailov’s all-time record that has stood for 35 years.
It was a deadly finish, a one-timer from the deep slot delivered with laser-like precision after Jan Kovar picked out the KHL’s leading predator from behind the net. A characteristic Mozyakin goal, created through a natural instinct for positioning and an unstoppable shot.
The goal ended a four-game goalless streak for Mozyakin. The forward began the season with three markers in three game to move within touching distance of Mikhailov’s record, but then failed to find the net against Ugra, Avtomobilist, Amur and Dinamo Riga.
The achievement brought words of warm praise from Mikhailov, who now shares his pedestal – at least until Mozyakin’s next goal.
“I regard Mozyakin as a great talent and a great player,” he told khl.ru. “You don’t get to break records like these if you’re merely a good player, only the real greats can do this.”
Earlier in the game another Magnitka star, Danis Zaripov, reached a milestone of his own. His assist on Denis Platonov’s 48th-minute goal was the 500th point of his KHL career. It also enabled Platonov to give Metallurg a 2-1 lead before Mozyakin wrapped up the points.
Mozyakin also claimed an assist on the opening goal as Wojtek Wolski put Metallurg ahead early in the second period. Jokerit tied the game through Roope Talaja’s first of the season in the 42nd minute.
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 3 Kunlun Red Star 1
The KHL’s Chinese newcomer suffered its first loss in its first encounter with a team from the Western Conference.
After opening up with victories over Far East rivals Amur and Admiral, Kunlun headed to the European end of Russia for the first time to face a Torpedo outfit that reached the second round of last season’s playoffs.
And once Ivan Vishnevsky gave the home team a ninth-minute lead there was little chance of Torpedo allowing Kunlun to continue its winning start to life in the KHL. Second period goals from Carter Ashton and Vladimir Galuzin put the result beyond the Chinese team long before Chad Rau pulled one back with just eight seconds left.
Kunlun goalie Andrei Makarov saved a penalty shot from John Norman in the final second as Torpedo dominated until the end.
Salavat Yulaev Ufa 1 Dinamo Minsk 2
After a late start to the season and a defeat in its first game at Spartak, Dinamo Minsk finally got its first victory of the season in Ufa.
But it took a dramatic finish to separate these teams after they both found the net in the 56th minute.
Evgeny Bodrov thought he’d given Salavat Yulaev at least one point after tying the game at 1-1 on 55:19, but Matt Ellison reinstated Dinamo’s lead just 12 seconds later. Earlier Andrei Stepanov broke the deadlock midway through the second period.
Ak Bars Kazan 3 Vityaz Podolsk 2 (SO)
Vitaly Belov is a popular figure in Kazan after years of service on the coaching staff at Ak Bars. But his first visit to the Tatar capital with his new Vityaz team almost saw him embarrass his former employer in a hard-fought game.
Ak Bars finally won it on Anton Glinkin’s shoot-out effort following a 2-2 tie, but the Eastern Conference giant was pushed all the way by the perennial outsider from the West.
Vityaz took a surprise lead through Alexei Makeyev in the 26th minute. Ak Bars turned it around thanks to an equalizer from Dmitry Obukhov before Glinkin gave the host the lead. Even then, Belov’s boys weren’t done: Miro Aaltonen tied it up early in the final stanza to give Vityaz a point from the encounter.
Around the league
Maxim Karpov hit a hat-trick as Dynamo Moscow snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory at Neftekhimik. Karpov struck in the second, 17th and 40th minutes to sink the host. Maxim Berezin got Neftekhimik back on level terms after 14 minutes but Alexander Yeryomenko made 37 saves for Dynamo.
A solitary goal from Alexander Vasiliev after just four minutes gave Spartak a narrow win over Amur. Goalie Nikita Bespalov made 22 saves.
By contrast, Sochi and Admiral shared an 11-goal thriller, with the Black Sea team eventually edging a 6-5 verdict. Andre Petersson and Igor Levitsky scored two apiece for the host, with Levitsky claiming the game-winner; Vladimir Tkachyov’s double for Admiral proved to be in vain.