Salavat Yulaev Ufa 4 Admiral Vladivostok 2
Four defeats in a row had left Salavat Yulaev with exactly the same start as it made last season – raising some questions about whether the current head coach Igor Zakharkin might soon face the same fate that befell his immediate predecessor, Anatoly Yemelin, roughly this time last year.
So an assured performance – at least for the first two periods – was a big boost for club and coach alike. Salavat got in front in the 16th minute thanks to Andreas Engqvist’s goal before taking control in the middle stanza. Power play goals from Linus Omark and Enver Lisin sandwiched Evgeny Bodrov’s marker as the home team opened up a 4-0 lead.
Penalty trouble in the third helped Admiral get on the scoreboard. Dmitry Lugin and Sergei Barbashev both converted power plays to make it 2-4 with 10 minutes left to play, but Salavat Yulaev held out to snap its losing streak.
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 2 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 1
Lokomotiv’s five-game winning streak came to an end at Neftekhimik after the home team battled back to win it in the third period.
Petri Kontiola opened the scoring on the power play in the 17th minute, picking up his second goal in successive games and his third in four.
But even though Loko’s offense created rather more opportunities than it managed in Monday’s 2-0 win at Ak Bars, it was unable to turn them into goals. A solitary marker still separated the teams after 40 minutes, and Neftekhimik hit back in the third.
Alexander Kitarov tied the scores in the 42nd minute, lunging forward to deflect Nikita Dvurechensky’s pass beyond Anton Krasotkin. Then, in the 53rd, some slick passing around the Loko zone gave Dmitry Makarov the chance to shoot over Krasotkin’s glove and give the home team the lead.
A penalty on Loko’s Yegor Averin with just over two minutes to play put a big dent in the visitor’s hopes of salvaging the game, and Neftekhimik held out to secure the win.
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 3 Barys Astana 2 (SO)
Barys goalie Henrik Karlsson made 50 saves – including eight in overtime – to keep his team in this game before Avtomobilist finally took the points in a shoot-out.
At first it seemed straightforward for the host. Avto dominated and was good value for a 2-0 lead midway through the second period. Petr Koukal and Nikolai Timashov found the net, but the number of chances denied by Karlsson might have caused some alarms to ring.
The goalie’s performance proved its worth in the third. Brandon Bochenski halved the deficit within seconds and Ilya Lobanov tied the game with 10 minutes to play. Karlsson made 14 saves in the final stanza and eight more in the extras as Avtomobilist sought to secure a win that had seemed all but certain earlier in the game.
It wasn’t until the shoot-out at that Karlsson finally yielded. Dmitry Monya scored Avto’s first attempt and Koukal claimed the winner; Nigel Dawes was the only Barys man to find the net.
Around the league
A solitary goal from Alexander Ugolnikov and 21 saves from Vladislav Fokin gave Ugra a 1-0 victory over Metallurg Novokuznetsk. Ugolnikov broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute.