CSKA Moscow 3 Admiral Vladivostok 0
SKA St. Petersburg 4 Amur Khabarovsk 1
The pacesetters in the Western Conference welcomed the teams from Russia’s Far East – and both CSKA and SKA eased to comfortable victories.
CSKA, back at home after two defeats on the road, needed a little time to breakdown Admiral. But after Denis Denisov opened the scoring in the 27th minute there was only one winner. Grigory Panin doubled the lead on 48 minutes and Stephane da Costa wrapped it up with an empty net goal.
Despite the result, it was also a big day for Admiral goalie Maxim Tretyak. The grandson of legendary Russian stopper Vladislav made his senior debut at CSKA, the club where he learned his game and where his grandfather played with such distinction throughout his illustrious and trophy-laden career. Unluckily for him, though, Ilya Sorokin won the goaltending duel with a 33-save shut-out.
In Petersburg, SKA matched its rival’s three-goal margin. Sergei Shirokov set the home team on its way in the first period; Anton Belov and Nikita Gusev extended the advantage in the second. Kirill Kapustin pulled one back for Amur midway through the third but Jarno Koskiranta snuffed out any prospect of a fightback as the visitor’s four-game winning streak came to an end.
Salavat Yulaev Ufa 4 Medvescak Zagreb 5 (SO)
Medvescak picked up a rare victory – only its second in 10 games – as it rounded off an epic voyage that took in three weeks and eight road games ranging from Siberia to Slovakia.
That marathon journey had yielded just one previous win – a 5-3 success at Metallurg Novokuznetsk – as Gordie Dwyer’s team struggled with the effects of jetlag and too many nights away from home.
But there’s nothing like the prospect of finally going home to put a spring back into anyone’s step, and Salavat Yulaev fell victim to renewed optimism from the Croatian team in a high-scoring game in Ufa.
In the end, two shoot-out goals from Gilbert Brule made the difference after a 4-4 tie. But the defeat was rough justice for Kirill Kaprizov, a bright prospect on offense who moved to Ufa from Novokuznetsk in the summer. The teenager scored his first career KHL hat-trick, grabbing a goal in each period, but couldn’t continue that form into the shoot-out as Danny Taylor denied him and Friday’s hero Linus Omark to give Medvescak the win.
Kaprizov’s evening turned upside down almost as often as the scoreline, with the advantage repeatedly changing hands. Medvescak struck first thanks to a sixth-minute Francis Pare goal, but Evgeny Bodrov quickly tied it up and Kaprizov got his first to put the host ahead in the 12th minute.
Then, after Medvescak’s poached a quick fire double midway through the second when Brule and Mike Glumac scored within 45 seconds of each other, Kaprizov was on the mark again to take the game into the final stanza tied at 3-3.
A third Kaprizov goal had Salavat on the brink of victory, but Brandon McMillan came up with a late equalizer.
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 3 Jokerit Helsinki 2 (SO)
Jokerit struck twice in the last five minutes to salvage a point from this game – but could not finish the job in overtime. That left Dan Sexton to settle the shoot-out and hand the victory to the home team after a 2-2 tie as goalie Ville Kolppanen frustrated his compatriots at the end.
Initially, though, things were very different. The teams were deadlocked until midway through the game when Tommi Sallinen gave Neftekhimik the lead. Kolppanen continued to deny Jokerit and when Andrei Sergeyev doubled the lead in the 54th minute it seemed like game over for the visitor.
But, not for the first time, Jokerit found a way back in the dying seconds. Jesse Joensuu halved the deficit with five minutes to play and the Finns’ final storm delivered the goods when Marko Antilla hit the net 11 seconds before the hooter.
The momentum was suddenly with Jokerit, but Neftekhimik held out in overtime and recovered to snatch victory.
Around the league
Lada ended a three-game losing streak in emphatic style with a 4-0 victory that leaves Dinamo Riga stranded at the foot of the Western Conference. Goals from Georgy Belousov, Alexander Bumagin, Semyon Valuisky and Nikita Filatov secured the points while Ilya Ezhov made 30 saves.
Spartak recovered strongly in the third period to down Barys in a high-scoring meeting in Moscow. The visitor made a flying start, with goals from Evgeny Rymarev, Brandon Bochenski and Nigel Dawes punctuated by a Ryan Stoa strike to make it 3-1 to Barys after nine minutes. But Lukas Radil reduced the arrears in the second and Alexei Kirillov tied the game early in the third. Dawes put Barys ahead once more with his second of the night, but goals from Stoa and Matt Gilroy delivered the points for Spartak.
Goals from Alexei Potapov and Fredrick Pettersson in the latter part of the second period lifted Torpedo to a 3-1 win over Ugra. Evgeny Mozer put the home team in front early on, but Denis Gorbunov tied it up in the 21st minute.
Konstantin Barulin was HC Sochi’s hero in a shoot-out win over Avtomobilist. Neither team could find the net in regulation, with Barulin making 36 saves to Vladimir Sokhatsky’s 40. The pattern continued in the shoot-out, with Barulin denying Dmitry Monya, Petr Koukal and Rok Ticar while Andrei Kostitsyn finally solved Sokhatsky to give Sochi the win.