Andy Potts,
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Metallurg Magnitogorsk 3 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 2 (SO)

Magnitka and Salavat Yulaev, long-time rivals in the Eastern Conference, served up a game full of playoff character in Magnitogorsk.

The home team was the first to show, with Danis Zaripov opening the scoring after just 98 seconds. And when Jan Kovar made it 2-0 early in the second period, Metallurg seemed to be cruising to victory.

But these old foes have a tradition of hard-fought hockey games and Salavat struck back in style with two goals in 24 seconds to tie the game in the 35th minute. Mikhail Vorobyov reduced the arrears before Igor Makarov made it 2-2.

There was no further scoring in regulation as goalies Vasily Koshechkin and Andrei Gavrilov dominated the closing stages. Then in the shoot-out, Chris Lee gave Magnitka the win while replacement goalie Ilya Samsonov kept the visitor at bay.

Kovi hat-trick smashes Slovan

Slovan Bratislava 0 SKA St. Petersburg 6

After running CSKA so close on Sunday, Slovan ran out of gas when SKA came to visit and Ilya Kovalchuk inspired the Petersburg team to a handsome victory.

Kovi needed just 37 seconds to open the scoring but had to wait until the midway mark before adding a second. But after that, the floodgates opened. Jarno Koskiranta added a third just before the intermission, then Kovalchuk completed his second hat-trick of the season moments after the restart. Nikolai Prokhorkin and Steve Moses added to the margin; Prokhorkin getting his first goal since moving to SKA in the summer and Moses scoring for the first time in a campaign where his game time has been limited.

For the Army Men it was a welcome return to form after stumbling in Zagreb at the weekend; for Slovan it’s now five defeats in six with 25 conceded in that time.

Nichushkin opens his account, Petrov dominates Medvescak

Medvescak Zagreb 2 CSKA Moscow 5

Valery Nichushkin got his first KHL goal since leaving Traktor back in 2013 as CSKA brushed aside Medvescak.

The 21-year-old is back in Russia after a spell at Dallas Stars and opened his account for his new club with the fifth goal in CSKA’s win.

But Kirill Petrov was the star of the show, scoring twice and getting two assists, one on Nikushin’s strike and one on Jan Mursak’s short-handed effort midway through the second period.

Before all that, Stephane da Costa opened the scoring for the visitor then Medvescak goalie Danny Taylor was ejected from the game after squaring up to CSKA’s Nikita Kvartalnov after the whistle. That brought Niko Horvinen to the crease, but the Finn endured a difficult evening.

The penalty box also saw plenty of action in the third with two players – CSKA’s Mursak and Medvescak’s Alexander Bolduc ejected in separate incidents late on. Earlier a brawl erupted in the 46th minute that saw Kvartalnov, Artyom Chmykhov and Gennady Stolyarov punished from CSKA, alongside Edwin Hedberg and Goran Bezina of Medvescak. Alexandre Giroux got his second of the night on that power play but the home team could not find a way back into the game.

Six of the best for Minsk

Dinamo Minsk 2 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 0

After two assists in his previous appearance, Dinamo Minsk goalie Ben Scrivens made a more conventional mark on this game with his second shut-out of the season.

The Canadian made 24 saves to keep Loko at bay as Dinamo made it six wins from six while the Yaroslavl team spun to a third defeat in four.

The goalscoring also had an international flavor as American Nick Bailen put Dinamo ahead in the eighth minute and Canadian Rob Klinkhammer found the empty net to stretch his personal run to four goals and two assists in the last five games.

Around the league

Metallurg Novokuznetsk sprang a second surprise with a 3-2 home win over Sibir. Ignat Zemchenko put Kuznya in front in the 33rd minute, but the game was decided in the third period when Nikita Lyamkin and Alexei Vasilchenko extended the lead to 3-1. Maxim Shalunov got one back late on, but Metallurg followed up its shoot-out success against Magnitka with another significant scalp.

Torpedo, going well in the West, suffered a heavy defeat at Admiral. The home side raced into a 4-0 lead by the middle of the second period on goals from Viktor Alexandrov, Vadim Krasnoslobodtsev, Samvel Mnatsyan and Mikhail Fisenko. Carter Ashton and Dmitry Semin brought the deficit back to 2-4 by the second intermission, but Alexander Gorshkov’s late power play goal wrapped it up for the Sailors.

Brian O’Neill scored twice for Jokerit but couldn’t save his team from a home defeat against Vityaz. The visitor was 3-1 up thanks to goals from Yury Koksharov, Roman Horak and Mario Kempe before O’Neill’s double took the game to a shoot-out. But Harri Sateri made two saves to deny his compatriots and Nikita Vyglazov got the winning goal.

Oleg Yashin got his first goal of the season to seal a comeback victory for Kunlun Red Star at home to HC Sochi. Yashin struck in the 58th minute after Max Warn cancelled out Andrei Kostitsyn’s first period opener. Kunlun avenged its earlier defeat beside the Black Sea and extends its home record to just one loss in five games.

Amur came from behind to win 3-1 at home to Spartak. Vyacheslav Leshchenko put the visitor in front just 11 seconds into the second period, but power play goals from Maxim Kondratyev and Jan Kolar turned the game around before the midway mark. Teemu Ramstedt assisted on both of those and added a goal of his own late on to complete the scoring.

Andy Potts,
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Metallurg (Novokuznetsk) Metallurg (Novokuznetsk)
Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
SKA (Saint Petersburg) SKA (Saint Petersburg)
Slovan (Bratislava) Slovan (Bratislava)
HC Sochi (Sochi) HC Sochi (Sochi)
Spartak (Moscow) Spartak (Moscow)
Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod) Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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