Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 4 Jokerit Helsinki 1
Lokomotiv began the game on the front foot and had already hit the post through a Mikhail Pashnin effort before Yegor Korshkov opened the scoring with a move of brilliant simplicity. Two diagonal passes from Pavel Kraskovsky and Alexander Polunin found Korshkov in front of the net and he supplied the finish with a close-range one-timer.
Jokerit, continuing to find results hard to come by, raised its game as the first period went on and tied the scores early in the second with a power play strike from Peter Regin. The Danish international tried his luck from out at the point and beat Alexei Murygin. The Finns continued to push throughout the middle session, outshooting Loko 13-4 and looking capable of securing an improvement on yesterday’s 0-3 loss at Dynamo Moscow.
But in the third Lokomotiv took control thanks to five minutes of powerful offense. Brandon Kozun made it 2-1 with a breakaway goal before desperate defending saw the puck scrambled off the Finns’ goal line.
Then Riku Helenius produced a miraculous stick save to deny Kozun a second goal, only for Max Talbot convert Petri Kontiola’s pass and make it 3-1 with 10 to play. There was still time for Staffan Kronwall to add a fourth on the power play as Jokerit was left to wonder how a promising position crumbled so rapidly.
Ak Bars Kazan 5 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 0
Ak Bars kept up the pressure on its old rival Metallurg Magnitogorsk with a comfortable victory over Avtomobilist, returning to the top of the Eastern Conference as the first international break approaches.
The final margin was emphatic, but it wasn’t until the latter stages of the middle stanza that the host put the game beyond Avto’s reach. Goals from Andrei Popov (32 minutes) and Artyom Lukoyanov (39) added to Andrei Chibisov’s first-period opener.
Then Justin Azevedo made it 4-0 midway through the third before Czech defenseman Michal Jordan got his first KHL goal in the last minute to complete the rout. Emil Garipov made 24 saves for his shut-out as Avtomobilist
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 2 Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk 1
Andrei Nazarov’s first game in charge of Neftekhimik ended in victory thanks to a dramatic late goal from Sergei Konkov.
There were just 41 seconds left to play when the former Dynamo Moscow forward pounced on the rebound after Alexander Sharychenkov – another ex-Dynamo man – blocked Kirill Lyamin’s shot. That close-range finish was enough to snap a four-game losing streak for Neftekhimik and give Nazarov a winning start in his new job.
Nazarov is the third man to stand behind the bench in Nizhnekamsk this season, having been officially announced as the new supremo yesterday. He replaced Nikolai Solovyov, who in turn took on the role just 26 days ago when Evgeny Pipikhin was dismissed.
With the team six points and six places outside the playoff positions, victory against a Ugra side that had lost its last five was vital if Nazarov’s task of reaching post-season was not to become unattainable.
But the early signs were not good for the former Donbass, Barys and SKA head coach: Evgeny Lapenkov put Ugra 1-0 ahead in only the third minute. Dan Sexton tied it up on the power play in the 15th minute and the game settled into a stalemate until Konkov’s late, decisive contribution.
Around the league
Admiral enjoyed a 3-1 victory at home to Kunlun Red Star to maintain its position in the playoff race. Goals from Mikhail Fisenko, Dmitry Sayustov and Viktor Alexandrov gave Admiral the edge, while Kunlun’s Janne Jalasvaara celebrated his return from injury with his first goal for the club but the team missed the chance to move ahead of Sibir into eighth place.
Two goals from Vadim Shchegolkov paced HC Sochi to victory at Spartak. The 22-year-old got his second and third of the season as his team raced into a 3-0 lead inside nine minutes at Luzhniki. Ivan Zakharchuk made it 4-0 on 22 minutes before Vladislav Provolnev got his first ever KHL goal to get Spartak on the scoreboard. Dmitry Kalinin pulled it back to 2-4, but Pavel Padakin’s empty-net goal secured a comfortable victory for the visitor.
Nigel Dawes struck twice to give Barys an overtime win at Lada. Maxim Khudyakov gave the Kazakhs the lead in the first period before Dawes doubled that advantage in the 24th minute. But Lada hit back with two goals in two minutes from Anton Shenfeld and Nikita Filatov before Dawes got the winner in the second minute of overtime.
Severstal missed the chance to close in on the playoff places after going down 3-1 at home to Slovan. Marek Daloga put the Slovaks ahead in the 19th minute with a power play and Jeff Taffe doubled that advantaged with a short-handed effort on 36 minutes. Severstal got one back in the 57th minute through Sergei Monakhov but Kyle Chipchura added a third for Slovan to kill off the game.