SKA St. Petersburg 9 Barys Astana 0
Ilya Kovalchuk recorded his 250th KHL point at the start of this game – and by the end of the evening his personal tally was up to 253 from 252 appearances in the competition.
Kovy produced a goal and three assists to pace SKA to an emphatic win – its biggest of the season – while Evgeny Dadonov scored four and claimed an assist on Nikita Gusev’s marker. It all adds up to a 15th consecutive win for SKA, moving Oleg Znarok’s team to within three games of Avangard’s KHL record winning streak of 18, set in the 2010-11 season. During those 15 games, SKA has scored 75 and conceded just 11.
Barys, coming into the game buoyed by five successive wins, did little to help its cause. SKA was 4-0 ahead inside 10 minutes, helped by three power play goals. Dadonov had two of them, Slava Voynov and Sergei Plotnikov also found the net as goalie Kevin Poulin had a debut to forget for Barys. He exited the game at the first intermission after giving up five goals from 13 shots. His opposite number, Igor Shestyorkin, made 25 saves for his shut-out.
HC Sochi 0 Metallurg Magnitgorsk 5
Sergei Mozyakin kept up the pressure on Kovalchuk in the KHL scoring race, posting a goal and two assists in the defending champion’s big road win.
Metallurg took a firm grip on this game early on, opening the scoring in the third minute through Danis Zaripov before Sergei Tereshchenko and Denis Kazionov scored two in one minute to build a commanding first-period lead.
The middle session was goalless, but Mozyakin made it four in the 49th minute before assisting on Yaroslav Khabarov’s goal to complete the scoring. Vasily Koshechekin had 32 saves for his shut-out.
Kunlun Red Star 3 Avangard Omsk 4
In-form forward Anton Burdasov helped Avangard record a fourth successive victory – but the Chernyshev Division leader had to withstand a third-period fightback to claim the points.
Burdasov scored for his fourth successive game to cancel out Igor Velichkin’s opener for Kunlun, but if the first period was evenly matched, the second was one-sided. Avangard took control of the game with two goals in 21 seconds, taking a 3-1 lead thanks to Yegor Martynov and Ilya Mikheyev. Vladimir Sobotka added a fourth before the second intermission, and it seemed that the Chinese team had no hope of success.
But Kunlun is not a team that gives up. Chad Rau’s 10th goal of the season came early in the third period to give hope to the host, before Brett Bellemore got it back to 3-4 with 70 seconds left to play. Red Star generated more opportunities around Dominik Furch’s net in the dying moments, but could not force overtime.
Vityaz Podolsk 3 Dynamo Moscow 4 (SO)
A second local derby and a second shoot-out for Dynamo – but this time the outcome was better for the Blue-and-Whites.
After losing in an epic post-game battle following a 4-4 tie with CSKA at the weekend, the Moscow team made the short trip to Podolsk looking to get back to winning ways. But Vityaz was also in need of points to support its own playoff push, and the host hit three goals in five minutes at the end of the first period to take control of the game.
Maxim Afinogenov, Alexei Makeyev and Alexander Nikulin did the damage for the home team, wiping out Alexander Rybakov’s early opener for Dynamo. But fate was to hand Rybakov the final say after the visitor struck back in the final stanza. Andrei Kuteikin and Ilya Nikulin scored to take the game to overtime before Rybakov got the only goal of the shoot-out.
Around the league
Maxim Tretiak earned his first KHL career victory, backstopping Admiral to an overtime win at home to Metallurg Novokuznetsk. Tretiak, whose grandfather Vladislav was one of the greatest stars of Soviet hockey, made 22 saves to help his team to a 3-2 verdict. James Wisniewski got the winning goal 42 seconds into the extras following a 2-2 tie. Vladimir Tkachyov and Artyom Zemchyonok got Admiral’s other goals, Alexander Komaristy scored in the 59th minute to earn Metallurg a bonus point for the tie.
CSKA gave third-choice goalie Andrei Filonenko his first minutes of the season during a 2-0 win at home to Avtomobilist. He took over from Ilya Sorokin for just under eight minutes of the third period, with his team already two goals in front. The goaltending duo turned away 23 shots between them, while Valery Nichushkin and Vladimir Zharkov found the net at the other end.
Sergei Shumakov returned to the Sibir line-up after injury and inspired his team to a shoot-out win at Amur. He scored in the game, making it 3-0 in the 24th minute, then wrapped up the shoot-out to seal the victory. In between, though, Sibir found things tough against the Eastern Conference outsider. Alexei Byvaltsev, Tomas Zohorna and Maxim Kondratyev scored for Amur to tie the game up at 3-3 and force the extras.
It was a happy homecoming for Medvescak after six successive defeats on the road. The Croatians won 3-1 against Dinamo Minsk, piling the pressure on Craig Woodcroft’s team as it slips to six defeats from seven. Brandon McMillan gave the host an early lead and Blake Parlett made it two before Sergei Kostitsyn pulled on back in a lively first period. The middle session was goalless but Francis Pare added two more in the last five minutes left to seal the deal for Medvescak.
Spartak missed out on a valuable win in its playoff push after giving up a late equalizer at home to Traktor. Konstantin Klimentov tied the game in the 58th minute, cancelling out Lukas Radil’s second-period opener. Derek Roy then gave the visitor the points in the shoot-out.
A late power play goal from Jonathan Cheechoo gave Slovan a 2-1 win over Jokerit. The game looked destined for overtime until Arturs Kulda caught a minor for tripping in the 57th minute. Cheechoo converted that opportunity, snapping a 1-1 tie and handing Slovan a boost as it tries to get back into the playoff picture. Earlier Cheechoo assisted on Radek Smolenak’s opener before Tommi Huhtala tied it up on the power play in the second.
Ugra came from behind to win 3-1 at Severstal. Dmitry Kagarlitsky put the host in front in the seventh minute, but little else went right for the Steelmen. Roman Lyuduchin tied it up on 10 minutes and third-period goals from Denis Khlystov and Evgeny Lapenkov gave Ugra the points.