Avangard Omsk 2 Ak Bars Kazan 3 (OT)
This clash of the Eastern Conference titans drew a big crowd to Arena Omsk – but most of them left disappointed after Albert Yarullin’s overtime goal gave the visitor the verdict.
The goal came in the 62nd minute after Fyodor Lukoyanov went around the net and, struggling to keep his balance, squirted the puck across the face of goal to Vladimir Tkachyov. Unable to shoot, Tkachyov played the disc back to Yarullin who struck it sweetly from the deep slot to beat Dominik Furch.
Earlier Avangard made a good start with David Booth getting his first goal for the club. The American forward previously played in the KHL with Admiral and he opened his account in Omsk with a seventh-minute goal.
Ak Bars rallied in the second. Stepan Zakharchuk tied the scores with his first of the season before a Fyodor Malykhin power play effort put the visitor 2-1 up. Valentin Pyanov, a rising star in Siberia this season, tied it up again just before the hooter and the final stanza could not produce a winner for either side.
Ak Bars is four points behind Conference leader Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Avangard remains on top of the Chernyshev Division, six points better off than Salavat Yulaev.
Sibir Novosibirsk 2 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 6
Neftekhimik climbed into the playoff places with a stormy victory at Sibir – but head coach Andrei Nazarov was banished from the bench for much of the game.
The vocal coach already had his frustrations – Eduard Gimbatov had been sent to the locker room in the ninth minute for dangerous high sticking – and Nazarov was ejected by the officials after overstepping the mark in his assessment of the decision to hand double minor penalties to Nikita Kvartalnov and Sibir’s Evgeny Artyukhin after a first-period fracas. At the time, the host led 1-0 on a Maxim Shalunov goal that came seconds before the fight erupted, but the loss of its leader galvanized Neftekhimik.
Sergei Konkov tied the game late in the first before Pavel Kulikov and Gilbert Brule made it 3-1 in the second, while Kvartalnov was embroiled in further controversy after his hit on Sibir’s leading scorer, Sergei Shumakov, ended the latter’s evening. Kvartalnov sat out another minor, this time for interference.
But Neftekhimik continued to make serene progress amid a stormy game, adding further goals from Igor Polygalov and Kirill Lyamin to go 5-1 in front and chase starting goal Alexei Krasikov from the game. Replacement Danny Taylor was beaten once more, a Gennady Stolyarov power play strike, while Stepan Sannikov got a late consolation for the host.
Neftekhimik is now up to eighth in the East after five straight wins. Sibir is down in 10th, two points back.
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 1 Dinamo Minsk 4
Five goals, two missed penalty shots and the home coach ejected from the bench amid 115 PIMs for the two teams – Saturday night in Nizhny Novgorod was a lively affair. At the end of the mayhem, Dinamo moved up to fourth in the Western Conference thanks to a convincing scoreline in another stormy game.
The damage was done in the first period. Nikita Komarov gave the visitor the lead in the second minute, before power play goals for Alexander Kulakov and Alexander Materukhin made it 3-0. Then the action really started, with a big flashpoint on 19:51. Torpedo’s Maxim Osipov was given a 5+20 for kneeing after he felled Dinamo’s Artur Gavrus in full flight. That decision outraged home head coach Peteris Skudra and the Latvian’s protests saw him follow his player into the locker room.
That was not the end of the ill-feeling, though. The second period was punctuated by fights, with Torpedo’s Carter Ashton and Dinamo’s Ilya Shinkevich squaring up in the 34th minute for a brawl that also involved Kirill Vorobyov, Vladimir Galuzin and Alexander Makarov from the host, plus Matt Ellison and Danila Karaban of the visitor. Then a further fight saw Dmitry Korobov and Evgeny Grachyov trade blows in the 38th minute before John Norman missed a penalty shot for Torpedo just before the intermission.
The third session brought another missed penalty as Torpedo’s Ilya Proskuryakov returned to the crease to deny Komarov. Proskuryakov had started the game but was pulled after 14 minutes, and Ivan Kasutin was soon back on the ice again to see out this game. Artyom Alyayev got a goal back on the power play in the 48th minute but Dinamo secured the win when fit again Kirill Gotovets set up Dmitry Ambrozheichik to make it 4-1. There was still time for Vorobyov to collect a 10-minute misconduct penalty before the hooter in a game that kept the officials busy.
Around the league
Artyom Gareyev hit a hat-trick as Avtomobilist boosted its playoff hopes with a 4-3 win at home to Kunlun Red Star. The 24-year-old opened the scoring early in the second period and added two more on either side of the 50th minute to help the host to a 4-1 lead. Goals from Sean Collins and Martin Bakos set up a nervous finale as Kunlun made it a one-goal game, but 11th-placed Avto held on to move to just four points of seventh-placed Red Star.
Two goals from Peter Regin lifted Jokerit back into the playoff places with a 2-1 win at Dinamo Riga. The Dane opened the scoring in the second period and struck again after Miks Indrasis threatened to take us into overtime in Latvia. Jokerit is up to sixth, Dynamo Moscow drops out of the top eight. Drew MacIntyre had his second successive shut-out to help Medvescak to a 1-0 victory at HC Sochi. The goalie made 39 saves as the Croatians repeated the scoreline at Spartak last week. Bobby Butler got the winner in the 54th minute.
Metallurg Novokuznetsk, bottom of the Eastern Conference, had a 3-2 win at home to second-bottom Lada. Most of the action came in the first seven minutes of the second period as Evgeny Solovyov, Andrei Pervyshin and Artyom Mikheyev helped Kuznya to a 3-1 lead. Stanislav Bocharov got his 10th of the season in reply for Lada and Maxim Rybin reduced the deficit in the third period.
Spartak snapped its five-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over Slovan. Kyle Chipchura gave the Slovaks a good start as Milos Riha returned to one of his former clubs, but Dmitry Kalinin tied it up in the second period and Viktor Bobrov and Lukas Radil made it 3-1 early in the third. Alexander Vasiliev added a fourth before Radek Smolenak got a late consolation for the visitor.