Andy Potts,
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Severstal Cherepovets 3 SKA St. Petersburg 4

Three goals in the first five minutes gave the league leader a commanding advantage in this game – but Severstal battled bravely before running out of time to complete an unlikely comeback.

In the early exchanges, SKA was irresistible, while Severstal was its own worst enemy. The host picked up a ‘too many men’ penalty after 43 seconds and faced a 3-on-5 penalty kill when Yury Trubachyov was sinbinned. SKA needed no second invitation, and Yegor Yakovlev opened the scoring on 2:41 after Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk combined to give the defenseman a shooting chance.

Jarno Koskiranta doubled the lead on 3:56 before another power play helped Sergei Shirokov make it 3-0 after just five minutes, with a second assist for Datsyuk. Three goals in 139 seconds spelled the end of Jakub Kovar’s evening between the piping; Roman Smiryagin took over.

But Severstal, wrapping up a weekend of celebrations for the club’s 60th anniversary, was in no mood to surrender. Maxim Trunyov made it 1-3 in the tenth minute and Evgeny Mons’ strike in the second period brought us back to a one-goal game.

Vadim Shipachyov, a Cherepovets native who began his career at Severstal, settled SKA’s nerves, making it 4-2 in the 48th minute after Nikita Gusev and Evgeny Dadonov led a devastating counter-attack. And that goal was enough to clinch the win, despite Trubachyov making it 3-4 with nine minutes to play.

Parshin goal can’t save Salavat

Salavat Yulaev Ufa 1 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 2

Denis Parshin marked his Salavat Yulaev debut with a goal, but the forward still finished on the losing side.

The former Avangard man was immediately appointed team captain and repaid that faith when he got on the scoresheet in the second period off a Teemu Hartikainen pass.

But by that time the visitor already had two goals of its own, both created by its first line. Petri Kontiola got the first in the 24th minute, assisted by Brandon Kozun and Max Talbot. Kontiola then turned provider as Kozun made it 2-0 in the 39th minute, just 21 seconds before Parshin’s big moment. It was a big win for the Railwaymen, back on track after three successive defeats put the team in danger of getting dragged back into the dogfight to secure a top-eight finish in the Western Conference. Salavat Yulaev remains fourth in the East.

Around the league

Barys edged back into the playoff places thanks to an overtime success at home to Amur. The home team led on Nigel Dawes’ first-period goal, only for Teemu Ramstedt to tie it up on 52 minutes. Vladimir Markelov got the overtime winner midway through the extras.

Maxim Afinogenov scored twice but could not prevent Vityaz from slipping to a 3-2 defeat at Traktor. The former Russian international’s goals came midway through the second period, cancelling out the 2-0 lead that Derek Roy and Alexander Chernikov gave the host. But young Alexei Kruchinin produced the game-winner in the 33rd minute as Vityaz failed to improve its playoff prospects.

Andy Potts,
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Barys (Nur-Sultan) Barys (Nur-Sultan)
Vityaz (Moscow Region) Vityaz (Moscow Region)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)
Severstal (Cherepovets) Severstal (Cherepovets)
SKA (Saint Petersburg) SKA (Saint Petersburg)
Traktor (Chelyabinsk) Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
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