Sergei Mozyakin equalled Steve Moses’ record haul of 36 regular-season goals when his double helped Metallurg recover to beat Spartak. Elsewhere, SKA hammered nine goals past Metallurg Novokuznetsk, Sibir lost out to a goal from its former forward Dmitry Kugryshev and HC Sochi inched back into the playoff places with a shoot-out win in Chelyabinsk.
Spartak missed the chance to make a little bit of history when it allowed Metallurg to recover from 0-3 down. That denied the Red-and-Whites their first ever victory in Magnitogorsk in top-flight hockey while Sergei Mozyakin scored twice to move to the brink of securing yet another record.
In the first 22 minutes, the visitor seemed intent on turning the history books upside down. Sergei Shmelyov opened the scoring in the third minute, Alexander Vasilyev made it 2-0 on the power play in the 12th, and Igor Mirnov added a third goal at the start of the second period. Then, just one minute after Mirnov’s goal, Metallurg’s Artyom Zhelezkov was ejected from the game for a headbutt. Spartak failed to add to its lead in the subsequent five-minute power play.
Then Magnitka responded. Mozyakin and Alexander Semin reduced the deficit before the end of the second period, but Spartak still had the advantage until the 53rd minute. Then, abruptly, the rearguard action fell away. Yaroslav Kosov outwitted Markus Svensson to tie the game, Mozyakin got his second of the night on the power play to make it 4-3 and an empty-net goal from Tomas Filippi put the game out of reach. There was still time for Kosov to claim his second of the night and leave Spartak to ponder how a winning position ended in a heavy defeat.
Yegor Morozov’s shoot-out winner lifted HC Sochi back into the playoff places following a 1-1 tie in Chelyabinsk.
With two points from today’s game, Sochi climbs to seventh in the table, level on points with Jokerit and two clear of ninth-placed Vityaz. However, the Black Sea team has played 50 games, more than any other team in the West.
Morozov won his duel with Pavel Francouz, who made 41 saves in the game, to secure the victory for the visitor and hand Traktor a second shoot-out loss in three days, but the home team came close to winning it in overtime. Kirill Koltsov hit the bar with one effort, and a penalty against Sochi helped Traktor dominate the play without finding a way past Konstantin Barulin.
Earlier Maxim Yakutsenya gave the host a 14th-minute lead with a power play goal, but Andrei Kostitsyn tied it up just before the first intermission. The rest was goalless until the shoot-out went Sochi’s way.
Oleg Shilin’s second shut-out of the season helped Avangard to a 2-0 win at Severstal. The 25-year-old made 31 saves to backstop his team to victory in the absence of first-choice goalie Dominik Furch.
Avangard, second in the East, is now just one point away from confirming its playoff spot thanks to Vladimir Sobotka’s power play goal early in the second period and Ilya Zubov’s clincher into an empty net as the Siberian team bounced back from a 3-5 defeat at SKA on Wednesday.
A majestic performance from the league leader left lowly Metallurg reeling. It was a night when almost everything went right for SKA, starting with a goal from Anton Belov after just 32 seconds. Viktor Tikhonov and Alexander Khokhlachov added two further markers in the 10th minute and already the outcome was a question of ‘how many?’
Vadim Shipachyov proved to be the most persistent threat. The forward finished with two goals and two assists, opening his personal account for the night with a helper as Evgeny Dadonov made it 4-0 late in the opening stanza. He followed that up with two goals of his own early in the second period then, with the score at a more than healthy 6-0, SKA showed a little mercy to its opponent.
The scoreline remained unchanged until the 52nd minute, with not even a high hit from Metallurg’s Alexander Titov provoking SKA into more offensive fury before that. Then Shipachyov and Dadonov set up Dinar Khafizullin for the 7-0 goal. Alexei Razumov got Kuznya on the scoresheet, but home goalie Igor Shestyorkin responded with an assist as Pavel Datsyuk conjured another piece of magic moments later. Nikita Gusev made it nine in the last minute; SKA scored on more than one in three of its shots.
Dmitry Kugryshev spent two seasons at Sibir, a period of time that saw him grow into a serious player in the KHL as the Novosibirsk club emerged as a stronghold in the Eastern Conference.
Today, though, back at his native CSKA, Kugryshev’s late goal dealt another blow to Sibir’s faltering playoff prospects for 2017.
The 26-year-old struck with barely five minutes left, snapping a 1-1 tie and condemning the Siberians to a defeat that leaves them two points and two places outside the playoff zone.
Earlier in the game Maxim Mamin gave CSKA a first-period lead, but the Army Men were never able to settle. Sibir thought it had tied the game midway through the second period, only to be denied by the officials who spotted an infringement – something that irked visiting head coach Andrey Skabelka.
He was happier in the 53rd minute when Zach Boychuk finally managed to tie the scores, but his team could not see the game out and lost to Kugryshev’s effort.
Head coach Milos Riha sat out a one-game ban, but his team had few problems in his absence and proved too strong for Barys.
After a goalless first period, the host assumed complete control in the second. Jeff Taffe opened the scoring on the power play in the 28th minute, and 34 seconds later Patrik Lusnak doubled the lead. Nick Plastino added a third in the 39th minute to put the game out of reach of the visitor.
Avto goalie Vladimir Sokhatsky made 25 saves to keep Medvescak at bay and help his team to a victory that maintains its outside chance of sneaking into a playoff place.
Avtomobilist came into the game without star forward Anatoly Golyshev, but found goals from Evgeny Chesalin in the 13th minute and Oleg Gubin midway through the third period were enough to clinch victory.
The win keeps Avto in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, but the gap to eighth-placed Admiral is now down to three points.