Andy Potts,
exclusive for

The big game of the day saw Ak Bars get back to winning ways in Moscow, claiming a 2-1 success at Dynamo and securing its place in this year’s playoffs. Elsewhere, there were setbacks for Admiral and Kunlun at the sharp end of the Eastern Conference playoff race but Barys got a boost with an overtime win over Salavat Yulaev. Amur battled past Jokerit and Lokomotiv had too much for Lada.

Amur blocks Jokerit’s progress

Amur Khabarovsk 3 Jokerit Helsinki 2

Amur’s players put their bodies on the line to deny Jokerit and record a third successive victory in Khabarovsk.

The home team blocked an impressive 20 shots – 13 of them in the third period – to hold on for a 3-2 win against the Finns.

Jokerit went into a 2-0 lead in the second period thanks to goals from Brian O’Neill and Peter Regin, but Amur belied its lowly league position with a stirring comeback. Teemu Ramstedt got things moving in the 33rd minute to reduce the defict, but the game was decided early in the final stanza.

Nikita Kamalov tied the scores in the 42nd minute before Vladislav Ushenin combined with twin brother Vyacheslav to grab the winner on a power play. Jokerit piled on the pressure in search of vital points in its playoff push, but Amur’s defense was willing to get anything in the path of the puck and clinch the win.

Dinamo’s sprightly start sinks Admiral

Admiral Vladivostok 3 Dinamo Minsk 5

Admiral’s playoff hopes took a knock with a home defeat against a Dinamo team edging closer to confirming its post-season status.

The home team was looking to put clear water between itself and Neftekhimik, but made a dreadful start to find itself 3-0 down inside 12 minutes. Aaron Palushaj and Alexander Kitarov chased Maxim Tretyak from the net after just four minutes before Marc-Andre Gragnari added the third.

Mikhail Plotnikov got one back in the 12th minute, but the game was still going Dinamo’s way. Andrei Stepanov made it 4-1 early in the second period and Dmitry Sayustov’s power play goal for the host was quickly matched by Andrei Stas making it 5-2 in the 37thminute.

Admiral got one back midway through the final session when Pavel Makarenko scored an unassisted goal, but the Sailors could not salvage the spoils from this encounter.

Battling Kunlun comes up short in shoot-out

Kunlun Red Star 3 Dinamo Riga 4 (SO)

Kunlun battled back from 0-3 down to tie the game with just nine seconds to play – but Dinamo recovered to take the verdict in a shoot-out.

The Latvians bounced back from a 5-0 drubbing in Khabarovsk with an emphatic start, scoring three times in the first 11 minutes. Oskars Cibulskis started it off on the power play in the second minute, before Georgs Golovkovs and Gints Meija extended the lead.

Kunlun tried to hit back in the second period, dominating the play despite the loss of forward Jonas Enlund on a 5+game checking from behind call, but could not find a way past Jakub Sedlacek in the visitor’s goal. That all changed in the third. Martin Bakos got one back in the 42nd minute and a power play goal from Tuukka Mantyla put the game back in the balance with 12 minutes left. It seemed that Dinamo had done enough to hold on when a Bakos shot rebounded for Chad Rau to snaffle an equalizer with the clock showing 59:51.

Dinamo, disappointed, refused to give up. Surviving a penalty in overtime, the Latvians were flawless in the shoot-out. At the other end, Damien Fleury’s miss ended Kunlun’s hopes.

Dawes and Dallman defeat Salavat Yulaev

Barys Astana 4 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 3 (OT)

While Salavat is on the road this week, Ufa hosts the KHL’s All-Star festival – but the star players in this game were in Barys jerseys.

Nigel Dawes played the leading role, picking up two goals and an assist, while Kevin Dallman delivered the decisive blow with the overtime winner.

Dallman also assisted on Dawes’ first goal, cancelling out Tomas Mertl’s opener. Kirill Panyukov put Barys 2-1 ahead before Dawes added his second of the game.

Salavat struck back late in the middle session, tying the scores on goals from Maxim Mayorov and Alexander Nesterov, forcing the game into overtime.

There, inevitably, Dawes combined with Brandon Bochenski – the latter completing a hat-trick of assists, to set up Dallman’s game-winner with less than a minute to go.

Koledov piledriver gives Loko the edge

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 4 Lada Togliatti 2

Loko steamed to a fourth straight win after subduing a lively Lada team in Yaroslavl.

The first period saw the teams share four goals. Petri Kontiola opened the scoring after 27 seconds, but Nikita Filatov levelled in the fourth minute. There was a similar sequence 10 minutes later: Alexander Kadeikin made it 2-1 in the 14th minute, Georgy Belousov replied in the 17th.

Subsequently, though, the advantage was with the Railwaymen. Chances came at both ends, but Pavel Koledov thumped home a powerful shot to put Loko ahead in the 36th minute. Then in the final stanza, the home team squeezed the life out of the opposition, allowing just three shots on Alexander Sudnitsin’s net before Andrei Loktionov fired into the empty net to secure the points.

Ak Bars back on form, books playoff spot

Dynamo Moscow 1 Ak Bars Kazan 2

Two long streaks came to an end in this game: Ak Bars snapped a four-game run without a win, while Dynamo’s six-match winning streak was halted. As a result, Ak Bars became the second team in the Eastern Conference to clinch a playoff place, reaching 97 points for the season.

Home goalie Alexander Yeryomenko had not given up a goal in his previous two games, but last just 16 minutes here before Mikhail Sidorov found a way past him. His thunderous effort from the blue line rattled in and out of the net at high speed, but the video confirmed that the goal was good.

Dynamo pushed hard for an equalizer, especially in the third period. Juuso Hietanen thought he’d tied the game in the 54th minute, but the away bench appealed for goaltender interference and the review saw the effort ruled out. Then, as time was running out, Ak Bars extended its lead when Mikhail Glukhov beat Yeryomenko at the second attempt.

The home team still had time to get one goal back thanks to Martins Karsums – but with just four seconds left on the clock his effort could not spark an unlikely recovery.

Andy Potts,
exclusive for

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