Salavat Yulaev’s young star Kirill Kaprizov picked up two points in his team’s defeat at Dynamo Moscow to set a new scoring record for a junior player. Elsewhere, Vityaz picked up an important win in its play-off push while Spartak had an improved performance but still suffered a 10th straight defeat.
After four straight defeats, Lada tasted victory once again with a win over second-placed Avangard.
Neftekhimik snapped a four-game losing streak against rock-bottom Kuznya, but it took a shoot-out to settle the game.
Sergei Konkov eventually got the gamewinner, separating the teams after a 2-2 tie in Nizhnekamsk.
Sibir dug deep to keep its playoff prospects alive with an overtime win in Kazan.
Yegor Milovzorov got the decisive goal 10 seconds from the end of the extras, snapping a 1-1 tie and earning a second vital win for the Siberians in the space of three days.
The success takes Sibir on to 70 points, four adrift of eighth-placed Kunlun, which plays in-form Slovan tomorrow.
But Andrei Skabelka’s team had to work hard for its win, coming from behind to defeat an Ak Bars roster that seems almost certain to finish the regular season in third place. Mikhail Varnakov put the home side ahead in the second period, before a Maxim Ignatovich power play goal tied the game on 46 minutes.
Three goals in 12 minutes saw Traktor plow up Loko’s hopes of victory in this game.
Alexander Sharov put the visitor in front after just 38 seconds with a deflection on Kirill Koltsov’s shot, and Maxim Yakutsenya added two more to chase starting goalie Alexander Sudnitsin to the bench.
His replacement, Alexei Murygin, had a better time of it, keeping Traktor at bay for the remaining 48 minutes, but that wasn’t enough to get his team back into the game. Pavel Kraskovsky scored from close range in the 28th minute as Loko dominated the middle stanza, but Traktor was in no mood to relinquish its advantage.
Torpedo’s impressive start to 2017 is becoming a distant memory after a fourth successive defeat cost the team the chance to return to third place.
CSKA was always in control of this game, taking the lead through Greg Scott’s power play goal in a first period that the visitor dominated. The middle stanza was tight, with just 12 shots between the two teams, but the Army Men marched clear in the third.
Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist to take his points tally for the season to 42 (20+22) points and set a new KHL record for an under-20 player.
The youngster overtook current Washington Capitals star Evgeny Kuznetsov’s 41-point haul for Traktor in 2011-12 – but could not save his team from defeat in Moscow.
For Dynamo, Lukas Kaspar led the way with two goals, and there were further contributions from Ansel Galimov, Vladimir Bryukvin, Martins Karsums and Artyom Fyodorov to set the Blue-and-Whites on the road to a convincing victory.
The playoff dream for Podolsk is closer than ever after a hard-fought home win over the defending champion.
Vityaz, which has never previously reached a KHL playoff, is now up to seventh in the Western Conference, four points clear of ninth-placed Jokerit as the season approaches its climax.
Fittingly, Maxim Afinogenov was the key player behind today’s win – the team’s fifth in a row. The veteran forward, at one time among the biggest names in the league, is enjoying his most productive KHL season and added two more points to take his tally to 45 and bag the game-winner in the 46th minute.
Vityaz was never behind in this entertaining game: Nikita Vyglazov opened the scoring in the 25th minute, only for a Sergei Mozyakin power play goal to level it up. Then Afinogenov helped Roman Horak to a power play goal, only for Alexander Semin to respond almost immediately.
Tied at 2-2 going into the third, Afinogenov saw one good chance go begging early in the stanza before he scored from Igor Golovkov’s impressive pass to claim the game-winner. At the other end, Igor Saprykin – impressive since taking the #1 spot from the injured Harri Sateri, kept Magnitka’s potent offense at bay to secure the win.
Berated by its fans and humbled by its local rivals, Spartak needed a performance to restore some pride in a beleaguered team. And, despite slipping to a tenth successive defeat, the Red-and-Whites got that in a battling display against the table-topper.
An even start to the game saw both teams have chances in the first period, but it wasn’t until the 28th minute that the deadlock was broken – and Vyacheslav Leshchenko gave the home team an unexpected lead.
Boosted, but still fragile, Spartak’s chances took a fatal hit with a string of penalties just after the half-hour; SKA, enjoying a 5-on-3 advantage after Vadim Berdnikov’s ejection from the game, tied it up through Vadim Shipachyov.
Sochi is definitely approaching ‘win or bust’ territory as its playoff push enters the decisive phase, and while today’s victory over Severstal was not the prettiest, it was good enough to return to eighth place.
It wasn’t until Ilya Krikunov’s late goal that Sochi got in front again … and that proved sufficient to edge into a playoff spot.