After clinching its playoff spot on Sunday with a shoot-out win over Ugra, Dinamo repeated that trick today to snap Vityaz’ eight-game winning streak.
Aaron Palushaj settled the outcome after an entertaining 3-3 tie took these teams’ tally to 29 goals in four KHL meetings this season.
Dinamo made the better start, opening a 2-0 lead in the first period. A penalty on Mario Kempe after eight minutes gave the Belarusians its first big opportunity, and Alexander Kulakov converted the power play after an extended spell of pressure on Igor Saprykin’s net. Then, in the last minute of the session, another power play saw Rob Klinkhammer extend the lead, with Kulakov providing the helper.
Penalties also shaped the second period, though, as Vityaz hit back. Evgeny Lisovets was ejected from the game in the 22nd minute for tripping, and Miro Aaltonen halved the deficit as that major ticked down. Aaltonen then turned provider, claiming an assist as Alexei Kopekin scored the fourth PP goal of the game just after the half-hour to tie the scores.
Dinamo finally got its game going at full strength toward the end of the middle stanza, with Saprykin pulling off a string of saves before Ilya Shinkevich made it 3-2 in the 39th minute. But penalty trouble struck almost immediately when Fredrick Pettersson took a minor for high sticking just before the intermission, and Roman Horak converted the power play shortly after the restart.
Vityaz, which was hoping to extend its advantage in seventh place, picked up one point for the tie and moves to 93 points from 57 games, five better off than ninth-placed Sochi with three games of the regular season left to play. A top-eight finish for the Moscow Region team would bring playoff hockey to the club for the first time in the KHL era. Dinamo achieves 100 points in a season for the second year running.