Eight straight for Avtomobilist, another drubbing for Traktor. September 1919 September 2018, 22:45
SKA needed a shoot-out to defeat Vityaz, putting a blemish on its 100% record prior to Sunday’s game. The defending champion prevailed after a 3-3 tie in Petersburg. Elsewhere, Igor Grigorenko marked his Metallurg debut with a goal, Nick Schaus claimed his first points in the KHL and Sergei Mozyakin scored twice in a 5-4 win at Lada. CSKA rallied for an overtime win in Minsk, two assists from Eeli Tolvanen helped Jokerit do the same in Yaroslavl and Dynamo inflicted a third straight loss on Slovan.
Dwight King made his Avtomobilist debut, and the powerful Canadian forward finished on the winning team in Chelyabinsk. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was watched by two former Traktor juniors, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Evgeny Dadonov, as he took his KHL bow.
Both teams had a mixed start to the season, with one victory and one loss so far, and it was the visitor that went on to win here. Alexei Mikhnov got the vital goal early in the third, completing the breakaway that he engineered with Alexander Torchenyuk.
Lada, buoyed by Friday’s victory over Avtomobilist, opened a 2-0 lead in the first period through Yegor Babenko and Denis Zernov, but Ilya Grigorenko opened his Magnitka account to halve the deficit before the intermission. Mozyakin scored his first in the 28thminute, then assisted on Schaus’s first goal for the club as Metallurg moved in front in the second period.
Lada wasn’t done. Zernov tied it up with his second of the game and Jiri Novotny made it 4-3 in 43rd minute, threatening a surprise win. But Magnitka rallied: Vladislav Kaletnik tied the game with six minutes to play and Mozyakin got the winner, smashing home a slap shot from the point to the frustration of home goalie Alexander Lazushin.
Vityaz became the first team to take a point from SKA this season, forcing a shoot-out in St. Petersburg with a 3-3 tie. The defending champion eventually claimed the victory after Nikita Gusev and Pavel Datsyuk scored in the shoot-out while Vityaz failed with all four attempts.
Earlier, though, the visitor was not daunted by SKA’s impressive start to the season, and took an early lead when Maxim Afinogenov scored against his former club. Sergei Kalinin’s first goal for SKA, early in the middle session, tied the game, but a minute later Vityaz led again on Ivan Yatsenko’s goal.
Sergei Shirokov made it 2-2 midway through the second period and when Patrick Hersley’s power play goal gave SKA the lead for the first time in the 41st minute, it seemed that Vityaz would have to settle for a brave defeat. But Valery Belov’s team refused to yield, making it 3-3 just 17 seconds later thanks to Alexander Denezhkin’s goal and holding out for overtime.
CSKA left it late to claim victory in Minsk as Dinamo put in a much-improved performance. After a 6-1 thumping against Jokerit and a 1-0 loss to Vityaz, there was already pressure on the Bison, but a competitive display against a CSKA team that looked so impressive in Friday’s Moscow derby suggested brighter days could be ahead for Minsk.
The early exchanges were tight, with Dinamo looking to shut down CSKA’s potent offense. Amid few chances at either end, the host went ahead midway through the game when Justin Fontain grabbed a short-handed goal.
CSKA still found its opportunities limited, but drew level in the 55th minute thanks to Valery Nichushkin and finished the job after getting a power play in overtime. Mat Robinson faked a shot and fed Andrei Svetlakov on the edge of the right-hand circle; the forward’s one-timer beat Jhonas Enroth to claim the win.
Tolvanen, who announced himself in the KHL with a debut hat-trick during the week, set up the game-winner with a feed for Olli Palola. Palola’s shot was saved, but O’Neill reacted first to poke home the rebound in the 62nd minute.
Jokerit started brightly and took a fourth-minute lead through Niklas Jensen, only for two penalties to present Loko with a first-period lead. Jakub Nakladal and Max Talbot converted their power play chances.
After O’Neill’s equalizer, Jokerit moved ahead once again with a goal from John Norman, but after O’Neill took a 10-minute misconduct penalty, Petri Kontiola scored against his fellow Finns to force the extras. Staffan Kronwall finished with an assist on all three Lokomotiv goals.
It’s been a tough week for Slovan, and this was a third loss with a combined goal differential of 16-4. Consolation is hard to find, but at least this game was competitive until the midway mark and, for the first time, saw the Slovaks score more than once.
Dynamo, eager to make amends for a derby day disaster against CSKA, began at a high tempo and outshot the visitor 12-6 in the first period without finding the net. Daniil Tarasov put that right early in the second period, but the Blue-and-Whites were pegged back halfway through the game when Juraj Mikus tied the game.
That was as good as it got for the visitor, though. Dmitry Markovin reinstated the lead with his first KHL goal – the 22-year-old is on a youthful line with Vladislav Yefremov and Dmitry Sidlyarov, who collected their first career points with assists on the play. Then Nikita Komarov made it 3-1 with a short-handed goal in the 40th minute.