Metallurg Magnitogorsk brought its four-game losing streak to an end after edging past in-form Neftekhimik in a shoot-out. Thursday’s other game also went the full distance, with Lada and Salavat Yulaev sharing four goals before the visitor claimed victory in overtime.
Metallurg, short of defensemen and struggling for form, battled to a morale-boosting victory over Neftekhimik to snap a four-game losing streak.
The home team’s lack of fit bodies on the blue line meant a call-up for youngster Nikita Bobryashov, making his second KHL start, and Alexander Igoshev, making his fourth appearance of the season. But it was an inexperienced forward who opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Ilya Berestennikov produced his first goal of the season. It was a fine individual effort, bustling in from the corner, evading Oleg Piganovich and stuffing the puck home.
But Metallurg remains low on confidence, while Neftekhimik is on a good run of form. As such, it wasn’t a huge surprise that Dan Sexton drew the visitor level as the first intermission approached, finding the net with a pass that turned into a shot thanks to a deflection.
The second session repeated that pattern: Magnitka took the lead once again through Jan Kovar; Nefetkhimik hit back swiftly thanks to Alexander Avtsin. The visitor was dominating the game, giving Ilya Samsonov a thorough work-out in the home net, but could not find a way to get ahead against a team that has something of an Indian sign over the men from Nizhnekamsk.
In the end, it took a shoot-out to separate the teams. Samsonov proved invincible in the extras, while Anton Shenfeld and Matt Ellison found the net for Metallurg to give the home team something to cheer at last.
After Lada snapped its long losing streak, Artis Abols’ men took high-flying Salavat Yulaev to overtime.
The visitor led twice, but the Motormen battled back to tie 2-2 in regulation. After a scoreless first period, Vyacheslav Solodukhin gave Salavat the lead in the 25th minute on the power play. Home captain Nikita Filatov tied the game in the 36th minute.
In the third, the teams exchanged quickfire goals. Another power play saw Igor Makarov put Salavat Yulaev ahead once again, but Kirill Dyakov tied it up 70 seconds later with his first goal of the season.
That guaranteed the home team another point, but Artyom Fyodorov struck in overtime to ensure that Salavat claimed the victory.