Three of Tuesday’s five games were settled by double strikes: Matt Gilroy’s pair helped Jokerit set a club record, Veli-Matti Savinainen scored twice as Ugra continued its improved form, and Matt Frattin fired Barys beyond Avangard. In Khabarovsk there was a double fight-back from Amur, recovering from 0-2 and 2-4 before beating Metallurg in overtime. The other game ended in a 5-3 win for Avtomobilist over Vityaz.
In a season of unaccustomed difficulty for Magnitka, Tuesday’s game in Khabarovsk showed another sign of unusual vulnerability. Leading 4-2 going into the third, this looked like a routine victory for last season’s runner-up, but Amur hit back to tie the game before winning it in overtime.
Tomas Zohorna reduced the deficit in the 43rd minute before Vyacheslav Ushenin tied it at 4-4 with less than 10 minutes to play. There was no further scoring in regulation, but Jan Kolar needed just 21 seconds to win it in overtime.
It was Amur’s second two-goal fightback of the game. Earlier, Oskar Osala and Tomas Filippi gave Magnitka a 2-0 lead. Amur replied with two goals in two minutes midway through the game; Alexander Frolov and Vladislav Ushenin finding the net. However, that looked like a minor setback for the visitor when Sergei Tereshchenko and Vladislav Kaletnik made it 4-2 for Magnitka with two quick goals in the 34th and 35th minutes.
Amur had other ideas: Metallurg struggled to generate offense in the third and paid the price.
Two goals from Matt Frattin tipped the scales in favor of Barys after a high-scoring encounter in Omsk.
The early action was all about the visitor, with the Kazakhs racing in to a 3-0 lead inside 24 minutes. Nikita Mikhailis and Pavel Akolzin set things rolling in the first period, then Frattin’s first came shortly after the intermission.
But Barys had to cope without the services of defenseman Kevin Dallman, missing out for the first time in 200 games, and that offered Avangard hope. The host clawed back two goals late in the second period; Andre Petersson and Pyotr Khokhryakov doing the damage.
With the game back in the balance, Frattin’s 4-2 goal in the 55th minute was crucial. Avangard responded a minute later through Evgeny Medvedev, but could not find a way to tie the scores.
Jokerit set a new club record of 12 consecutive victories thanks to a 3-0 success at Traktor.
Two goals from defenseman Matt Gilroy paced the Finns’ offense as the team moves on to 41 points for the season, the second best return in the KHL after the invincibles of SKA.
It didn’t take long for Jokerit to take control of Tuesday’s game: Gilroy opened the scoring in the sixth minute on a power play, firing home a shot from the blue line, before John Norman finished off a string of passes to make it 2-0 less than two minutes later. That was another power play goal; on both occasions Nick Bailen was the player penalized for the host.
Traktor dominated the second period, outshooting its host 20-7, but had to wait until late in the game before Gilroy got his second off a Marko Antilla feed. Ryan Zapolski made 27 saves for his shut-out.
Changing the head coach has made a real impact in Khanty-Mansiysk, and Anatoly Yemelin presided over his fourth win in five games. This was also his first success in regulation as Kunlun missed the chance to break into the top four in the East.
The decisive action came either side of the second intermission when Veli-Matti Savinainen scored two goals to turn the game around. Red Star lead 1-0 thanks to Wojtek Wolski’s goal in the 38th minute, but a power play gave Savinainen the chance to tie the scores seconds before the break.
The teams were locked at 3-3 through 40 minutes, but Torchenyuk stuffed home the puck from close range amid protests about goalie interference. Vityaz converted its anger into offensive pressure, but could not find another goal and the visitor was finished off when Mikhnov added a late counter-attack goal.
Earlier, Vityaz led three times, starting from the first minute when Alexei Makeyev opened the scoring. But Avtomobilist never allowed the scoreline to get out of control and took the points in the final session.