A 3-0 win at Traktor saw CSKA record its eighth consecutive success, with former Traktor star Valery Nichushkin opening the scoring in Chelyabinsk. In nearby Magnitogorsk, Metallurg leapt from sixth to third in the Eastern Conference thanks to a 4-1 victory over Slovan. Kunlun snapped its losing streak with a 3-0 win at Sibir, Amur’s good form continued with a triumph at Barys and Avangard ended Admiral’s winning streak under its interim head coach.
Red Star snapped a four-game losing streak thanks to Magnus Hellberg’s fourth shut-out of the season and a flurry of third-period goals.
Hellberg stopped 17 shots as Sibir’s offense struggled to gain traction in the Kunlun zone, but for much of the game the visitor found it hard to solve Alexander Salak at the other end.
The breakthrough came in the 44th minute when Wojtek Wolski opened the scoring on the power play. It wasn’t long before Geoff Kinrade doubled the lead, and Nikita Khlystov sealed the win with another PP marker in the 56th minute. That saw the end of Salak’s evening; understudy Eduard Reizvikh had the satisfaction of seeing out the final moments without allowing a further goal.
Admiral went down to its first defeat under Fredrik Stillman, but gave Chernyshev Division leader Avangard a real battle.
The visitor edged the first period, taking the lead in the closing seconds through Pavel Makarenko’s goal. But Avangard returned fire after the intermission, thanks to a double strike from Ilya Mikheyev. He tied the game on a power play in the 25th minute and added a second on 37 minutes.
Amur’s lowly status on the league standings belies the outfit’s current position as one of the KHL’s form teams. This results in Kazakhstan made it four wins in a row, and just one loss in seven for the Far East club, breathing life into its hopes of making a rare trip to the playoffs.
Oleg Li and Alexei Byvaltsev have been leading the scoring for Amur, and they were both involved in the opening goal here as Li made it 1-0 in the 26th minute. Dmitry Klopov doubled the lead in the 48th minute, and 62 seconds later Byvaltsev found the net for the 3-0 goal.
Konstantin Pushkaryov got one back for Barys, but the host could not prolong its three-game winning run.
A goal in each period and a shut-out for Lars Johansson were enough to see CSKA post its eighth consecutive victory.
Valery Nichushkin, once a hot prospect at Traktor, opened the scoring in the fourth minute with the kind of individual goal that made his reputation back in the 2012-13 season. CSKA built on that lead with Mikhail Grigorenko’s second-period marker before Sergei Shumakov slotted the puck home from a tight angle to make it 3-0 in the 49th minute.
Traktor was largely outgunned by a powerful CSKA offense, and Johansson dealt with the 24 shots that came his way.
Three goals in three first-period minutes settled the outcome of this game in Metallurg’s favor.
Penalty trouble cost Slovan for the first two, with Sergei Mozyakin opening the scoring from out on the blue line before feeding Nikita Pivtsakin to make it 2-0. That brought Jakub Stepanek off the visitor’s bench, but it was less than a minute before he was retrieving the puck from his net after Igor Grigorenko added a third.
Colby Genoway got one back for Slovan in the 26th minute, but it was never likely to be the start of a revival. Instead Pivtsakin got his second of the game on the power play at the start of the third and Metallurg leapt from sixth to third in the tightly-packed Eastern Conference table.
Anatoly Yemelin took his Ugra team to Avtomobilist, scene of some of his greatest coaching successes. But his return ended in disappointment after Avto won this one with a late flourish.
Ugra led twice, Anton Korolyov in the fourth minute and Artyom Mikheyev in the 34th giving the visitor the initiative. But Francis Pare tied the game at 2-2 in the 59th minute and Artyom Gareyev grabbed the winner in overtime.
Two teams struggling for form met in Togliatti, and the host got the better of the deal.
Lada had just one win in six ahead of its meeting with Vityaz, which had lost its last four. But a power play goal early on for Denis Zernov gave the Motormen a boost and helped them on the road to victory.
Kirill Kapustin doubled the lead in the second period, before Alexander Nikulin scored on the power play early in the third to give Vityaz hope. But once Alexander Nesterov made it 3-1, the outcome was beyond question.