Vadim Shipachyov made his first appearance since rejoining SKA … and duly potted the first goal of the day to lead his team to victory at Admiral. Another famous forward, Sergei Mozyakin, had a mixed day: his 15th goal of the season was followed by an injury as Metallurg lost in a shoot-out at Spartak. Dynamo Moscow and Dinamo Riga also had shoot-out wins, beating Kunlun Red Star and Lada respectively after 1-1 ties. Pierre Parenteau was another game-winning debutant after helping Avtomobilist win at Torpedo, while Severstal edged Traktor 3-2.
Vadim Shipachyov’s Vegas gamble turned out to be a bust, but SKA’s goal ace was quickly back to old tricks on his return to the KHL.
The 30-year-old forward, who signed a contract until the end of the season after quitting the Golden Knights in frustration at his lack of game time in the NHL, opened the scoring in this game with a power play goal off a feed from his familiar assistant Nikita Gusev.
That put SKA on top in a game that the league leader found hard going. With much of the team away on international action last week, then gathering to make the long flight to the Far East, head coach Oleg Znarok admitted that he’d hoped to have put the game to bed quickly. Instead, Admiral remained in contention until Jarno Koskiranta’s empty-net goal in the final minute.
Alexander Yeryomenko was Dynamo’s star in this victory in China. The goalie was on top form, making 44 saves as the teams tied 1-1 in regulation, then winning all five of his duels in the shoot-out as Mikhail Varnakov claimed the win for the Blue-and-Whites.
Dynamo took an early lead when Juusso Hietanen opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a power play goal. Red Star had its chances to hit back, but struggled on its own power play. Most notably, a long 5-on-3 advantage early in the third period went unpunished.
Finally, Cory Kane levelled the scores in the 50th minute, putting a wrist shot over Yeryomenko’s shoulder. Red Star pushed hard for the win, but could find no further weakness in the visiting goalie. Kunlun’s starting netminder, Magnus Hellberg, was replaced by Alexander Skrynnik for the shoot-out, but Varnakov was the only man to score as Dynamo took the verdict.
Galuzin opened the scoring in the fifth minute, but Avto turned the game around with two goals in 27 seconds early in the middle frame. Dwight King tied it up before Ilya Krikunov put the visitor in front.
Galuzin made it 2-2 before the second intermission, but that was as good as it got for the host. Third-period strikes from Pierre Parenteau and Yegor Milovzorov took the game for Avto. Parenteau, 34, marked his debut with the game-winning goal after arriving in Russia. The Canadian forward has almost 500 NHL appearances under his belt and finished last season with the Nashville Predators.
Spartak’s impressive run continued after the international break, but Metallurg’s problems deepened following an injury to captain Sergei Mozyakin.
Mozyakin scored his 15th goal of the season in the middle frame, tying the game at 2-2, but was helped to the locker room in the third following a clash with Alexei Pepelyayev. In the absence of Russia’s leading goalscorer, Magnitka was unable to add to its two goals and Spartak took the verdict in the shoot-out thanks to Maxim Trunyov. That made it eight wins from nine for the Red-and-Whites, and keeps Vadim Yepanchintsev’s team just one point adrift of a playoff spot.
Metallurg, which welcomed Chris Lee back to its roster for the first time this season, took a first-period lead here through Oskar Osala. But Spartak turned the game around with two goals either side of the half-hour mark. Dmitry Chernykh and Alexander Dergachyov did the damage before Mozyakin’s equalizer.
Severstal overcame penalty trouble to down Traktor and boost its playoff prospects.
The home team took an early lead with a short-handed goal from Alexei Ugarov, but fell behind to efforts from Linus Videll and Alexei Kruchinin. The latter marker, early in the third, was compounded by a game penalty for Matej Stransky after a high hit on Kirill Koltsov in the build-up, leaving Severstal to kill a long penalty as time began to run out.
But the Steelmen dug deep, kept Traktor at bay and recovered to claim the win. Oleg Yashin tied the scores with a power play goal on 50 minutes, then Adam Masuhr got the winner with five to play off an Ugarov assist.
It took a shoot-out to separate these two strugglers after a 1-1 tie in Riga.
Lada opened the scoring through Semyon Valuisky in the 14th minute, but Miks Indrasis brought Dinamo level early in the second period. It stayed at 1-1 until the end of overtime, despite a spirited effort from the host in the extras.
If goals were scarce in regulation, the shoot-out was the opposite. Dinamo scored its first three attempts, prompting Lada to replace Anton Krasotkin with Evgeny Ivannikov. The new guy denied Gunars Skvorcovs to keep his team in with a chance, but Janis Kalnins saved from Kirill Kapustin to ensure that Danny Kristo’s successful conversion proved decisive.