CSKA had to come from 0-2 to salvage its home game with Neftekhimik, but Maxim Shalunov’s shoot-out skills gave the Army Men the verdict. Under-pressure Salavat Yulaev responded with a 3-1 win at Sochi. There was another shoot-out in Riga, where Dinamo beat Avtomobilist despite a last-minute equalizer from the visitor.
After a run of four straight losses, Salavat Yulaev badly needed a lift from its trip to Sochi – and after a slow start, the men in green took the verdict.
At first, though, it felt like more of the same for the visitor. Sochi went in front in the third minute on an Eric O’Dell power play goal and the pressure on the Salavat players got that little bit heavier.
This time, though, Salavat Yulaev found the answers. Teemu Hartikainen deflected home a Linus Omark shot to tie the game early in the second, then Omark himself put his team in front in the 36th minute. Zakhar Arzamastsev added a third to secure an important win for Erkka Westerlund and his team.
Neftekhimik came close to claiming its first victory over CSKA in six years … but ended up defeated in a shoot-out.
The visitor’s last win against the Army Men was back in 2011, but Andrei Nazarov’s class of 2017 had every cause for optimism after racing into a 2-0 lead. Twice, the home team was caught out with too many men on the ice, and twice Neftekhimik took advantage as Emil Galimov and Oleg Piganovich found the net less than a minute apart.
But CSKA recovered. The second period was one-way traffic, and Andrei Svetlakov’s goal halved the deficit. Then Nikita Nesterov tied it up midway through the third, with the defenseman scoring for the second game in a row.
A Denis Kulyash goal in the final minute was not enough to deny Dinamo victory here, as the Latvians rallied to claim a shoot-out verdict.
Earlier, Lauris Darzins gave the host an early lead, only for Kulyash to tie the game in the first period. Brandon McMillan put Dinamo in front again, but Kulyash snatched his second of the game with 48 seconds on the clock to force the extras.