The day dawned with news that Mike Keenan had left his post as head coach of Kunlun Red Star, and stand-in Bobby Carpenter led the team to an overtime win at Amur. That snapped a nine-game losing streak for the Chinese team. Spartak got its playoff push back on track when Artyom Voronin scored twice in a 4-2 home victory against Torpedo, while there were road wins for CSKA and Metallurg. Struggling Ugra went down to a 10th consecutive defeat at home to Traktor, and drops to the foot of the table behind Dinamo Riga.
Red Star, on a nine-game losing streak ahead of Sunday’s game, announced the departure of head coach Mike Keenan. His interim replacement, Bobby Carpenter, stepped up to claim a much-needed win – despite seeing his team let a 3-0 lead slip away.
In the end, Taylor Beck’s first goal for the club secured an overtime verdict, but Amur was left frustrated after firing in 54 shots at Magnus Hellberg and recovering a big deficit only to leave defeated. Even in the early stages, as Red Star built its lead, the home team created more chances. After Brandon DeFazio put the visitor ahead, Amur dominated the first period but was caught out when Pavel Vorobei emerged from the penalty box to score a breakaway second goal.
Another breakout early in the second saw Gilbert Brule claim the third, helped by a generous deflection off defenseman Jan Kolar. But two goals from Alexei Byvaltsev and a third from Alexander Gorshkov hauled the home side level with three minutes left in regulation. Then came Beck’s game-winner, converting a power play with seconds left on the clock after Jesse Blacker’s shot was deflected into his path. The teams meet again on Tuesday, with Amur hoping for better fortune and Red Star looking to consolidate on this success.
Both teams scored two goals in a minute, but it was Metallurg - and Denis Kazionov - who came out on top.
Those quick-fire salvos started at the midway stage, when the visitor jumped to a 4-1 lead thanks to Vladislav Kaletnik and a second for Kazionov. But Barys hit back when Artyom Likhotnikov and Talgat Zhailauov found the net in the 51st minute. That wasn’t enough to save the game, and the home side missed its chance to return to fifth in the Eastern Conference.
Ugra’s hopes of snapping its losing streak were halted in the space of 24 seconds midway through the first period. Nick Bailen and Semyon Kokuyov found the net in quick succession in the 12th minute to give Traktor a 2-0 lead and leave the host with too much to do.
With Ugra scoring just twice in its four previous games, the chances of the Mammoths avoiding a 10th consecutive loss were slim, and Linus Videll’s third-period effort confirmed Traktor’s superiority. Visiting goalie Vasily Demchenko finished with 26 saves for his shut-out.
CSKA kept up its pursuit of runaway leader SKA after a hard-fought win at Severstal.
Goalies Julius Hudacek and Ilya Sorokin were on top for much of the game, with Sorokin eventually making 20 saves for his sixth shut-out of the season – and his second in succession – as the Army Men made it eight wins in a row.
Both teams survived spells with two men in the box, but both the CSKA goals came with the teams at equal strength. Mikhail Grigorenko opened the scoring shortly after the midway point and Maxim Shalunov sealed the deal with 10 minutes to play.
Artyom Voronin scored twice to turn this game around and end Spartak’s two-game losing streak.
Torpedo led at the first intermission thanks to an early power play goal from Yegor Dugin and an effort from Evgeny Grachyov. In between those markers, Ilya Tataluyev briefly put Spartak on level terms.
But then Voronin found his form. The forward tied the game with a short-handed goal in the middle frame and put the Red-and-Whites in front midway through the third with his fourth goal of the season. Alexander Khokhlachyov finished it off with an empty-net goal.
Even in the toughest of seasons, some nights just go right. For Dinamo, Sunday was one of them.
The Latvians took control of this game in the first period, and never relinquished their grip. Power play strikes from Guntis Galvins and Miks Indrasis put the host in command, and Lauris Darzins potted a third. Slovan got one back through Andrej Meszaros but never looked like recovering the game.
There was a big moment for 21-year-old forward Franks Razgals, who got his first ever KHL goal, and Indrasis added his second of the night to wrap up a fine win. Dinamo Riga now climbs off the foot of the KHL table, moving ahead of Ugra.