Andy Potts,
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Anton Burdasov and Nikita Gusev produced the stand-out individual appearances of the day. Burdasov got a hat-trick of power play goals to help Salavat Yulaev retrieve a 0-3 deficit at Sibir, before Gusev had 2+1 in SKA’s 5-1 romp against Dynamo. Neftekhimik produced the most impressive team performance, winning 4-0 at Barys – helped by two shorthanded goals – to move level with Eastern Confernce leader Ak Bars.

Burdasov hits power play treble

Sibir Novosibirsk 3 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 6 (3-1, 0-2, 0-3)

Salavat Yulaev recovered from 0-3 to win this game – much to the frustration of former Ufa coach Vladimir Yurzinov. “From that position, we shouldn’t be losing games,” said Sibir’s head coach. “But we gave away a string of unnecessary penalties, and the opposition punished us on the power play.”

Sibir made a blistering start, scoring three inside 15 minutes through Alexander Bergstrom, Patrik Zackrisson and Vladislav Naumov. But Anton Burdasov gave a taste of what was coming when he pulled one back on the power play in the final minute of the first period.

The middle frame was dominated by penalties, including Salavat head coach Erkka Westerlund being sent to the stands for questioning a ‘too many men’ call against his team. But in the closing stages of the period, the visitor drew level with two more goals on the PP. Philip Larsen got the first, then Burdasov claimed his second of the night. Early in the third, Burdasov completed a hat-trick of power play goals to put Salavat Yulaev in front before Linus Omark and Teemu Hartikainen added some gloss to the final scoreline.

Wellman’s winner crowns Sochi’s fightback

Avangard Omsk 2 HC Sochi 3 (2-0, 0-1, 0-1, 0-1)

Casey Wellman grabbed an overtime winner for Sochi as Avangard blew a 2-0 lead to lose this one.

The home team seemed to be well in control at the end of the first period, with goals from Dmitry Kugryshev and Mikhail Fisenko opening a 2-0 advantage. Former Sochi star Andre Petersson assisted on the opener against his old team-mates.

But the visitor struck back through Mikhail Mamkin. He pulled one back on the power play in the second period and tied the scores with 10 minutes left. Overtime did not take long: Wellman required just 29 seconds to grab the game-winner and lift Sochi to sixth place in the West, overtaking Dynamo Moscow.

Two shorthanded goals sink Barys

Barys Astana 0 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 4 (0-0, 0-1, 0-3)

Neftekhimik moved level with Eastern Conference leader Ak Bars, but Barys is in danger of slipping out of the playoff places after its fifth loss in seven games.

The Kazakh team is currently eighth in the East, three points clear of Amur. But the Far East outfit has three games in hand and is enjoying better form of late.

Saturday’s game was even until the 39th minute, when Emil Galimov opened the scoring. Dennis Everberg added a second early in the final period, and things really went wrong for Barys soon afterwards when Neftekhimik claimed two shorthanded goals in quick succession. Ildar Shiksatdarov got the first, while Pavel Poryadin sat out a tripping call. Then, barely two minutes later, Bogdan Yakimov made it 4-0 while Ziga Jeglic was in the bin. Oleg Piganovich assisted on both goals, and Andrei Makarov finished with 35 saves as his team blanked the opposition for the third game in a row.

Fontain fires Dinamo closer to playoffs

Lada Togliatti 1 Dinamo Minsk 2 (1-1, 0-1, 0-0)

Dinamo Minsk moved to within three points of a playoff place after coming from behind to win at Lada.

Denis Zernov put the home team ahead in the 12th minute, but Dmitry Buinitsky tied it up late in the first period. Justin Fontain got the winner in the middle frame.

Lada, a team with only a faint hope of making the playoffs, was once again without Nikita Filatov. The forward, expected to be one of the leading players this season, has now missed six games. Head coach Artis Arbols admitted that he doesn’t really understand why Filatov is not available at present.

Saprykin frustrates CSKA

CSKA Moscow 1 Vityaz Moscow Region 3 (0-1, 0-2, 1-0)

Two goals from Vojtech Mozik and 46 saves from Igor Saprykin earned Vityaz a shock win at CSKA.

The visitor, struggling to put together a push towards the playoff places, found itself under intense pressure for much of the game, but came up with the goals to deny the Army Men. Alexei Makeyev opened the scoring with a power play goal early in the first period, and the play was fairly even up until the 20-minute mark.

Subsequently, though, CSKA sent wave after wave of attack … but failed to find the net. Instead, Mozik grabbed two further goals in the second period to give Vityaz a measure of control even as the Army Men dominated the play. Geoff Platt finally pulled one back for the home team early in the final frame, but there was no way back as Saprykin made 21 stops in that third period to preserve his team’s advantage.

Photo: 23.12.17. KHL Championship 2017/18. CSKA (Moscow) - Vityaz (Moscow Region)

Gusev inspires SKA to victory

Dynamo Moscow 1 SKA St. Petersburg 5 (0-0, 0-4, 1-1)

SKA guaranteed a top-four finish in the Western Conference after a Nikita Gusev masterclass took Dynamo apart.

The damage was done in the second period, although Dynamo could have been behind at the first intermission as SKA dominated from the off. Gusev began with an assist on Yegor Yakovlev’s 23rd-minute opener, then added two goals of his own late in the middle frame. Anton Belov also found the net to put SKA 4-0 up.

Evgeny Artyukhin got one back for Dynamo in the third period, claiming his first goal since September 2. But SKA had the final word when Alexander Barabanov completed the rout in the last minute.

The win takes SKA to 111 points, and ensures the league leader will start its playoff campaign at home on March 3 and 4.

Photo: 23.12.17. KHL Championship 2017/18. Dynamo (Moscow) - SKA (St.Petersburg)

Golyshev settles a wild game in Bratislava

Slovan Bratislava 4 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 5 OT (1-1, 1-1, 2-2, 0-1)

Avtomobilist won a thriller in Slovakia thanks to an overtime goal from Anatoly Golyshev.

Golyshev struck two minutes into the extras, converting a Francis Pare assist to snap a 4-4 tie. Earlier, the pair had combined on Avto’s opener, scored by Pare in the eighth minute to cancel out Michal Repik’s early goal for Slovan.

The home team never led again, but kept pegging back the visitor. The second period saw Jan Buchtele score against his former club to cancel out a Evgeny Chesalin effort. In the third, Alexei Mikhnov and Alexander Kucheryavenko put Avtomobilist in front, but Boris Sadecky and Ivan Svarny replied for Slovan.

Andy Potts,
exclusive for
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