Vladimir Tkachyov and Alexander Burmistrov got their first goals since their recent transfers, helping Salavat Yulaev and Ak Bars to wins. Salavat’s success ends Vityaz’ hopes of making the playoffs. CSKA surprisingly fired blanks at Neftekhimik and lost to Erik Gustafsson’s goal, while Jakub Stepanek frustrated Sochi as Slovan won in a shoot-out.
Vladimir Tkachyov got his first goal for Salavat Yulaev following his move from Admiral.
The young forward tied the game late in the first period, and later added an assist as Alexander Loginov completed the scoring on the power play. In between, second-period markers from Teemu Hartikainen and Linus Omark saw Salavat Yulaev ease to victory.
Vityaz came into the game knowing that defeat would end its playoff hopes. An early shorthanded goal from Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi gave the visitor hope of keeping its top-eight dream alive, but that was as good as it got for Valery Belov’s men.
Alexander Burmistrov got his first goal since returning to the KHL, and helped Ak Bars tighten its grip on top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Burmistrov, who returned from the NHL late last year, opened his account for the season with a close-range finish off Anton Glinkin’s feed from the right boards early in the second period. That stretched his team’s lead to 2-0, following Stanislav Galiyev’s first-period opener.
Jokerit, still striving to secure third place in the West ahead of Lokomotiv, had a goal ruled out late in the middle frame after the video review confirmed that the puck was kicked into the net. The Finns eventually got on the scoreboard in the third period, but Sami Lepisto’s late power play goal was not enough to save the game.
Neftekhimik banished its recent run of poor form with a hard-fought victory over high-flying CSKA.
The Army Men came into the game on a rich run of eight successive wins, while Neftekhimik had lost five of its previous six outings. But CSKA’s offense was frustrated by Ilya Ezhov, who made 32 saves in total, half of them in a first period that the visitor dominated.
However, Erik Gustafsson punished CSKA’s failure to take its chances when he scored on the power play early in the second period. Nikita Filatov orchestrated the play, and his feed to Gustafsson in the deep slot sat invitingly for the Swedish defenseman to unleash a one-timer past Lars Johansson to win the game.
Jakub Stepanek was the star of the show for Slovan as the Slovaks claimed a shoot-out win in Sochi. The Czech goalie stopped every home attempts in the shoot-out as Juraj Mikus got the winner at the start of sudden death.
Stepanek had frustrated Sochi throughout the game. The home team had the better of the first two periods, and topped the shot count 28-11 after 40 minutes. But the scoresheet was blank at the second intermission, and Slovan shocked its host by grabbing the lead through a Marek Hecl power play goal early in the third period.
It didn’t take long for Sochi to respond with a power play goal of its own, Sean Collins scoring from close range off a Jyrki Jokipakka feed. However, it was unable to reassert its early dominance, and ultimately fell in a shoot-out to keep the Leopards looking anxiously at the chasing pack in the playoff race.