Kunlun Red Star’s season ended with a disappointing home loss against Barys, while Jokerit avenged its recent reverse at the hands of Dinamo Riga on the last day of KHL action before the Olympic break.
Neither of these two teams had much to play for in Sunday’s game. The playoffs were long out of reach for both, and only the chance of finishing its regular season campaign on a winning note could lift Kunlun.
However, it was Barys that ended up on top. Red Star looked livelier early on, but could not take advantage and was punished early in the second period when Nigel Dawes finished off a counter-attack after the home offense broke down at the opposite end of the ice. Dawes then turned provider as Dmitry Shevchenko doubled the lead.
The third period saw further Barys goals from Roman Savchenko and Dmitry Gurkov, the latter getting his first ever KHL goal. At the other end, understudy goalie Dmitry Malgin ended with 35 saves and his first KHL shut-out.
An old favorite and a rising star combined to give Jokerit the winner in Riga as the Finns avenged a 2-4 loss on home ice two days earlier.
Steve Moses, whose scoring feats propelled Jokerit’s first KHL season, claimed the winner off an assist from teen sensation Eeli Tolvanen, converting a 5-on-3 power play at the start of the third period. That added to Niklas Jensen’s early opener and ensured that when Mikelis Redlihs replied for Dinamo a couple of minutes later, there was still no way back for the Latvians.
There was more good news for Jokerit and Finland as goal Karri Ramo successfully completed 60 minutes of action. The Olympic-bound goalie’s previous game in Ufa ended after less than two minutes due to injury concerns, but the 31-year-old proved his fitness here before joining up with the Leijonat.