Avangard made it three wins out of three on the road, cruising to a 4-1 success at Severstal to top the fledgling Eastern Conference table. Avtomobilist is also on six points, but needed overtime to edge past Slovan. It was a good day for the Moscow teams, with CSKA getting an encouraging win at Metallurg while Dynamo finally tasted victory after seeing off Sibir. Lokomotiv ended Salavat Yulaev’s winning start, with the visitor also seeing goalie Juha Metsola take an injury.
Slovan struck late to snatch its first point of the season – but Avtomobilist maintained its winning start thanks to Anatoly Golyshev’s overtime goal.
The home team was looking for its third successive victory against a Slovan side that had lost its opening two games heavily, and when Stephane Da Costa opened the scoring in the seventh minute it seemed that this one was following the form book. The Frenchman got his stick to a dish from Nigel Dawes to record his first goal of the season.
But Slovan hit back. Five seconds after a power play came to an end, Michal Sersen’s effort from the blue line bounced into the net after a deflection deceived Jakub Kovar and the scores were level at the first intermission.
The middle frame saw Avto back in front when Francis Pare shot the puck into the slot and it fell kindly for Georgy Belousov to slide it into an open net. That looked like the winner until the last minute, when Jeff Taffe forced home a late equalizer after shots from Sersen and Chad Rau pinballed around the crease.
Avtomobilist needed the whole of the overtime period to snatch the win. There were just 0.6 seconds left when Golyshev converted a power play chance, smashing home a one-timer off another Dawes feed to claim the win.
The heavyweight clash of the day saw CSKA go to Metallurg with both teams looking to recover from defeat in Tuesday’s games. Magnitka, eager to atone for a disappointing reverse against Dinamo Riga, had the early initiative; the Army Men rallied to secure a come-from-behind victory.
Kirill Kaprizov was the game-winner here. In the 53rd minute he combined with Mikhail Grigorenko before firing in a one-timer from the right-hand circle to beat Vasily Koshechkin and put CSKA up for the first time in the game.
The early stages were tight, but Metallurg managed to open the scoring three minutes before the intermission. It was a goal that came from nothing: Alexei Bereglazov let fly from the point and Lars Johansson was unable to react as Andrei Marchenko obscured his view.
In the second period the game became more open – but there were some worrying gaps emerging in the home defense. Anton Slepyshev got the better of Viktor Antipin only to end up with an interference penalty after bearing down a bit too vigorously on Koshechkin. Maxim Shalunov also got clean through, only to shoot just wide, and Jannick Hansen was close to his first KHL goal after a Marchenko shot caused chaos in front of Koshechkin’s net. The tying goal was coming, and it arrived in the 33rd minute when Slepyshev took the puck away from Antipin and fed Shalunov, who had the beating of Koshechkin on this occasion. That set up a decisive final frame and paved the way for Kaprizov’s winner as CSKA made it two out of three for the season so far.
Avangard made it three convincing wins in a row after despatching Severstal with some aplomb. Bob Hartley’s team has now potted 13 goals, allowing just two, despite beginning the campaign on the road.
In Cherepovets the game was as good as won in the first quarter-hour. Max Talbot got his second since joining Avangard from Lokomotiv to set things going after eight minutes. The Canadian forward, who managed just eight goals last season, seems to be revitalized at his new club. Another summer signing, Sergei Shirokov, doubled the lead to make it three goals in three games for him, and Ansel Galimov tucked away the third a minute later.
Severstal briefly threatened to make a game of it when Ivan Zakharchuk pulled a goal back in the last minute of the opening frame, but Avangard was never seriously troubled. Artyom Manukyan made it 4-1 early in the second and that was how it finished.
Goalscorers old and new led Dynamo to its first win of the season as the Blue-and-Whites came from behind to send Sibir to a third successive reverse.
Veteran D-man Ilya Nikulin scored his 100th KHL goal, Maxim Afinogenov got his first for the club since he left Dynamo 13 years ago, and Vadim Shipachyov opened his account for the team he joined in the summer.
Initially, though, it looked like the Muscovites’ woes were continuing at the Megasport Arena, the team’s temporary home. Nikita Mikhailov and Oleg Piganovich put Sibir into a 2-0 lead early on. Shipachyov halved the deficit within the first period but Sibir added a third though Alexander Sharov shortly after the interval.
That was as good as it got for the visitor, though. Another summer signing, Latvian international Miks Indrasis, quickly made it a one-goal game once again before two goals in 66 seconds turned the game decisively in the host’s favor. Both came from defensemen, with Juuso Hietanen tying the scores on a power play before Nikulin got that landmark goal to put his team in front for the first time. Afinogenov added a fifth late in the middle frame and Shipachyov combined with fellow newcomer Dmitry Kagarlitsky to set up Daniil Tarasov for 6-3 after 46 minutes.
Salavat Yulaev’s penchant for overtime success could not save it in Yaroslavl as Lokomotiv clawed back a 0-2 deficit to win the game.
In its previous two games, the Ufa team had snatched late goals to force the extras and get the win. Here, it made a fast start in a period that saw one player from each team ejected from the game. Lokomotiv’s Daniil Apalkov was first to go after he ran all over Metsola. The Finnish goalie survived that assault and continued, while his compatriot Joonas Kemppainen opened the scoring on the subsequent power play. Kemppainen himself was soon removed from the game as well after a high hit on Jakub Nakladal. During that Loko power play, however, Salavat Yulaev doubled its lead on a breakaway goal from Maxim Mayorov.
The home team hit back when Artyom Ilyenko scored off a Yegor Averin feed. The intermission brought more bad news for Salavat with Metsola unable to continue and, with Andrei Kareyev now in goal, the Loko young guns fired again when Alexander Yelesin shot home from the blue line after Georgy Ivanov and Artur Kayumov set up the play. A power play goal from Nakladal made it 3-2 to the host midway through the second period. Meanwhile, there was no let-up in the physical confrontation: the penalties kept coming, and Salavat lost defenseman Grigory Panin to an injury in the second period. Panin returned, briefly, in the third, but was unable to help his team launch another late fightback. Instead, Alexander Kutuzov sealed the win with a fourth goal for Loko.