East: Chudinov scores from his own half, Ufa takes its chances. March 20 playoffs20 March 2019, 20:30
Avtomobilist made it seven wins from seven with a 4-2 success at Spartak, while Jokerit took top spot in the West after an 8-0 drubbing of Traktor. John Norman’s hat-trick there paced his team to victory, but Michal Repik’s treble for Slovan could not avert a shoot-out defeat at Red Star. CSKA needed overtime to win at Admiral, and there were 2-1 victories for Amur and Metallurg.
After making the long journey to Vladivostok, CSKA had to dig deep to claim a comeback win in overtime against Admiral.
Early on, things seemed straightforward enough for the Army Men: Sergei Kalinin and Konstantin Okulov scored either side of the host’s Vladimir Butuzov to give CSKA a first-period lead. For Kalinin, that was a first CSKA goal following his summer swap with Andrei Kuzmenko. In the second period, though, two former Dynamo Moscow players gave an old rival a headache. Sergei Konkov tied the game and Konstantin Glazachev put Admiral in front for the first time in the 33rd minute.
Another ex-Dynamo man, Mat Robinson, got the tying goal for CSKA in the 53rd minute. The Army Men had the better chances to settle the outcome in regulation time, but ultimately claimed the win in overtime when a penalty on Butuzov was punished by Nikita Nesterov’s game winner.
Dinamo’s bright start to the season took a knock in Khabarovsk as Girts Ankipans saw his team drop a 2-1 verdict at Amur.
Given that the Latvians had played in China the previous day and travelled on to Russia, the team could have been forgiven for a sluggish start. In fact, it was quite the opposite. A penalty on Amur in the second minute, and an opening goal for Cade Fairchild in the third seemed to make a mockery of any jetlag. Fairchild, last seen in the KHL at Metallurg Novokuznetsk, claimed his first goal for his new club.
However, Vyacheslav Ushenin tied the game within four minutes and early in the second Bogdan Potekhin grabbed an impressive winner. The former Metallurg man collected the puck on the red line but seemed to have run out of options as he galloped all alone into Riga territory. Despite having to squeeze in a shot from almost on the goal line, though, Potekhin somehow found a way through Kristers Gudlevskis’ defenses and won the game for Amur.
Slovan Bratislava arrived in Shanghai having failed to score in its previous two trips to China. Michal Repik smashed that unwanted record with a hat-trick, but Red Star rallied from 0-2 and 1-3 to win it thanks to Brandon Yip’s shoot-out decider.
Repik got the only goal of an even first period and added a second on the power play before Veli-Matti Savinainen scored his first for Red Star, tucking away the rebound from a Ville Lajunen shot. Repik converted a 5-on-3 power play early in the third, but Lajunen responded with a wrister from the center point that reduced the deficit once again. Then Olli Palola, who had assisted the first two goals, got one of his own. The Finn reacted sharply after the puck bounced off Ivan Svarny in the Slovan zone; Palola’s instant shot gave Jakub Stepanek no chance and took the game to the extras.
Although the scoreline was tight, Red Star will feel it deserved the win. The home team led the shot count 48-28 and spent significantly more time on the attack (14 minutes versus eight) over the 65 minutes of play. The success represents Kunlun’s first home victory of the season, and head coach Jussi Tapola’s first win in China.
Jokerit posted its biggest ever win in the KHL – but there was little sign of the goal rush at the first intermission.
Chances were at a premium in the first 20 minutes, with the teams sharing a meager 11 shots on goal. Traktor even had marginally the better of things, but it felt like a game destined to be decided by a narrow margin.
That all changed in the middle frame as Jokerit’s offense stepped up several gears. Brian O’Neill capped a lively start with the opener in the 22nd minute; two minutes later John Norman added a second. The Swede went on to complete a hat-trick, while Marko Anttila also found Traktor’s net before the second intermission. The result was beyond doubt in the final frame, but Jokerit added some gloss to the scoreline with three late goals. Anttila got his second of the night, Pekka Jormakka scored, but the big moment went to Eemeli Rasanen, a 19-year-old rookie with an impressive two-meter frame, who claimed his first KHL goal in his third appearance.
After an 11-goal thriller on Saturday, Metallurg had a quieter time of it in Sochi. A third-period fight back secured a 2-1 victory beside the Black Sea.
Victory looked a remote prospect for the visitor in the first half of the game. A lackluster first period offered few sights of goal, then Eric O’Dell scored a short-handed effort in the 27th minute to put Sochi ahead. O’Dell claimed the puck on the blue line and scooted in to beat Artyom Zagidulin.
Stung into action, Magnitka raised its game. Dennis Rasmussen tied the game early in the third after good work from Nikolai Kulemin behind the net. Then Roman Lyubimov converted an inviting feed from Nikita Yazkov to put the visitor ahead with 10 minutes to play. Sochi was unable to muster much of a response and Metallurg closed out the game.
Avtomobilist’s winning streak continues – but Spartak will point to a disallowed goal in the third period that denied it a chance to tie the scores with 14 minutes left to play.
That incident saw Martins Karsums denied after the video showed an offside in the build-up. Avto kept its 3-2 lead and Stephane Da Costa added a fourth in the 56th minute to put the result beyond Spartak’s reach.
Earlier, Kirill Lyamin and Robin Hanzl traded goals inside the first 10 minutes, but Avto forged ahead in the middle frame. Alexander Kucheryavenko fired home from close range after Ilya Krikunov battled for possession on the boards, then Dan Sexton made it 3-1 after a great Yegor Milovzorov pass from behind the net. Vyacheslav Leshchenko got one back for Spartak late in the second period – this time with the thumbs-up from the video booth – but there was no way back for the Red-and-Whites as the Motormen made it seven in a row.