A final-period flourish saw Avtomobilist cruise past Sochi to make it eight wins from eight so far this season. Traktor, meanwhile, followed up Monday’s 0-8 loss in Finland with a 1-6 reverse at Spartak. Jokerit was among the goals again, beating Metallurg 5-3 in an entertaining game. The Far Eastern action saw CSKA ease past Red Star after tight wins for Dinamo Riga and Admiral.
Dinamo Riga kept up its strong start to the season with a shoot-out win in Vladivostok. The Latvians remain third in the Western Conference.
Admiral led twice in regulation thanks to goals from Vasily Streltsov and Alexander Chernikov, but Riga replied through Linus Videll and Mathew Maione to force a 2-2 tie and take the action to overtime. Videll then sank the sailors with the shoot-out winner.
Amur’s recent record against Slovan has not been impressive, but a late goal from Vyacheslav Ushenin snatched victory here.
Ushenin struck on 58:39 to snap a 2-2 tie and send the Slovaks away with nothing after a tight game at the Platinum Arena.
The home side took the initiative in the first period, but fell behind against the run of play when Michal Repik opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Igor Rudenkov quickly replied and the teams were deadlocked at the first intermission. Alexander Gorshkov put Amur up in 28th minute and that lead lasted until Mario Lunter tied it up in the 49th. Ushenin’s late winner deprived Slovan of a share of the points.
Clinical CSKA finishing made the difference in China as the Army Men picked up a routine 3-0 victory. The home team set out to frustrate from the off, and over the first two periods CSKA was limited to just 11 shots on Ivan Nalimov’s goal. However, Kirill Kaprizov, Sergei Tolchinsky and Nikita Nesterov all found the net from those to establish a commanding 3-0 lead.
If Red Star was showing some promise in its defensive organization, its problems at the other end were abundantly clear. Just 19 shots on goal, nine of them in the third period, highlighted the lack of power for the Kunlun offense. Lars Johansson had a relatively tranquil evening for his shut-out; CSKA negotiated the hurdle without hitting top gear.
After going down 0-8 in Helsinki last time out, Traktor needed a confidence-boosting start at Spartak. Instead, the visitor was behind after 45 seconds to Anatoly Nikontsev’s goal and another painful defeat was on the way.
Robin Hanzl doubled the lead in the 16th minute, and the second period saw Nikontsev get his second of the game alongside tallies from Alexander Khokhlachyov and Martins Karsums. The latter came after Nikita Nikitin was removed from the game for slew footing.
Traktor put Vasily Demchenko in goal for the third period, but it took just eight seconds for Kaspars Daugavins to score on him. After that, though, the home side calmed down and there was even time for a consolation goal when Igor Polygalov pulled one back late on for the visitor.
Jokerit followed up that big win over Traktor with another high-scoring performance at home to Magnitka, tightening its early grip on top spot in the Western Conference.
Metallurg came into the game with unhappy injury news: Nikolai Kulemin’s injury from the previous game at Sochi proved serious and the forward is out for an unspecified time. However, the visitor still made a bright start and took the lead through Finnish forward Iiro Pakarinen on his return to his homeland.
The lead did not last long. John Norman tied it up 23 seconds later and the second period saw Jokerit take control. Two goals from Geoff Platt and a first in the KHL for Viktor Loov opened a 4-1 lead and saw Vasily Koshechkin chased from the visitor’s net. Metallurg wasn’t finished. Wojtek Wolski pulled one back late in the middle stanza and picked up his second assist of the night as Artyom Zagidulin was called back to the bench for a late 6-on-5 storm and Roman Lyubimov made it a one-goal game with two minutes left. That was as close as Metallurg got, though. Zagidulin never got the chance to leave his crease again before Mika Niemi restored Jokerit’s two-goal advantage and secured the win for the host.
Two goals at the start of the third period broke Sochi’s resistance and set Avtomobilist on its way to an eighth consecutive victory.
The only unbeaten team in the KHL had to come from behind in this one after Sochi’s French defenseman Yohann Auvitu potted his first goal in the league. Auvitu collected Alexander Polunin’s pass from the corner and fired home from the deep slot in the 28thminute.
Yegor Milovzorov tied it up for Avto late in the middle frame when he raced away to convert Yefim Gurkin’s long pass, but the home team was close to regaining the lead just before the intermission. Sean Collins had a penalty shot after Georgy Misharin was penalized for slashing, but goalie Jakub Kovar shut the door on the Canadian forward.
That miss was punished at the start of the final stanza. Seven seconds into the third period Oleg Pogorishny took a minor penalty and Francis Pare duly put Avtomobilist in front. Barely 30 seconds later, Dan Sexton burst down the right flank and tucked away a wrister to make it 3-1 and leave Sochi with too much to do. To underline the point, Ilya Krikunov and Stephane Da Costa added another quickfire salvo midway through the session to wrap up a big road win.