A solitary Nigel Dawes goal – his 200th in regular season action – secured a 12th successive win for Avtomobilist. Evgeny Biryukov’s 100th assist set up Sergei Mozyakin for Metallurg’s winner against Lokomotiv, while Barys fired seven in Riga. Traktor and Sochi also picked up victories.
Avto made it 12 wins from 12 to maintain its perfect start to the season, but an improved performance from Dynamo pushed the leader all the way.
In the build-up to the game, there had been reports of high-level discussions within the Moscow club about the poor start to the current campaign. Two new faces, Igor Makarov and Vyacheslav Kulyomin, made their debuts for the Blue-and-Whites and the first period was genuinely promising for the visitor.
However, Dynamo could not find a way past Jakub Kovar and found itself pegged back in the middle frame as the host got its game going. Now it was Ivan Bocharov who had work to do as Avto topped the shot count 14-3. The scores remained deadlocked until the 44th minute when Nigel Dawes finally grabbed the game’s only goal. With Vadim Shipachyov in the penalty box, Avto’s power play presented Dawes with a shooting chance from the right-hand circle and his wrist shot brought up his 200th goal in regular season KHL action.
Magnitka wrapped up its home stand with a third successive tight verdict. Having previously beaten Severstal 2-1 and Dynamo 6-5 (OT), this was another one-goal game that went the way of Josef Jandac’s team.
The first period saw the teams trade goals. Ivan Vereshchagin’s wrister from the blue line opened the scoring but Jakub Nakladal quickly put Loko back on level terms. Metallurg took control in the middle frame, with Roman Lyubimov winning a battle on the slot to make it 2-1 before Sergei Mozyakin converted a breakaway to open a two-goal margin. Mozyakin’s counter-attack was launched by Evgeny Biryukov, who recorded his 100th assist in the KHL.
In the final frame, Loko threw everything at Vasily Koshechkin’s net. The home goalie, however, had the answers to most of the questions he faced. Grigory Denisenko got his second of the season with nine seconds left to reduce the deficit, but the youngster’s effort was too late to salvage anything for the visitor.
Traktor maintained its long-running hoodoo over Severstal in Chelyabinsk. Today’s win means the Cherepovets team still has to go back to September 2007 for its last victory in the Ural city.
The early exchanges were even, and the teams traded power play goals in quick succession in the first period. Paul Szczechura opened the scoring for Traktor but Daniil Vovchenko soon replied for Severstal.
After a goalless second session, the outcome was settled by Nick Bailen’s power play goal in the 55th minute. It wasn’t the defenseman’s most powerful strike, but with heavy traffic in front of Dominik Furch the Czech goalie saw it late and could not react in time.
Dinamo’s bright start to the season hit an abrupt bump as freescoring Barys came to Latvia. The Kazakh team tends to bring goals at both ends of the ice but hit top form in the first period here to settle the outcome inside 20 minutes.
The visitor banged in five unanswered goals, starting with a Patrice Cormier effort in the first minute and quickly followed by a power play marker from Kevin Dallman. Nikita Mikhailis made it 3-0 in the 13th minute and Dinamo replaced starting goalie Timur Bilyalov with Kristers Gudlevskis. It took less than a minute for the new man to be beaten, with Curtis Valk assisting Darren Dietz for the 4-0 goal before adding a marker of his own late in the frame.
It could only get better for Dinamo and the second period was far more satisfactory from a home perspective. The game was gone, but power play goals from Matias Myttynen and Mathew Maione, both assisted by the KHL’s leading scoring, Linus Videll, at least offered some sign of respectability. But there was nothing more for the host. The third period saw Cormier get his second and Andre Petersson add a seventh either side of Kevin Clark’s power play tally for Dinamo.
Two early goals put Sochi in control of this game from the outset. Despite signs of a home revival in the second period, the visitor duly closed out a comfortable win.
Alexander Polunin’s power play goal in the second minute put Sochi in front – the former Loko youngster claimed his first since moving to the Black Sea in the summer – then Sean Collins made it 2-0 in the seventh minute.
After that nightmare start, Slovan gradually got back into the game and halved its deficit with a power play goal from Matus Sukel midway through the second period. Sochi was not about to yield its advantage, though. The third period brought goals from Dmitry Arkhipov and Damir Rakhimullin to wrap up the win.