Victory at Sibir saw CSKA Moscow climb to the top of the Western Conference table while the struggling Siberians remain adrift at the foot of the East. Avtomobilist still leads the overall rankings after extending its winning start to 14 games. Avangard kept pace with the leader after its home win against Dinamo Riga.
Red Star goalie Alexander Lazushin posted his second shut-out of the season as the Chinese team got a first regulation home win of the season.
Traktor’s Alexander Sudnitsin came into the game in good form, having gone 109 minutes without allowing a goal, and it wasn’t until late in the second period that his streak finally came to an end. Justin Fontain broke the sequence, firing home the rebound after Cory Kane’s shot was blocked.
Kane played a big part in Red Star’s second of the game, leading the charge into Traktor territory before finding Patrik Lundh on the slot. The Swede got in front of his marker to score his first goal for Kunlun. Somewhat surprisingly, this was the first time a game between Red Star and Traktor had ended in a home victory.
Former Amur head coach Andrei Martemyanov has enjoyed a fine start to life at Avtomobilist. Since leaving Khabarovsk, his new team has won all of its KHL games under his guidance. Friday’s success at his former club made it 14 in a row, albeit at the cost of an injury to forward Anatoly Golyshev.
It wasn’t just Martemyanov who made himself at home in the Platinum Arena. Former Amur man Vyacheslav Litovchenko got the opening goal of the game in the 12th minute, shortly before Golyshev left the ice after a hit from Nikita Popugayev.
In the second period, Francis Pare doubled the lead as a Nigel Dawes assist stretched his productive streak to seven games. But then the host fought back. The Ushenin twins combined for Vladislav to reduce the deficit before Igor Rudenkov tied the game at the start of the third period.
Magnitka left it late before snatching this victory thanks to a power play in the closing minutes.
Metallurg hit back. Sergei Mozyakin reduced the scores before the first intermission and, late in the second period, Arkhip Nekolenko tied it up with his first of the season. But it wasn’t long before Voronin restored Admiral’s lead with his second of the night.
That was beginning to look like it might be the decisive marker. But a double-minor penalty for Alexander Chernikov presented Metallurg with a route to victory. Iiro Pakarinen’s wrist shot tied the game before, 40 seconds from the hooter, Mozyakin and Matt Ellison combined to set up Wojtek Wolski for the winner.
Victorious at last on its recent road trip, Sibir returned to Novosibirsk looking to show that its awful start to the season was behind it. Unfortunately for the local fans, CSKA came to town in fine form and duly delivered the victory that lifts Igor Nikitin’s team to the top of the Western Conference ahead of old rival SKA.
It might have been very different: Sibir hit the CSKA bar early on and made a lively start to the game. But a former favorite in this arena, Maxim Shalunov, got the opening goal at the other end. After that, the visitor had the bulk of the pressure even after losing defenseman Mikhail Naumenkov, ejected from the game for slashing. Pavel Karnaukhov finally added a second in the 52nd minute, recording his first goal of the campaign even as he fell to the ice. Lars Johansson recorded a shut-out as CSKA made it eight wins in a row.
Salavat Yulaev proved too strong for Slovan, with two goals from Joonas Kemppainen leading the way to a home victory.
The Finn opened the scoring in the 11th minute and it wasn’t long before Grigory Panin doubled the lead. Slovan briefly threatened to make a game of it, and Patrik Virta pulled a goal back late in the first period, but there was no respite for the visitor.
Kemppainen struck again moments into the second period and Dmitry Kugryshev added a fourth after five minutes of the third.
Salavat Yulaev climbs to fifth in the East, a point clear of Torpedo. Slovan remains rooted to the foot of the Western Conference behind Dynamo Moscow and Dinamo Minsk.
Avangard remains just two points behind unbeaten leader Avtomobilist after a convincing win over Dinamo Riga.
It took just 28 seconds for Sergei Shirokov to open the scoring in Balashikha, streaking up the ice after the home team won a face-off in its own territory. Avangard’s happy start to life in its temporary home continued when Kirill Semyonov doubled the lead in the 13th minute. Dinamo was struggling to live with the host’s pace and after three raids in the space of a minute, Alexander Perezhogin’s pass enabled Semyonov to touch the puck home.
Cody Franson added a third from the blue line early in the second period and Ilya Mikheyev got clean through on Kristers Gudlevskis’ net before finishing to the top shelf as Avangard’s pacey offensive play cut another swathe through Dinamo’s defenses.
In the third period, the visitor threatened an unlikely fightback. Goals from Matias Myttynen and Linus Videll – whose productive streak stretches to six games – got the scoreline back to 2-4 with more than 10 minutes left to play. But a Ville Pokka slap shot gave the host a fifth goal and killed off the fight back.
Avangard now has five wins from six games in Balashikha. The Latvians, whose bright start to the season pushed them to third in the Western Conference, are now down in sixth after just one win in the last five.