Five of Sunday’s eight games ended in shut-outs, with Avtomobilist, Sibir, Lokomotiv, Dinamo Riga and CSKA all denying their opponents. Elsewhere, there was overtime in Minsk and Bratislava while Avangard beat Barys in the highest-scoring game of the day.
This was a close, hard-fought encounter, decided by Grachyov’s ninth-minute goal. The forward was quickest to react after an Ivan Vishnevsky point shot rebounded into the danger zone. Nigel Dawes, looking to get among the points for a club record 11th consecutive game, was also a lively figure. At the start of the second period he was heavily involved in all of the home team’s attacking play but, on this occasion, was unable to extend his scoring streak.
Salavat Yulaev held on and created the clearest chances of the third period. The home defense dug deep – 11 blocked shots in the final frame to support 15 more saves from Kovar. The hooter brought relief at last and confirmed an 18th successive win for Avtomobilist. Kovar finished with 33 saves to frustrate Salavat Yulaev as claim his fourth shut-out of the season.
Danny Taylor returned to the Sibir net for the first time since September 28 – and produced a shut-out to defeat Metallurg.
Taylor made 36 saves against a home team without the injured Sergei Mozyakin. That backstopped Sibir to an unexpected victory. He enjoyed a moment of good fortune early on when Pavel Dorofeyev hit the post but otherwise kept Magnitka at bay. Sibir gained confidence and began to offer more in the way of offense. After a cautious opening frame, the visitor created more chances in the second period and there was little to choose between the teams at the second intermission.
The opening goal came with 10 minutes left – and it was a moment to forget for Dorofeyev. The young forward attempted a no-look pass in center ice, Maxim Kazakov swooped to intercept and the former Admiral forward advanced to beat Vasily Koshechkin through the five hole. Taylor remained busy in the Sibir net but the bulk of the shots were coming from the blue liners and the visitor made the game safe when Danil Romantsev fired into an empty net from inside his own zone.
After struggling to beat Admiral on Friday, CSKA made light work of its next Far Eastern opponent and handed a thrashing to Amur. Three goals in four minutes just after the midway point took this game away from the visitor as the Army Men extended their lead at the top of the Western Conference and recorded a 12th successive win.
Maxim Shalunov, Friday’s hero, got the opening goal late in the first period. His power play strike rewarded CSKA’s efforts in the early stages but it wasn’t until the middle frame that his team took complete control of the game. First, Mikhail Grigorenko doubled the lead off an assist from Kirill Kaprizov, back in the team after missing the Admiral encounter. Next, Nikita Rtishchev got his first ever KHL goal. The 18-year-old got his stick down to redirect a Klas Dahlback shot and mark only his third appearance at this level. Grigorenko turned provider as Linden Vey made it 4-0 and Amur’s hopes were long gone.
Two goals from Vladislav Kartayev and another shut-out from young goalie Ilya Konovalov lifted Lokomotiv to victory over Dynamo. The home team was looking to move into the top eight in the Western Conference, but struggled to stretch the young goalie and slipped to a 0-3 loss.
The first goal was some time in coming – only in the last minute of the second period did Kartayev break the deadlock. Denis Alexeyev set off on a coast-to-coast run and after Ivan Bocharov saved his shot, the puck dropped kindly for Kartayev to put it away.
Two goals in a minute midway through the third period extinguished hopes of a home fightback. Kartayev scored on the power play after Vadim Shipachyov’s late hit, then Nikolai Kovalenko added a third after Georgy Ivanov’s shot was blocked.
Severstal got only its second win in seven games as Dinamo slipped to a sixth straight loss – but it was nearly the other way round after the host was denied in overtime.
Midway through the extras, Dinamo got the puck in the net only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. Severstal extracted maximum punishment when Ruslan Karlin potted the winner 38 seconds before the end.
Earlier, Sergei Kostitsyn opened the scoring in the third minute but Sergei Lapin tied the scores midway through the second period. The 22-year-old forward got his second goal in three games, having previously managed just one in his fledgling career.
Mathew Maione is the KHL’s top-scoring defenseman this season after his fifth goal of the season set Dinamo on the road to victory over Admiral. The blue liner moves on to 21 points for the campaign, one ahead of SKA’s Patrik Hersley.
Dinamo took the lead early in the third period. Andris Dzerins won an attacking face-off and the puck went back to Maione. The Italian defenseman stepped up from the blue line and saw a shooting lane open from the top of the circle before despatching the puck past Nikita Serebryakov. Riga converted its power play chance just five seconds after the penalty was called.
Lithuanian defenseman Nerijus Alisauskas fired the second into an empty net for his first KHL goal, ending Admiral’s hopes of snatching something from the game. Kristers Gudlevskis made 33 saves for his second shut-out of the season.
Alexei Yemelin’s first goal since returning to the KHL helped Avangard snap a three-game losing streak and earn a high-scoring victory over Barys.
Yemelin struck in the 51st minute of this game, putting his team in front for the fourth time on the night. The defenseman collected a Kris Versteeg pass and advanced into the Barys zone. Finding little resistance from the visiting team, he progressed up the ice and picked his spot to fire in a low wrist shot from between the hash marks. Ilya Mikheyev potted his second of the game late on to secure the win.
Three times Avangard went in front earlier in the game, and three times Barys tied it up. The first period saw David Desharnais and Darren Dietz trade goals. The second followed a similar pattern with Sergei Shirokov putting Avangard back in front only for Matt Frattin to convert a 5-on-3 power play and make it 2-2. Then Mikheyev and Dustin Boyd exchanged goals in the space of a couple of minutes in the third period before Yemelin potted the game-winner.
Two of the KHL’s improving teams met in Bratislava – and Slovan claimed its third successive overtime victory thanks to a Rudolf Cerveny goal. The Slovak forward scored with the only shot of the extras, 43 seconds into the overtime period.
During regulation, Slovan led three times in the game. After a goalless first period, Jeff Taffe gave the host the lead with a power play goal early in the second. Red Star’s in-form defenseman Ville Lajunen provided the first tying goal as the visitor converted a power play midway through the game. Careful exploration of the man advantage ended when Taylor Beck fed the puck back to the Finn, centrally placed on the blue line. With a crowd in front of Marek Ciliak, Lajunen picked his spot and made it 1-1.
Slovan hit back and went ahead once more one second before the intermission. Casey Bailey’s slap shot was saved by Lazushin, Cerveny wrestled away the loose puck and Michal Repik put it away. A video review confirmed that he found the net in the nick of time before play came to an end.
Red Star made a lively start to the third period and got a reward when Taylor Beck’s attempt to pull the puck back to the slot got a lucky bounce off Patrik Bacik’s skate and into the net. Like Lajunen, Beck is in fine form of late and moves to eight points from his last five games with Sunday’s 1+2 contribution. After Matus Sukel’s 53rd minute tally looked set to give Slovan the win, Beck produced a second assist as Martin St.Pierre tied the scores with 16 seconds left on the clock.