Avtomobilist’s 18-game winning run was halted by Barys, while Kunlun Red Star snapped CSKA’s 12-game streak in the shock result of the day. Jokerit produced a late flourish to win at Ak Bars, Slovan moves into the playoff places after a fourth successive win but there was disappointment for Dinamo Riga at home to Amur.
Avtomobilist’s push for the record books is at an end. After 18 consecutive victories from the start of the season – just two behind SKA’s record of 20 from last season – Andrei Martemyanov’s team tasted defeat for the first time at the hands of Barys.
Patrice Cormier was the man who wrecked the streak, scoring both Barys goals. First, he got the vital touch on a Darren Dietz point shot to redirect the puck beyond Jakub Kovar in the home net. That 15th-minute goal also saw Dietz extend his personal scoring streak to six games. Then, in the second period, Cormier quickly converted a power play chance to double the visitor’s lead. This time Roman Starchenko went behind the net before feeding the the 28-year-old former Winnipeg Jet for a one-timer from the foot of the circle.
Avtomobilist replied early in the third with a power play goal of its own. Francis Pare led the rush, pushed the puck out wide to Nigel Dawes and collected the return pass on the slot before beating Dominik Hrachovina to make it a one-goal game. Hrachovina, a new arrival in Kazakhstan this season, had not made the happiest of starts in the KHL but withstood a barrage of home pressure to secure his first win for Barys.
Traktor became the third team to change its head coach this season, parting company with German Titov after last week’s 0-5 loss at Salavat Yulaev. Alexei Tertyshny was put in charge as interim head coach and duly delivered a victory first time out.
However, against the KHL’s lowest-ranked team, Traktor still needed a shoot-out to claim the verdict. Sibir, another team to replace its head coach, weathered a storm of home offense in the first period and looked to be growing into the game in the second, only for Tertyshny’s men to open the scoring in the 40th minute. Inevitably, perhaps, it was former Sibir forward Alexander Bergstrom who opened the scoring when he touched Evgeny Lapenkov’s shot beyond Danny Taylor.
Sibir tied it up midway through the third period in similar circumstances. This time it was Nikolai Demidov with the shot and Maxim Kazakov with the redirect. That took the game to overtime and meant that after 12 games without picking up a point, Sibir has now taken eight points from its last seven outings. The visitor couldn’t collect a second successive win, though: Igor Polygalov decided the shoot-out in Traktor’s favor.
Metallurg missed the chance to overtake Salavat Yulaev into fourth place in the East, losing out in overtime to a Philip Larsen goal.
The Danish defenseman was the beneficiary of a misplaced Wojtek Wolski pass on his own blue line: Salavat intercepted and a passage of tic-tac-toe between Teemu Hartikainen and Linus Omark presented Larsen with a chance of a close-range finish.
Earlier in the game, the visitor took the lead midway through the first period thanks to an Alexander Kadeikin goal after a stumble from Alexei Bereglazov. Magnitka tied it up just before the first intermission when Andrei Chibisov surprised Juha Metsola with a shot from a tight angle. The Finnish goalie had the last laugh though with another game-winning performance for his team. He wasn’t quite as busy as last week’s memorable match-up against Avangard, but his 47 saves did much to earn Salavat Yulaev the ‘W’.
Dinamo Riga’s return to winning form was disappointingly brief. After Monday’s 2-0 victory over Admiral snapped a six-game losing streak, Wednesday brought a loss against an Amur team that had just one win in a nine-game sequence book-ended by heavy losses against CSKA.
The only goal came early. Pavel Dedunov in the third minute with a goal on the penalty kill. Riga 10 stumbled, Artyom Zhelezkov picked out a pass that put Dedunov goalside of Linus Videll and the Amur forward kept his composure to beat Kristers Gudlevskis in the home net.
Dinamo then had two further power play chances but failed to take advantage in the first period. The second session saw the home team’s best play – a dominant display saw Riga lead the shot count 15-5, but there was no way past Evgeny Alikin in the visitor’s net. And, in the third, Amur tightened up defensively as the host ran out of ideas. Alikin made 34 saves for his shut-out.
Victory for Severstal would have lifted it into a playoff spot ahead of its opponent; instead, Vityaz picked up its third win in four to remain seventh in the West.
The game was won and lost either side of the first intermission. Alexei Makeyev’s power play goal sent the host into the break with a one-goal lead; 60 seconds after the restart, he got an assist as Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi doubled the lead with another PP effort. Back at full strength, Miro Aaltonen made it 3-0 a minute later. Former Severstal defenseman Alexander Yevseyenkov assisted on all three.
Two goals in the last four minutes turned this game around and handed Jokerit a win at the defending champ.
John Norman tied the scores at 2-2 with a power play goal, punishing Ak Bars for its first penalty of the night in the 57th minute. He collected a Steve Moses pass between the hash marks and was allowed time and space to swivel and fire in a backhander that got away from Emil Garipov. One minute later, the visitor was ahead. Alex Grant joined Niklas Jensen on the rush and fired the puck to the net where Stanislav Galiyev could only deflect it into the target.
Earlier, Jokerit had taken the lead at the end of the first period through Karl Stollery. Justin Azevedo tied it up for Ak Bars in the middle frame and Jiri Sekac put the host ahead with a power play goal early in the third.
Dinamo Minsk slumped to a seventh straight defeat as two late goals from Dynamo Moscow gave the Russian team victory over its near namesake.
After a goalless – and relatively chance-free – opening frame, the host went in front in the 29th minute through Denis Osipov. Evgeny Kovyrshin then missed a good chance to extend the lead, and the visitor soon exacted its punishment. Vadim Shipachyov tied the game in the second period and Moscow went on to dominate the third session.
That pressure was rewarded in the 55th minute when, during a passage of 4-on-4 play, Miks Indrasis got the game-winner. Minsk’s chances were ended by an empty-net goal from Andrei Alexeyev. The Belarusians remain rooted to the foot of the Western Conference; Moscow moves back to within one game of a playoff place.
Kunlun Red Star – with new signing Barry Brust in fine form between the piping – snapped CSKA’s 12-game winning streak to record another memorable victory for the Chinese club.
Earlier this season in Shanghai, CSKA’s 3-0 victory hinted at a gulf in class between the two teams, but tonight Red Star showed it had scant respect for big reputations. From Olli Palola’s second-minute goal to Brust’s 34 saves, this was a big performance all over the ice. The opening goal came from Kunlun’s first attack of the game: Patrik Lundh with the interception and pass for Palola to beat Ilya Sorokin on the short side. CSKA’s first penalty produced a similar outcome, with the in-form Taylor Beck making it 2-0 to the visitor.
Could it last? Kirill Kaprizov gave the home fans reason to believe that CSKA would retrieve the situation but Victor Bartley restored that two-goal cushion in the second period. Then a second Palola goal – second power play goal from just two CSKA penalties – made it 4-1 at the start of the third. The shock was very much on.
The Army Men rallied bravely. Konstantin Okulov scored twice in the last eight minutes to reduce the deficit to a solitary goal. But Red Star held on to earn the day’s surprise result.
Slovan Bratislava, bottom of the Western Conference not so long ago, moves up to eighth play thanks to its fourth straight win. Admiral, meanwhile, sees its winless run stretch to eight outings; the Far East team has just one success in its last 13.
The visitor made a fast start here, jumping into a 2-0 lead on goals from Alexander Ugolnikov and Alexander Mereskin inside the first nine minutes. Jeff Taffe got Slovan on the board late in the first period, then Alexander Chernikov and Michal Sersen traded markers in the second period.
Slovan won it in the third with two goals in 21 seconds. First, Eric Gelinas tied the scores, then Matus Sukel potted the winner. The 22-year-old was also on target in Monday’s win against Red Star; tonight’s goal brought his team success in regulation after a trio of overtime victories.