Ak Bars enjoyed a 3-1 win over Salavat Yulaev in the ‘Green Derby’, while another long-running rivalry ended in SKA’s favor at home to Dynamo Moscow. Two games saw the visitor recover from 2-4 down to win in overtime: Jokerit won 5-4 at Torpedo, while Barys did the same to Traktor.
Sergei Mozyakin scored twice as Metallurg got back on track in impressive style at home to Avangard. Magnitka had slipped to three successive losses, while its captain had missed a game through injury during that run. But today, against a team second in the Eastern Conference, it all went right.
The first period was goalless, although Metallurg had the puck in the Avangard net in the 11th minute, only for a video review to spot an infringement. After the intermission, there was no question about Iiro Pakarinen’s goal following a Wojtek Wolski shot and Magnitka had its lead.
Sergei Shirokov cancelled out that advantage at the start of the final frame, but then Mozyakin came out to play. Two goals in four minutes – aided by a goaltending howler from Igor Bobkov behind the Avangard net – opened an unassailable advantage for the host. Evgeny Timkin wrapped up the win with an empty-net goal.
Barys produced a late surge to overturn a 2-4 deficit and claim victory in Chelyabinsk. The home team, looking to build on Tuesday’s victory over Sibir in the first game following the departure of head coach German Titov, was impressive for much of this encounter. But in the closing stages, Barys found a way back and Brandon Bochenski got his second of the game to win it in overtime.
That seemed unlikely after a second period in which Traktor led 3-1 and 4-2. Goals from Alexander Sharov (2), Anton Glinkin, Alexander Rybakov (shorthanded) had the home team in a commanding position. However, late in the game Barys struck back. Jesse Blacker reduced the deficit with five minutes to play and just 31 seconds from the end Matthew Frattin potted the tying goal off a Bochenski assist.
It took just over a minute to decide the outcome in overtime: Jonas Enlund came close to winning it for Traktor but fired against the post; Frattin turned provider at the other end to set up a winner for Bochenski.
Lokomotiv’s youngsters have impressed this season – and they played their part again in a 4-0 win over Admiral.
Blackhawks prospect Artur Kayumov, 20, opened the scoring with a short-handed goal. After intercepting the puck on his own blue line, Kayumov tore up the ice and produced a top shelf finish that showed why some commentators across the Atlantic hope the Lokomotiv forward could follow in the footsteps of Artemy Panarin.
Two goals in three minutes from Daniil Apalkov – relatively speaking, a grizzled veteran of this roster at the ripe old age of 26 – took the game away from Admiral. Then Grigory Denisenko, a first-round draft pick for the Panthers in 2018, picked up his third goal of the season after joining Petri Kontiola and Andrei Loktionov on the home power play.
At the other end Ilya Konovalov, another rising star, made it back-to-back shut-outs and collected his third blank in four games.
Shortly after Barys completed its big recovery in Chelyabinsk, Jokerit did the same thing against Torpedo. Early in the season it was the home team that earned a reputation for salvaging lost causes but today the comeback crew was beaten at its own game.
Denis Parshin had two second-period power play goals and an assist as Mikhail Varnakov scored 15 seconds into the third frame as Torpedo opened a two-goal lead. But he was destined to finish on the losing side after Jesse Joensuu pulled Jokerit back into the game. The Finn reduced the arrears in the 49th minute but had to wait until 11 seconds before the hooter for the all-important tying goal. Niklas Jensen shot bounced off a home defenseman and dropped kindly for Joensuu to force the puck behind Andrei Tikhomirov.
Jokerit went on to control the extras, barely allowing Torpedo to take the puck into the danger zone. Brian O’Neill won it in the 63rdminute.
The latest instalment of the Green Derby went to Tatarstan, with Ak Bars claiming the verdict thanks to a pair of goals early in the second period.
The opening frame saw Anton Burdasov end his goal drought to give Salavat Yulaev an 18th-minute lead. However, Ak Bars wasted little time in responding. Paul Postma, who was sitting in the penalty box as Burdasov opened the scoring, emerged to get the tying goal just 24 seconds later.
In the second period, Anton Lander gave Ak Bars the lead and barely two minutes later Andrei Popov made it 3-1. Popov’s goal came just as Alexei Semenov stepped out of the sin bin – de jure, equal strength, de facto a power play tally.
The rest of the second period was disrupted by minor penalties and the major incident of the third involved Burdasov once again. This time, though, the forward was ejected after throwing a water bottle towards an official; his departure with 90 seconds to play effectively ended his team’s chances of staging any kind of fightback.
Dynamo improved on its 0-4 home loss to SKA earlier this season but could not take anything from this game despite shocking the home team with an early goal.
There were just 73 seconds gone when Evgeny Mozer got only his second goal of the campaign to silence the home crowd. However, it wasn’t long before the KHL’s leading scorer, Nikita Gusev, tied it up with his sixth goal of the season. That takes him to 23 points, one ahead of Dinamo Riga’s Mathew Maione.
Former SKA man Vadim Shipachyov hit the post in reply but Dynamo never got back in front. Instead, Alexander Dergachyov scored a power play goal early in the second period to put SKA 2-1 up. Next came a flurry of penalties around the half-way stage; the upshot was a SKA power play and a goal for Patrik Hersley.
The final stanza saw the visitor try to take the game to SKA. However, there was just a late goal from Dmitry Moiseyev – his first of the season – as the home team held on to take the win.
Vityaz made it four wins from five thanks to a fast start at home to Neftekhimik.
While Vityaz is in a playoff spot in the West, Neftekhimik is just outside in the East. But Andrei Nazarov’s team was unable to move in front of Kunlun Red Star and rejoin the top eight. A late Damir Sharipzyanov goal denied Vityaz a shut-out but could not change the destiny of the game.
Dinamo Riga’s defeat at home to Amur last time out saw Girts Ankipans’ men drop out of the playoff positions – but a battling victory at Spartak keeps the Latvians just a point behind the top eight.
It all started so well for Riga. The first period brought a pair of quickfire goals as Emils Gegeris and Mathew Maione scored just one minute apart. Spartak got one back in the second period through Vyacheslav Leshchenko and tied the scores on a Evgeny Kulik power play effort early in the third.
But Dinamo recovered to take both points thanks to a Kevin Clark goal with 10 minutes to play. Right now, just five points separates sixth-placed Vityaz from Dynamo Moscow in 11th in the West.
Slovan’s upswing continues with a fifth successive victory keeping Vladimir Orszagh’s team in a playoff place in the west.
Amur was the latest victim of the Slovak revival, falling to defeat after giving up two goals in the second period. First, Matus Sukel converted a power play to open the scoring in the 33rd minute. Then a short-handed goal from Rudolf Cerveny doubled the advantage four minutes later. Czech forward Cerveny has been in good form himself during Slovan’s winning run: today’s strike lifts him to six points in four games.
The visitor, itself improving after a difficult recent run, found a late goal from Valentin Pyanov but could not force the game into overtime.