Andy Potts Andy Potts
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SKA powered to a 5-2 win over top-of-the-table Avtomobilist thanks to a hat-trick from Maxim Karpov in St. Petersburg. Avangard cut the gap on the Eastern Conference leader with new signing Viktor Stalberg getting a debut goal in a 3-0 win over Amur. Nikolai Kulemin also got a hat-trick, and needed barely five minutes to complete his treble at Spartak; Metallurg still had to rely on a last-gasp tying goal and a shoot-out win in Moscow.

Valk goal lifts Barys to third

Sibir Novosibirsk 1 Barys Astana 2 OT (0-1, 1-0, 0-0, 0-1)

Barys climbed to third in the Eastern Conference thanks to Curtis Valk’s overtime winner in Novosibirsk, but the home team was left to contemplate a fifth successive loss and remains rooted to the foot of the table.

The visitor made a fast start. Andre Petersson opened the scoring in the fourth minute and moments later the on-ice officials thought Barys might have made it 2-0. A video review showed that the puck did not cross the line, though, and the home team got a reprieve.

The second period saw Sibir seize the initiative. The host dominated the play but got its sole reward midway through the frame when Dmitry Sayustov converted a 5-on-3 power play. Gilbert Brule collected an assist, his first point since joining Sibir. There was no further scoring in the third period, but Barys claimed the points when Valk scored off a Nikita Mikhailis assist in the fourth minute of overtime.

Trubachyov rescues Severstal

Severstal Cherepovets 2 Admiral Vladivostok 1 SO (0-1, 0-0, 1-0, 0-0, 1-0)

This clash of the outsiders went to a shootout before Yury Trubachyov settled the outcome in Severstal’s favor.

Earlier, Admiral claimed a first-period lead when Konstantin Glazachev beat Dominik Furch in the seventh minute. Severstal went on to dominate the game, outshooting the Sailors 41-19 over 60 minutes, but it wasn’t until late in the third period that Trubachyov finally solved Anton Krasotkin and tied the scores in the 58th minute.

SKA shows its class in battle of the leaders

SKA St. Petersburg 5 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 2 (1-0, 3-0, 1-2)

The rise of Avtomobilist this season has been a refreshing challenge to the traditional powerhouses of the KHL. The Yekaterinburg team suffered just one loss in 26 games prior to the international break, racing to 50 points, eight better than anyone else in the competition.

Photo: 12.11.18. KHL Championship 2018-2019. SKA (St.Petersburg) - Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg)

However, the league’s other big hitters were unlikely to lie down and allow the Motormen to roll along unhindered. On Monday, SKA sounded a reminder that the old order still has something to say this season. And a hat-trick from Maxim Karpov powered the Petersburg team to a convincing victory.

Although head coach Ilya Vorobyov was away on international duty in Finland at the weekend, he still had plenty of top-drawer talent that was rested for the Karjala Cup games. One of those players, Nail Yakupov, showed that he had recharged his batteries during the break and opened the scoring in the fifth minute. Avtomobilist responded by taking the game to SKA in the opening frame and was arguably a little unfortunate to be down at the intermission. In the second period, though, the host took control.

Three goals in less than three minutes put this game beyond Avto’s reach. Karpov got the second on a power play in the 37th minute – the assists came from Nikita Gusev and Anton Belov, two players of proven international caliber who were not required in Helsinki. Then, in the final minute of the frame, Alexei Kruchinin added a third before Karpov’s second of the game made it 4-0.

A power play combination involving Gusev and Pavel Datsyuk saw Karpov complete his treble midway through the third period; home goalie Igor Shestyorkin saw his shut-out slip away late on as Dan Sexton and Nigel Dawes got consolation goals for Avtomobilist.

The game also saw a little piece of KHL history. SKA’s 17-year-old forward Vasily Podkolzin became the first player born in 2001 to appear in the league. The youngster, born in June 2001, had three shifts for 2:07 minutes of ice time and one shot on goal.

Bright start for Stalberg

Avangard Omsk 3 Amur Khabarovsk 0 (1-0, 1-0, 1-0)

Viktor Stalberg made a scoring start to his Avangard career when he potted the third goal in this comfortable home victory.

Photo: 12.11.18. KHL Championship 2018-2019. Avangard (Omsk) - Amur (Khabarovsk)

The Swede, who joined the Hawks from Switzerland’s Zug EV during the international break, previously had three goals in 14 games for Atlant back in 2012-13. His fourth KHL goal arrived four minutes into the final frame when he got on the end of a Kirill Petrov feed to steer the puck past Alexei Murygin in the visitor’s net.

Murygin, making his first appearance for Amur following his return to Khabarovsk last week, had a less enjoyable debut. He was beaten in the 10th minute by Denis Zernov’s power play goal and saw Sergei Shirokov redirect a Evgeny Medvedev slap shot past him in the second period.

Lokomotiv avenges last week’s loss

Vityaz Moscow Region 2 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 4 (1-1, 1-2, 0-1)

Lokomotiv took a victory from Podolsk exactly one week after losing 3-4 in the same building. The result sees the visitor tighten its grip on fourth place in the Western Conference with a win that leaves Vityaz looking nervously at the teams just outside the playoff places.

The visitor opened the scoring in the fifth minute through Danil Yurtaikin, but Miro Aaltonen soon tied it up for Vityaz. In the second period, Loko built up a more powerful lead. Artur Kayumov made it 2-1 early in the frame, then Vladislav Kartayev added a third. Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi pulled one back for the home team, but Lokomotiv was never in danger of losing its grip on the game and added a fourth through Nikita Cherepanov in the 42nd minute.

Lokomotiv is now just one point behind third-placed Jokerit. Vityaz remains in eighth place on 23 points, two clear of Dynamo Moscow and three ahead of Slovan.

Kulemin scores fast, Antipin scores in the nick of time

Spartak Moscow 4 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 5 SO (1-3, 2-0, 1-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Nikolai Kulemin blasted a hat-trick in just five minutes – but Metallurg was 12 seconds away from defeat before sneaking a shoot-out verdict thanks to Pavel Varfolomeyev.

Photo: 12.11.18. KHL Championship 2018-2019. Spartak (Moscow) - Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)

Former Islanders and Maple Leafs forward Kulemin dominated the first period of this game, scoring on 10:11, 13:14 and 15:43. Matt Ellison assisted on two of those goals. Spartak, though, was not silenced. In between, Vladislav Provolnev got one back for the host and in the second period the 23-year-old defenseman got his second of the night. Kaspars Daugavins tied the game a minute later.

Spartak went in front for the first time midway through the third period on a goal from Ilya Zubov – Daugavins among the helpers there – and it was almost enough to win the game. There were just 12 seconds left when Viktor Antipin forced overtime with a dramatic late equalizer. Then the shoot-out went Metallurg’s way, with Varfolomeyev settling the outcome.

Winning start for Sidorenko

Dinamo Minsk 3 Traktor Chelyabinsk 1 (2-1, 1-0, 0-0)

Andrei Sidorenko got off to a winning start as Dinamo head coach – and his arrival made an immediate impact on this game. The home team, which parted company with Gordie Dwyer last week, raced into a 2-0 lead with just five minutes played and held on for its third win in four.

Sergei Kostitsyn opened the scoring after 43 seconds and Dmitry Buinitsky doubled the lead on 5:10 as Dinamo wasted no time settling in at the Chizovka Arena, a temporary home for the team. Chizovka, more regularly used by Yunost Minsk of the Belarusian League, was built for the 2014 World Championship but had never previously staged a KHL game.

Traktor responded with a goal from Artyom Borodkin late in the first period, but Artyom Volkov’s second-stanza strike restored Dinamo’s two-goal cushion.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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