Metallurg forward Nikolai Kulemin found the net for the fifth game in a row – taking his tally to eight goals in that time – as the former Islander scored twice in a 4-1 victory at Vityaz. That result helped Dynamo Moscow move into the playoff places in the Western Conference thanks to an overtime win at Barys. SKA managed just one goal at home to Traktor, but Alexander Barabanov’s strike was enough to win the game. Leader Avtomobilist snapped a two-game losing streak with a 4-0 win at Dinamo Minsk. At the other end of the table, Sibir moved off the bottom of the Eastern Conference thanks to a shoot-out victory over Amur.
Sibir moves off the foot of the Eastern Conference for the first time this season thanks to a shoot-out win over Amur and Admiral’s loss at Salavat Yulaev. Alexander Andrievsky’s team, still suffering the after-effects of that awful 12-game losing streak at the start of the campaign, moves one point clear of the Sailors.
However, it wasn’t an easy evening for Sibir. The host took the lead in the first period with a power play goal from Alexander Sharov. Amur stubbornly remained in the game and kept Alexei Krasikov busy in the home net, while Sibir was unable to extend its advantage. Then, in the last minute of regulation, Vladislav Ushenin potted a power play goal for Amur to send the game into overtime.
There was no scoring in the additional period and the first six attempts in the shoot-out went astray. Danil Romantsev was the first to convert his penalty shot and he finished up with two successful efforts to bring Sibir a much-needed victory.
Dmitry Kagarlitsky scored his 11th goal of the season – and his third in two games – to give the Muscovites an overtime win and lift his team into the playoff places.
Kagarlitsky’s goal came 53 seconds into the extras following a 2-2 tie in Kazakhstan. However, Dynamo’s joy was tempered by news of an injury to forward Daniil Tarasov. He was helped from the ice in the second period and was taken to hospital suffering from a contusion to the chest.
Earlier in the game Barys made a fast start: inside the first minute Miks Indrasis received a penalty and Nikita Mikhailis put the home side up. Subsequently, Dynamo had a slight edge but had to wait until midway through the second period before Vladimir Bryukvin tied the scores.
In the third period Vadim Shipachyov’s power play goal gave Dynamo the lead but Dustin Boyd, who began the season with the Moscow club, popped up to frustrate his former team-mates with a tying goal five minutes from time.
The home forward had not scored in the KHL since August 2015 and recently spent a month at Salavat Yulaev’s farm club in Neftekamsk. After the game, he admitted it was a dream come true to return to Ufa and get back on the score sheet for his home town club.
Struggling Admiral arrived on the back of a 2-8 loss at SKA. The only consolation on another difficult evening for the visitor came late in the game when Sergei Konkov pulled a goal back.
In-form Nikolai Kulemin grabbed another two goals as Metallurg eased to victory at Vityaz.
The 32-year-old forward put his team in front for the second time in the game with a 38th-minute strike and added a fourth Magnitka goal late on. That took his scoring streak to five games, with eight goals in that time.
The first period of the game was goalless, although Magnitka created the bulk of the chances. Viktor Antipin put the visitor in front at the start of the second frame. Miro Aaltonen tied the scores in the 36th minute before Kulemin got the game-breaker. Matt Ellison was Metallurg’s other scorer.
Lokomotiv responded to an overtime loss at Sochi with a comfortable win in Moscow. The result opens an eight-point gap between the Railwaymen in fourth and today’s host in fifth, suggesting a clear divide between the Western Conference leaders and the teams battling to secure a playoff spot.
It didn’t take long for Loko to open the scoring. Rushan Rafikov beat Julius Hudacek after two minutes and the visitor held that 1-0 lead until the first intermission. In the second period there was another early goal with Yegor Averin doubling the advantage on the power play. Andrei Loktionov added a short-handed tally to make it 3-0; soon afterwards Loko was reduced to three skaters but Spartak struggled to get back into the game.
The home team’s leading scorer, Alexander Khokhlachyov, finally got the Red-and-Whites on the board in the 48th minute. The forward moves on to 20 points for the campaign but could not repeat his game-winning heroics of Wednesday’s win against Avtomobilist.
A solitary goal from Alexander Barabanov proved sufficient to settle this game as Traktor’s former head coach Anvar Gatyatulin faced his old club as part of SKA’s coaching staff.
Barabanov’s strike was just reward for SKA’s dominance of the first period; the home team had 11 shots to three and kept Traktor pinned in its own end for long periods. However, visiting goalie Vladislav Sukhachyov performed strongly to keep his team in the game.
In the latter stages of the game, Traktor posed more of an offensive threat. SKA faced an anxious finale as it held on to its one-goal lead but Magnus Hellberg secured his fourth shut-out of the season with 19 saves.
Avtomobilist bounced back after two successive defeats and handed Dinamo a heavy home loss.
The damage was done in the first period. Yegor Milovzorov got things rolling with two goals before Denis Bodrov added a third in the 19th minute. Home goalie Jhonas Enroth was replaced during the intermission but Mikhail Karnaukhov lasted just 22 seconds before allowing a Dan Sexton goal.
However, Karnaukhov managed to keep the visitor at bay for the rest of the game, making 17 saves. The home team, though, was unable to find a way back into contention. Vladimir Sokhatsky, continuing in place of the injured Jakub Kovar, secured his first shut-out of the season with 19 saves.
Sochi blanked struggling Severstal to record back-to-back wins and move level on points with fifth-placed Spartak in the Western Conference.
Sergei Shmelyov opened the scoring with a power play goal in the 16th minute. Youngster Andrei Altybarmakyan, famed for his winner in the 2017 All-Star Game, got his first ever KHL point with an assist.
However, Sochi struggled to put Severstal away. The home cause was not helped by Damir Rakhimullin being ejected from the game in the second period for a high hit and Konstantin Barulin needed all of his experience to keep the visitor at bay. The former Russian international made 27 saves for his shut-out; Eric O’Dell potted an empty-netter to wrap up the points.