Dinamo Riga came close to upsetting the defending champion in Kazan – but Jiri Sekac turned the game around late on to give Ak Bars a shoot-out verdict. There was another close game in Nizhnekamsk as CSKA won 2-1 at Neftekhimik. Torpedo eased to a 4-1 success against Slovan.
Dinamo came close to upsetting the defending champion in Kazan but Jiri Sekac had enough to end the Latvians’ four-game winning run.
For two periods this game was goalless and there was little to choose between the teams. However, Dinamo got in front in the third after Sekac took a double minor penalty and Mikelis Redlihs converted the power play chance.
Sekac was quick to atone. The Czech forward popped up with a tying goal in the 51st minute, also on the power play. Then he was the only player to succeed in the shoot-out, giving Ak Bars the verdict. The home team climbs to fourth in the East, amid a group of four clubs separated by two points. Dinamo remains seventh in the West, three points ahead of Dynamo Moscow.
CSKA recorded its ninth consecutive victory after a feisty game at Neftekhimik. Sergei Tolchinsky potted the game winner in the second period, but only after a series of fights in the first period.
The action started early: CSKA took a too many men penalty in the second minute and Neftekhimik duly took advantage to open the scoring through Adam Polasek. The next flurry of penalties arrived in the 15th minute, with Artyom Chmykhov and Bogdan Yakimov coming to blows after CSKA’s Greg Scott tangled with home goalie Ilya Ezhov. The home team’s Nikolai Timashov got an interference call from the same incident and CSKA converted its 4-on-3 power play through Linden Vey.
The bad blood continued after the goal. Mat Robinson and Alexei Volgin were sent to cool their heels after a confrontation in the 17thminute, then Pavel Karnaukhov and Emil Galimov went through a similar process seconds before the intermission.
In the second period the teams cut down on the penalties and Tolchinsky grabbed the winning goal after 34 minutes. The final frame saw CSKA put the squeeze on the home offense to stifle the game and secure the victory.
Torpedo snapped a three-game losing streak as Slovan missed the chance to close on a top-eight place.
The visitor, looking to build on Thursday’s win at Neftekhimik, made a lively start and outshot Torpedo 10-5 in the opening period. However, there was no reward for that pressure and the home team went ahead early in the second frame thanks to Damir Zhafyarov.
Slovan continued to create opportunities, but Stanislav Galimov had the answers and at the other end Mikhail Varnakov doubled the lead before the second intermission. Daniil Ilyin added a third midway through the final frame before Eric Gelinas denied Galimov a shut-out with a late consolation goal for Slovan but Ilyin got his second of the night to wrap up the win.