Sibir’s new signing Shane Prince needed less than 14 minutes to open his KHL account – and he scored an impressive goal to help his team win 3-2 at Amur. CSKA’s winning streak moved to 13 games thanks to a 3-1 win over Vityaz; Moscow rival Dynamo took advantage and moved into the playoff places with a 2-0 triumph against Jokerit. Ak Bars won the Tatarstan derby in Kazan and Matt Ellison led Metallurg to a 5-4 victory over Torpedo.
It didn’t take Shane Prince long to make an impact in the KHL – 13 minutes and 44 seconds to be precise. That was the time played when the American forward potted his first goal since joining Sibir last week.
It was a strike to remember, as well. Prince collected Danil Romantsev’s feed, flicked the puck through the legs of an opponent and placed a wrister on the top shelf to give Alexei Murygin no chance and tie the game at 1-1. It wasn’t the 26-year-old’s first effort against KHL opposition, though. In pre-season he scored twice against Dinamo Minsk and twice more against Ak Bars while playing for Swiss side HC Davos.
Soon afterwards, Dmitry Sayustov scored on the power play to put Sibir up and the visitor went on to secure its fourth successive victory. Nikolai Demidov added a third in the 27th minute and Jan Kolar’s late goal for Amur was nothing more than a consolation effort.
Ellison opened the scoring in the first period, converting a fantastic Sergei Mozyakin pass, but Torpedo responded immediately through Nikita Setdikov. The game was won in the middle frame: Dennis Rasmussen, Arkhip Nekolenko and Iiro Pakarinen lifted Magnitka to a 4-1 lead (Ellison picked up an assist along the way) before Zhafyarov’s first gave Torpedo a glimmer of hope.
The glimmer shone brightly when Vladimir Galuzin’s power play goal made it 3-4, but Mozyakin and Ellison combined for a repeat performance to restore Metallurg’s two-goal advantage. Zhafyarov’s late strike could not save Torpedo.
Zaripov, now 37, had a relatively quiet game as he reached his milestone but finished on the winning side thanks to goals from Artyom Lukoyanov, Andrei Popov and Mikhail Glukhov. Lukoyanov opened the scoring late in the first period with a short-handed effort that left Neftekhimik ill-rewarded for a competitive display in the opening stages. Soon after the intermission, Popov doubled the lead and the visitor was unable to claw back into contention despite out-shooting Ak Bars two to one.
Juuso Puustinen finally got Neftekhimik on the scoreboard in the third period but time was already running out when the Finn found the net. Ak Bars put the game beyond reach with Glukhov’s empty-netter.
These two teams have faced fluctuating fortunes in recent years – so it’s surprising that Dynamo went into this game defending a seven-game winning run against the Finns. By the end of the evening, thanks to 32 saves from Alexander Yeryomenko, that improved to eight in a row.
Two summer signings did the damage. Vadim Shipachyov got the opening goal in the 18th minute. The former SKA man’s arrival before this season was meant to herald a new era for Dynamo after it suffered a rare failure to reach last season’s playoffs; while the team has continued to struggle, Shipachyov has contributed 29 (8+21) points to the cause and here he found the net in a period that the host dominated.
Dmitry Kagarlitsky got the second late in the middle frame. This was a short-handed effort as Jokerit was hit on a counter-attack. Late in the third, the Finns got the puck in the net but a coach’s challenge from Dynamo was upheld – goalie interference was the call. Dynamo returns to the playoff places ahead of Vityaz.
CSKA stretched its winning streak to 13 games with a solid home success against Vityaz. The Moscow Region club slips out of the playoff places following its defeat.
The Army Men took control in the first period, with goals from Konstantin Okulov and Greg Scott opening a 2-0 lead. However, Vityaz was not inclined to roll over and Borna Rendulic pulled one back early in the second period. CSKA had to kill three penalties to maintain its lead, but held on until the second intermission.
In the final frame the home team had the puck in the net twice more. One was ruled out by the officials but Linden Vey’s empty net goal sealed the win.