Jakub Kovar returned to action after missing six games through injury and the Czech goalie produced a shut-out as Avtomobilist won at Salavat Yulaev. The top forward of the day was Matthew Frattin, who picked up 2+2 as Barys won 5-3 at Severstal. Admiral won its second game in a row with a 4-2 success over Sochi.
Admiral kept up its good record against Sochi with a confident performance at home to the Black Sea team.
Czech defenseman Karel Kubat opened the scoring in the fifth minute, collecting his third goal of the season. That heralded a tight first period, but a power play goal from Finnish blue liner Jyrki Jokipakka tied it up seconds before the intermission.
Admiral responded with a power play goal of its own in the second period when Sergei Konkov restored the home lead; Kubat, this time, was among the assists. That advantage increased early in the third thanks to Vladimir Butuzov before Damir Rakhimullin pulled one back for Sochi. Konstantin Glazachev made it safe with two minutes to play, scoring into an empty net.
Jakub Kovar returned from injury – and immediately showed Avtomobilist what it had been missing. The Czech goalie had been out of action since the international break, during which time Avto had lost five games from six and been overtaken by CSKA at the top of the KHL table.
With Kovar back between the piping, though, things improved at once. Kovar returned with a shut-out in Ufa. He made 32 saves in total to help get his team back to winning ways. However, it took some time for the visitor to get ahead. The first period saw Avtomobilist dominate the game, topping the shot count 19-6 and spending twice as much time on the attack as Salavat Yulaev could manage. But the go-ahead goal was still missing.
In the second period, at last, Kovar & Co motored ahead. Alexander Kucheryavenko opened the scoring on the power play; Dan Sexton’s assist brought up 200 points in the KHL for the American forward. A mistake from home goalie Juha Metsola helped Avtomobilist complete the scoring in the final frame; the Finn’s misplaced clearance went straight to Nigel Dawes and he set up Anatoly Golyshev to make it 2-0. Despite Metsola’s blunder, he managed an impressive 44 saves on the night; Dawes’ productive streak extends to five games and totals three goals and three assists.
Barys withstood a Severstal fightback to secure only its second win in six games with Matthew Frattin picking up two goals and two assists.
The Canadian started early, opening the scoring in the sixth minute. Severstal’s Yury Trubachyov cancelled that one out, but Barys got a grip on the game in the middle frame. Anton Sagadeyev’s short handed effort in the 29th minute restored the visitor’s lead, then Frattin collected helpers on goals from Nikita Mikhailis and Darren Dietz.
Severstal, anxious to end a run of five losses, fought hard in the third period. Matej Stransky and Ruslan Karlin struck early in the session to make it a one-goal game but, inevitably, it was that man Frattin who applied the finishing touch with an empty net goal to seal the deal for Barys.