Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Sergei Tolchinsky fired CSKA to a 16th consecutive victory as the league leader won 3-1 at Sochi. Elsewhere, Salavat Yulaev handed a debut to Alexander Burmistrov but the Ufa team’s misfiring offense failed to score once again in a 0-1 loss at Avangard. Sergei Mozyakin played his 700th game in the KHL but Barys spoiled that party with a 3-2 win over Metallurg. Dynamo Moscow won its fifth game in a row, Lokomotiv edged Red Star in a shoot-out.

Barys spoils Mozyakin’s party

Barys Astana 3 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 2 (0-0, 2-0, 1-2)

Sergei Mozyakin’s 700th KHL appearance ended in defeat as Barys snapped Magnitka’s four-game winning run. Mozyakin became only the second player to reach the 700-game mark since the league was formed in 2008-09 (team-mate Evgeny Biryukov got there last week), but the Kazakh team was in no mood to contribute to the party.

Barys handed a debut to new signing Viktor Svedberg and the Swedish blue-liner came straight into a defense that allowed seven goals in its previous game. This time, things went rather better for the home team. After a scoreless opening, Pavel Akolzin made it 1-0 early in the second period. Matt Frattin potted a short-handed tally late in the frame to double the lead and Nikita Mikhailis added a third early in the final stanza.

That wasn’t quite the end of the story. Metallurg hit back to set up a frantic finale. Roman Lyubimov made it 1-3 with 12 minutes to play and the visitor’s pressure told late on as Iiro Pakarinen made it a one-goal game on 58:18.

Brule at the double to sink Admiral

Sibir Novosibirsk 3 Admiral Vladivostok 1 (2-1, 1-0, 0-0)

Gilbert Brule’s arrival at Sibir has helped to turnaround the team’s form. Today he scored twice to pace a 3-1 home victory. That moved him to 10 points from 12 games and made it six wins from seven for the Eastern Conference team.

Admiral, rooted to the foot of the table, sprang an early surprise when Alexander Streltsov opened the scoring in the fifth minute. He converted a power play chance after Alexander Loginov took a minor but the Sibir man recovered to have a hand in all three of his team’s goals.

Loginov began his redemption with a helper on Vladimir Peshekhonov’s tying goal in the 12th minute. Late in the first frame he contributed again as Brule’s first gave Sibir the lead. Then a second period power play saw Loginov and Brule combine again to make it 3-1. The result lifts Sibir into 11th place in the East after being bottom of the table for so long. Now there are hopes of a playoff push in Novosibirsk.

Kazan prospect Kara nets the winner

Ak Bars Kazan 4 Severstal Cherepovets 2 (2-2, 1-0, 1-0)

Severstal ended a long losing streak at the weekend and began this game like a team determined to make up for lost time. Two goals in the first five minutes stunned the defending champion, but it wasn’t long before Ak Bars responded in decisive fashion.

This was a good game to be on time. Vladislav Kodola and Ruslan Karlin had Severstal 2-0 in front with 4:13 played. The home fans barely had time to assess what was going wrong, though, before Artyom Lukoyanov’s goal started the fightback 36 seconds later.

After that, the game followed the form book. Alexei Potapov tied the scores before the first intermission and 20-year-old forward Vladislav Kara put Ak Bars ahead late in the second session with his first KHL goal. A late strike from Jiri Sekac wrapped up the scoring.

Shoot-out win for Loko

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 2 Kunlun Red Star 1 SO (1-1, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0)

After 60 minutes where goalies ruled the roost, Lokomotiv found its shooting range in the post-game shoot-out to bounce back from Saturday’s loss and edge past Red Star.

The Chinese team, bidding to strengthen its position in the Eastern Conference playoff race, took the lead in the 13th minute. Justin Fontain stripped Yegor Fateyev off the puck in the Loko zone and opened the scoring with a well-placed wrister. Defenseman Staffan Kronwall, famed for his slapshot, tied the scores with an uncharacteristic goal in the 19th minute. He circled behind the net and beat Alexander Lazushin on the top shelf with a finish that would have delighted any forward.

That was the end of the scoring: Loko created the bulk of the chances, especially in the second period, but could not find a way past Lazushin again. In the shoot-out, though, the visiting goalie was finally beaten. Lokomotiv scored three of its attempts, Red Star failed to hit the target. Daniil Apalkov was credited with the winner.

Tolchinsky’s fast start

HC Sochi 1 CSKA Moscow 3 (0-2, 0-0 1-1)

Sergei Tolchinsky wasted no time in taking control of this game as CSKA won for the 16th time in a row.

The 23-year-old forward, back at CSKA after three seasons within the Hurricanes organization, struck twice in the fifth minute of this game to put the Army Men in command. That flurry took Tolchinsky to six goals for the season, a solid return for a player largely restricted to a bottom six role.

Once in front, CSKA never looked like relinquishing its lead. The visitor was well ahead on the shot count and had more time on offense than Sochi. However, it wasn’t until the closing minutes that the scoreline changed. Ivan Telegin shot home a third in the 58thminute but seconds after that Stepan Starkov beat Ilya Sorokin to net a consolation goal for the host.

Burmistrov debuts, Ufa still fires blanks

Avangard Omsk 1 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 0 (0-0, 1-0, 0-0)

Salavat Yulaev handed a debut to Alexander Burmistrov, signed from Ak Bars during the week, but the Ufa team’s problems in front of goal continued. Burmistrov, who arrived in Kazan last season in time to help win the Gagarin Cup, but his first appearance for his new club ended in yet another blank scoreline. In its last six games, the Ufa team has failed to score on four occasions.

Photo: 03.12.18. KHL Championship 2018-2019. Avangard (Omsk) - Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)

Today’s failure wasn’t for the want of effort. Igor Bobkov made 29 saves in the Avangard net to secure his team’s slender advantage. But all too often we saw passages of play like the one late midway through the third period when Salavat had a minute or so in Avangard territory but failed to get a meaningful shot at Bobkov’s net.

Avangard, meanwhile, did find a way to goal. In the 35th minute, Mikhail Fisenko broke the deadlock when he converted a classic counter-attack chance. Cody Franson’s pass from his own zone turned defense into offense, Fisenko was through two on one and did it all himself to beat Juha Metsola for the game-winner.

Five in a row for Dynamo

Dynamo Moscow 3 Amur Khabarovsk 2 OT (1-0, 1-1, 0-1, 1-0)

Juuso Hietanen scored the overtime winner as Dynamo extended its winning streak to five games. The Blue-and-Whites look to be responding to the work of head coach Vladimir Krikunov and are now up to sixth in the Western Conference.

Photo: 03.12.18. KHL Championship 2018-2019. Dynamo (Moscow) - Amur (Khabarovsk)

However, the host made hard work of securing this win after jumping into a 2-0 lead. Vadim Shipachyov opened the scoring in the ninth minute and Evgeny Mozer doubled the lead on a delayed penalty early in the second stanza. However, Amur belied its lowly position in the East and hit back to tie the game thanks to a goal and an assist from Tomas Zohorna. The Czech forward set up Danil Faizullin for a power play goal to level the scores in the 46th minute.

However, Dynamo found a way to see the game out and claimed victory on Hietanen’s fifth goal of the season in the third minute of overtime. Shipachyov contributed a helper, taking him to 26 assists for the season.

Spartak enjoys a trip to Mytishchi

Spartak Moscow 3 Dinamo Riga 2 SO (1-0, 0-0, 1-2, 0-0, 1-0)

Spartak decamped to Mytishchi, playing a run of games in Atlant’s old arena on the outskirts of Moscow, and the new surroundings inspired the team to victory. However, Dinamo made it hard for the host, twice tying the game in the third period before going down in a shoot-out.

Photo: 03.12.18. KHL Championship 2018-2019. Spartak (Moscow) - Dinamo (Riga)

A power play goal for Dmitry Kalinin seconds before the first intermission was all that separated the teams for much of this game. Dinamo tied it up in the 49th minute through Brandon McMillan and the teams traded goals in the space of two minutes before the end of the game. Artyom Fyodorov restored Spartak’s lead, Kevin Clark responded with an assist from fit-again Linus Videll, Riga’s most dangerous forward.

In the shoot-out, Ilya Zubov converted the first attempt to tip the scales towards Spartak. Robin Hanzl potted a second for the host and Mathew Maione’s successful effort was not enough to save the Latvians.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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