It was a good day for fans in Moscow as Spartak handed an emphatic 1-5 defeat to Jokerit – Kristian Vesalainen’s goal did little to help the Finns and Dynamo edged Red Star to make it six straight wins. Salavat Yulaev recovered its scoring form with a 5-2 win at Slovan but Metallurg failed to score in 65 minutes of play at Sibir and lost in a shoot-out. Dinamo Riga also suffered in a shoot-out at Sochi, while Lokomotiv moves to third in the West with a 3-0 win over Amur.
Sometimes it’s great to be a goalie. For Sibir’s Alexei Krasikov, today was one of those times. The 22-year-old made 39 saves to shut out Metallurg before claiming the win in a shoot-out in Novosibirsk.
Tight, low-scoring games bring out the best in this netminder; his previous shut-out this season came just over two weeks ago when he stopped 29 shots in a 1-0 victory over Salavat Yulaev. But this game was even tighter, with neither side able to score in 65 minutes of action. The shoot-out went to the host after successful conversions from Gilbert Brule and Jukka Peltola; Iiro Pakarinen was the only man to get past Krasikov.
The home goalie was busiest in the second period as Magnitka looked to take control. The visitor led the shot count 18-3 over those 20 minutes but the scoresheet remained stubbornly blank. The rest of the game was rather more even, with Metallurg’s Vasily Koshechkin making 23 saves at the other end as he returned after a three-game rest.
Alexei Krasikov was not the only goalie to enjoy a shut-out – former Sibir man Alexander Salak matched that feat for Lokomotiv. The Czech international made 33 saves in this home victory over Amur as the Railwaymen made it five wins from six and climbed above Jokerit to third in the Western Conference.
Salak won a goaltending duel against his fellow Czech Marek Langhamer who was making his Amur debut. It wasn’t long before the former Kometa Brno man was reflecting on the first goal on him in the KHL: Loko’s young guns combined and Nikita Cherepanov stuffed home the rebound from a Georgy Ivanov shot in the third minute. Seconds later, Petri Kontiola’s dish set up Danil Yurtaikin for a one-timer to double the lead and Langhamer was out of the game.
Incoming goalie Evgeny Alikin fared better but he was beaten by Kontiola late in the second period. That secured a comfortable win for Lokomotiv.
Dinamo Riga’s playoff prospects took a knock as the Latvians slipped to a fifth successive loss. This time, the shoot-out verdict went to Sochi and helped the Black Sea team tighten its grip on seventh place ahead of this evening’s opponent.
The home team looked to be cruising at times. Dmitry Arkhipov’s sixth-minute opener was the only score of the first period, Vadim Khomitsky doubled the lead early in the second. But late in the game, Riga rallied. Two home penalties saw the visitor go all out and play 6-on-4, and twice Dinamo got the rewards. Linus Videll had a goal and an assist, Mathew Maione was the other scorer.
That took us to a shoot-out. Videll followed up his goal with a successful attempt on Dmitry Shikin but Sochi produced a perfect sequence to convert four attempts from four. When Maione’s effort was saved, the win went to the host.
Dynamo stretched its winning streak to six games after edging Red Star by the odd goal in seven. The in-form Muscovites had to come from behind twice but the firepower of Andrei Alexeyev and Dmitry Kagarlitsky made the difference.
Red Star got the only goal of the first period after 10 minutes when Olli Palola applied the redirect to Tobias Viklund’s point shot. The visitor claimed a second goal just before the intermission when the puck made it into the net along with Taylor Beck, Ilya Nikulin and home goalie Alexander Yeryomenko; the officials were not impressed and disallowed the attempt.
The middle frame saw the host turn it around. Alexeyev potted his first of the game to tie it up, only for Veli-Matti Savinainen to burst through off a Wojtek Wolski feed and restore Kunlun’s lead. But Kagarlitsky and Igor Makarov both scored to put Dynamo in front for the first time.
The host never lost that lead. Alexeyev got his second on the power play, with Kagarlitsky collecting a second assist in the game, and the two-goal cushion was enough to secure the win. Justin Fontain got one back for Red Star but could not salvage anything from the game.
This game was transformed in the third period as Spartak stepped up a gear to turn a close-fought battle into an emphatic win.
There was little sign of what was to come when Kristian Vesalainen shot Jokerit ahead in the 28th minute. The promising Finn claimed his second goal in three appearances since arriving in the KHL from the Winnipeg Jets organization.
However, Spartak replied at once through Alexander Khokhlachyov and the scores remained tied at the second intermission. Then the host took control. Khokhlachyov’s second, a power play strike, put Spartak up in the 45th minute. Artyom Fyodorov assisted on both of those goals and the roles were reversed when he made it 3-1 with 10 minutes left. Further scores from Ilya Zubov and Alexander Osipov – the latter scoring shorthanded into an empty net in the 57th minute – completed a convincing victory for the Red-and-Whites.
Salavat Yulaev got back on the goal trail at last, snapping a four-game losing streak and banishing some of those blues in front of the net. The visitor made light work of the suspension for leading scorer Anton Burdasov, with Linus Omark returning to the line-up and contributing two assists.
When confidence is low, a fast start can make all the difference and Ufa scored twice in the sixth minute to achieve just that. Teemu Hartikainen and Yegor Dubrovsky got the visitor off to a flyer as Marek Ciliak was quickly summoned to the bench in favor of Jakub Stepanek. But Slovan recovered to tie the game in the second period: Rudolf Cerveny and Adam Liska scored twice in a minute to raise hopes that its own losing streak might be coming to an end. Instead, though, Omark’s two assists saw Pyotr Khokhryakov and Dmitry Kugryshev restore that two-goal lead. Kugryshev added a fifth to complete the win; Slovan slipped to an eighth successive loss.