Steve Moses was the star for Jokerit with two goals in his team’s 3-0 victory in Yaroslavl. Elsewhere, there were late goals and overtime losses for Amur and Red Star at Avtomobilist and Severstal respectively. Salavat Yulaev kept up its return to scoring form with a 4-2 win at Dinamo Riga.
There was no shortage of action in the first game of the day as Avtomobilist edged Amur in overtime following a 4-4 tie.
Five of those goals came in a frantic third period, with the visitor recovering from 1-3 down and grabbing a second equalizer in the 58th minute. Tomas Zohorna got that one to add to his assist as Kirill Rasskazov began the fight-back in the 47th minute. However, Denis Bodrov settled the issue in overtime, grabbing the winner 106 seconds into the extras.
Earlier, Avto’s imports came to the fore. Francis Pare and Nigel Dawes had the host 2-0 ahead, Dawes than assisted his team-mate for the 3-1 goal early in the third. After Vyacheslav Ushenin tied it up a 3-3, Stephane Da Costa restored the home lead, but only for a few seconds before that dramatic finale.
Red Star battled through adversity to collect a point in Cherepovets but not even a late equalizer to deny Severstal victory in the end.
The home team looked strong in the first period, taking the lead through a 14th-minute goal from Vadim Kudako. Kunlun, already hit with injuries on its current four-game road trip, lost Ondrej Vitasek during the opening frame. The Czech defenseman did not return after the intermission, leaving just five recognized blue liners to complete the evening.
Pushed into a difficult position, Red Star opted to attack. However, Dominik Furch was in impressive form in the home net. Severstal thought it had a two-goal lead late in the third when Sergei Monakhov put the puck in the net; celebrations were cut short when the officials ruled that he had encroached onto the paintwork first. Moments later, Brandon Yip fired home an Olli Palola feed to take the game to overtime. Severstal rallied, Vladislav Kodola potted the winner and Red Star was left ruing its seventh loss from eight overtime games.
Steve Moses was a goalscoring sensation for Jokerit in his first KHL campaign. As part of the powerful LoKoMo line, he potted a record 35 goals in that campaign and earned himself a call-up to Team USA’s World Championship roster along the way.
Today, no longer part of ‘LoKoMo’, he put paid to Lokomotiv. Two goals from the American led Jokerit to an assured victory that tightens the Finns’ grip on third place in the Western Conference. Moses got his first late in a first period that the home team had dominated. It was a classic breakaway goal; Loko camped in the Jokerit end but Nikita Cherepanov’s mishit shot sent Moses streaking up the ice to beat Alexander Salak.
After the intermission, Jesse Joensuu quickly extended the lead. Then midway through the game Moses struck again on the power play after Viktor Loov’s feed deceived the home defense. Janis Kalnins pushed the forward hard for the player-of-the-game honors, making 36 saves for his third shut-out of the season, but this one was all about Jokerit’s goal getter.
Salavat Yulaev made it two wins in a row – and nine goals in two games for a previously misfiring offense – to strike another blow at Riga’s playoff hopes.
The home team hoped to return to the top eight with victory here, but instead trailed 0-2 inside five minutes. Vladislav Lukin opened the scoring, then a power play goal saw Alexander Burmistrov get his first point since arriving from Ak Bars when he claimed the assist on Pyotr Khokhryakov’s third goal in two games.
Salavat had been here before against Slovan two days ago and saw the home team rally to tie it at 2-2. Dinamo might have been watching; the Latvians did exactly the same thing. Second-period markers from Kristaps Sotnieks and Vitalijs Pavlovs made it level-pegging but the last meaningful act of the stanza saw Joonas Kemppainen restore the visitor’s lead with another power play goal.
The third frame saw Dinamo spend plenty of time on offense but struggle to test Juha Metsola. Of 23 shots, only seven required a save. There were still more than five minutes to play when Kristers Gudlevskis was called to the bench for the first time, but even with an extra skater Riga struggled to get a good look at the Ufa net. And, perhaps inevitably, the gamble failed when Kemppainen put his second of the night into the empty net to condemn Dinamo to a sixth successive loss.