Lokomotiv got its third victory over CSKA this season, with the Army Men’s former head coach Dmitry Kvartalnov leading his current team to a 2-1 verdict in Yaroslavl. Curt Fraser took charge of Kunlun Red Star for the first time but was denied a win by Dmitry Kugryshev of Salavat Yulaev. SKA thumped Dinamo Minsk, Dinamo Riga kept its playoff hopes alive and Nigel Dawes had a hand in all three goals as Avtomobilist beat Traktor 3-0.
Admiral handed Avangard a hefty defeat as the Chernyshev Division leader suffered something of a hangover from the All-Star Game.
Omsk head coach Bob Hartley and four of his players were part of the Team Chernyshev outfit that won both the Skill Show and the All-Star Game at the weekend, but their return to regular season action was less than stellar. Admiral took control in the first period with goals from Vojtech Polak and Vladimir Butuzov. Avangard, defending a slender two-point advantage over Barys in the Chernyshev Division, pulled a goal back through David Desharnais early in the second period but Ivan Mishchenko restored Admiral’s advantage. Alexander Chernikov added a fourth late on.
The win lifts Admiral off the foot of the Eastern Conference; the Sailors are tied on 33 points with Amur but have more wins in regulation time.
Sibir recorded its fourth straight victory as Amur slumped to the foot of the Eastern Conference table following a ninth successive loss.
The visitor quickly jumped to a 2-0 lead here thanks to early markers from Danil Romantsev and Jordan Caron. However, Amur drew level thanks to goals either side of the first intermission from Stanislav Katsuba and Artyom Zhelezkov. Katsuba’s goal was his first since making his KHL debut in 2013/14 and came in his 69th appearance.
Sibir, though, was not to be denied. Late in the middle session, Shane Prince and Jukka Peltola combined for Konstantin Alexeyev’s game-winning goal. Romantsev got his second of the game early in the third to put the matter beyond doubt. The Novosibirsk team moves to 44 points, level with ninth-placed Red Star and seven points adrift of the playoff spots with 11 games to play.
Curt Fraser’s first game behind the bench for Red Star almost brought a surprise win over Salavat Yulaev. However, a late equalizer from Dmitry Kugryshev saved the visitor and the same player went on to secure a shoot-out winner.
The hugely experienced North American was able to select fit-again Finnish forward Veli-Matti Savinainen for his first game since Dec. 18 and also replaced goalie Tomi Karhunen with Alexander Lazushin. After a tough first period that saw Ufa go 1-0 up thanks to a Vyacheslav Solodukhin goal late in the session, Fraser’s first intermission team talk inspired a big lift in the home performance. Goals from Greg Squires and Olli Palola, both converting rebounds from Sam Lofquist slapshots, put the Chinese team in front.
It was not destined to last, though. A power play goal from Kugryshev denied Red Star a badly-needed win and even though Lofquist put Kunlun ahead in the shoot-out, the points went to Salavat Yulaev. The visitor snapped a three-game losing streak; the host gets to try again in Thursday’s rematch.
Nigel Dawes had a hand in all three goals as Eastern Conference leader Avtomobilist halted playoff chasing Traktor’s winning run. The visitor had tightened its grip on eighth place with a three-game winning streak ahead of Tuesday’s encounter, but made little impact in Yekaterinburg as Jakub Kovar produced his seventh shut-out of the season.
Traktor got an early boost with a power play after just 15 seconds but could not capitalize. The first period produced few opportunities at either end but Dawes showed just why he’s riding high in the scoring charts when he pounced on a Stephane Da Costa feed to open the scoring in the 17th minute.
Subsequently, Dawes turned provider. Early in the second period he picked up an assist as Francis Pare doubled the home lead then, just after the half-hour, he and Da Costa were both involved as Alexei Vasilevsky picked up a power play goal. From that point on, Avto saw out the game with few scares.
Barys moved to third in the Eastern Conference thanks to this win at Metallurg. More importantly, perhaps, the Kazakhs are now level on points with Chernyshev Division leader Avangard but have four games in hand. Only once before has Barys won its division and claimed a seeded spot in the playoffs; the season could match the 2013-14 campaign.
After a goalless first period, Alexei Maklyukov broke the deadlock in the 27th minute following a long spell of Barys pressure in the Magnitka zone. Darren Dietz then doubled the advantage midway through the game. A power play goal got the host back in contention with 10 minutes left on the clock, but Dustin Boyd fired into an empty net to secure the win for Barys.
For Metallurg, this was a second loss in three or, for a more optimistic assessment, a second loss in 11. However, Josef Jandac may be concerned that, just as against CSKA last week, his team is struggling to make an impact against the other teams likely to go deep into the playoffs.
For the third time this season, Dmitry Kvartalnov celebrated victory against his former club as Lokomotiv defeated the league leader. The Railwaymen had already won in Moscow back in September and claimed a 1-0 verdict on home ice on January 8 before making it three out of three today.
The game was a hard-fought battle. With CSKA already assured of a playoff place and Lokomotiv potentially one win away from joining them, this had a feel of post-season hockey about it. Chances were hard to come by and the opening goal arrived in the last second of the first period. Brandon Kozun picked out a fine pass, from left-hand boards to right face-off spot through a crowded slot; Maxim Osipov gave it the finish it deserved. In the second period, Lokomotiv extended its lead through Evgeny Korotkov but Mat Robinson reduced the arrears at the halfway stage.
The third period saw Loko close out the win. Although the home team had just two attempts on goal in the entire frame, and only one of those on target, the Yaroslavl defense was hugely impressive in stifling CSKA’s game. The visitor spent just 3:29 on the attack and struggled to get good looks at Ilya Konovalov’s net as the Railwaymen consolidated their grip on third place in the West.
SKA closed to within three points of CSKA at the top of the table – and the Petersburg team has a game in hand on its rival for the regular season title.
This home game with Dinamo Minsk was as routine a victory as Ilya Vorobyov and his players could have hoped for. SKA made a lightning start, scoring twice in the first four minutes as Anton Belov and Pavel Datsyuk put the Belarusians under pressure from the get-go. Alexander Barabanov added a third before the first intermission and the outcome felt pretty clear with 40 minutes still to play.
The host consolidated its advantage in the second period with Barabanov getting his second of the game after Nikolai Prokhorkin had made it 4-0. Dinar Khafizullin took his contribution to three assists for the evening as Minsk struggled to keep up. The visitor restored some pride in the third period, getting the only goal of the final frame in the 49th minute thanks to Jonathon Blum.
Two goals from Lauris Darzins lifted Dinamo Riga to a victory that keeps it in touch with the playoff pack. The Latvians move to 50 points, three behind eighth-placed HC Sochi. Both teams have 11 games to play.
Dinamo went ahead late in the first period when Darzins opened the scoring on a breakaway created by a deft no-look pass from Mikelis Redlihs. But the home team never looked in control of the game and Slovan rallied in the second session. Adam Liska made it 1-1 and, after the Latvians regained the lead through Martins Dzierkals, Kyle Chipchura struck to send the teams into the intermission at 2-2.
Captain Darzins was the difference-maker, though. Early in the final frame he combined with Redlihs and Brandon McMillan to carve through the Slovan defense and grab the winning goal. Riga snaps a five-game losing run, Slovan is now eight without a win.