Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Oleg Znarok got his first victory as head coach of Spartak Moscow after a powerful second-period performance saw him get a convincing 5-2 verdict over Craig MacTavish’s Lokomotiv. Elsewhere, Vladimir Tkachyov had another big game for SKA as it edged Traktor in overtime, while Metallurg got its first win of the season by stopping Severstal. Nigel Dawes had a hand in all three goals as Avtomobilist beat Vityaz, Juha Metsola denied Kunlun Red Star in Shenzhen and Dinamo Riga got a second win of the season with a 3-0 verdict over Torpedo.

Metsola blanks Red Star

Kunlun Red Star 0 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 2 (0-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Goals: 0-1 Pashnin (Hartikainen, Zharkov 7:40); 0-2 Mayorov (Soshnikov, Burmistrov 52:50 PP)

Goalies: Hrubec – Metsola

Salavat Yulaev got swift revenge for yesterday’s shoot-out loss in Shenzhen, defeating Kunlun 2-0 in Wednesday’s meeting between the teams. Juha Metsola was the star of the show, making 36 saves to secure his first shut-out of the campaign. Last season’s top KHL goalie demonstrated his qualities once again as the home team took every opportunity to get pucks to the net but failed to find a way to score.

At the other end, Czech international Simon Hrubec made his debut for the Dragons and he was beaten in the eighth minute when Mikhail Pashnin advanced from the blue line, got away from Trevor Murphy and fired home with a backhand shot. Kunlun had chances to tie the game, but the issue was settled in the last 10 minutes. A too many men penalty on the host helped Maxim Mayorov add a second goal and Red Star’s chances of salvaging something effectively ended when Andrej Sustr was ejected from the game a couple of minutes later.

Dawes makes the difference for Avtomobilist

Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 3 Vityaz Moscow Region 2 (1-1, 1-0, 1-1)

Goals: 1-0 Dawes (Sexton, Bodrov 7:23 PP); 1-1 Shvets-Rogovoi (Jerabek, Makeyev 10:32 PP); 2-1 Macek (Dawes 32:00); 3-1 Dawes (Macek, Vasilevsky 50:16 PP); 3-2 Chernov (Yevseyenkov, Makeyev 55:20 PP)

Goalies: Kovar – Ezhov

Nigel Dawes had a hand in all three goals as Avtomobilist picked up its second win of the season. The forward scored twice and had an assist as Brooks Macek opened his KHL account in this victory over Vityaz.

Photo: 04.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg) - Vityaz (Moscow Region)

The Motormen had to battle to defeat Severstal in their opening game of the season, while Vityaz enjoyed a solid success at Traktor. Today, though, Andrei Martemyanov’s team was in control for much of the game. Dawes opened the scoring on the power play in the eighth minute, albeit after a video review. Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi cancelled out that one quickly and the first period finished with the teams at 1-1. Macek restored the lead in the second period, firing home a Dawes pass from behind the net. The German international then returned the favour, producing a fine pass for Dawes to get his second power play goal of the night midway through the third. Vityaz kept battling and Pavel Chernov reduced the deficit late on with another power play marker but Avto held on to take the win.

Quick double puts Magnitka in charge

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 4 Severstal Cherepovets 2 (0-1, 1-0, 3-1)

Goals: 0-1 Markovin (Morozov 4:04); 1-1 Yakovlev (Rasmussen, Kozun 32:30 PP); 2-1 Kulemin (Yakovlev, Vereshchagin 41:02); 3-1 Dorofeyev (Matushin 42:24); Markovin (Kodola, Alexeyev 49:24 PP); 4-2 Mozyakin (Loktionov 58:02 PP)

Goalies: Koshechkin – Podyapolsky

Metallurg recovered from its opening loss against SKA by coming from behind to see off Severstal. Two goals in little over a minute at the start of the third period settled this game and sent the visitor spinning to a second successive defeat against a highly-rated opponent from the East.

As against Avtomobilist, Severstal made a fast start and Dmitry Markovin opened the scoring in the fifth minute. The lead lasted until the middle of the second period when Yegor Yakovlev tied it up on the power play. Then came that double blast. Nikolai Kulemin redirected a Yakovlev shot past Vladislav Podyapolsky, then Pavel Dorofeyev shot home from distance as Evgeny Timkin put up the screens in front of the Severstal net.

The visitor tried to find a way back and Markovin potted his second of the game to keep the contest alive. But Sergei Mozyakin sealed the win when he finished off an Andrei Loktionov pass moments after hitting the post.

Tkachyov impresses again as SKA wins

Traktor Chelyabinsk 3 SKA St. Petersburg 4 OT (0-1, 3-2, 0-0, 0-1)

Goals: 0-1 Tkachyov (Lehtera, Plotnikov 12:43); 1-1 Sedlak (Hyka, Calof 22:54); 2-1 Calof (23:24); 3-1 Thomas (Menshikov, Karpukhin 34:05); 3-2 Kagarlitsky (Byvaltsev 35:34); 3-3 Lehtera (Barabanov 35:53); 3-4 Plotnikov (Tkachyov 61:52)

Goalies: Demchenko – Kochetkov

Vladimir Tkachyov kept up his productive start to the season with two more points as SKA went to Chelyabinsk and collected its second victory in two games. But the home team, which disappointed in a 2-4 reverse against Vityaz, put up a much stronger display before letting slip a two-goal lead to lose in overtime.

Tkachyov’s line with Jori Lehtera and Sergei Plotnikov was one of the most effective combinations in pre-season and that trio combined for the only goal of the first period. However, Traktor rallied to turn the game upside down in the middle frame. Andrew Calof had a big impact, getting an assist as Lukas Sedlak tied it up then making it 2-1 30 seconds later. The former Torpedo man is enjoying a bright start to life at his new club. Traktor’s evening got even better when Christian Thomas added a third, but within two minutes SKA had flexed its muscles and tied the scores.

Dmitry Kagarlitsky started the fightback, rifling home his first goal since arriving from Dynamo Moscow. Then Lehtera was on target to tie the scores 19 seconds later. The third period could not produce another goal but the game was won in overtime when Tkachyov sliced through the defense and fed Plotnikov between the hash marks for the decisive marker.

Znarok gets his first win with Spartak

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 2 Spartak Moscow 5 (1-0, 0-4, 1-1)

Goals: 1-0 Kudryavtsev (Alexeyev 6:38); 1-1 Khokhlachyov (26:39); 1-2 Vishnevsky (Khokhlachyov, Fyodorov 28:46 PP); 1-3 Kuteikin (Vishnevsky, Fyodorov 31:16); 1-4 Talaluyev (Nikishin 31:57); 2-4 Rattie (43:22); 2-5 Talaluyev (51:25)

Goalies: Konovalov – Bespalov

Lokomotiv began its season with an early goal at home to Spartak – but the wheels quickly came off in the second period as Oleg Znarok claimed his first win as head coach of the Red-and-Whites.

Photo: 04.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) - Spartak (Moscow)

The home team could hardly have hoped for a better start when Pavel Kudryavtsev opened the scoring in the seventh minute, and Loko went on to have the better of the opening frame without adding to that early strike.

In the second period, though, Spartak rallied in style to open a 4-1 lead – with the willingness of its defensemen to shoot making a big difference. Yakov Rylov was the first to let fly; his point was deflected into the path of Alexander Khokhlachyov to tie the scores. Then came Dmitry Vishnevsky from the blue line to make it 2-1. Two goals in a minute saw Andrei Kuteikin launch a trademark blockbuster before Ilya Talaluyev exchanged passes with Alexander Nikishin and added a fourth.

The home team needed an instant response in the third and got it when Ty Rattie forced a turnover in center ice and fired home his first goal in the KHL. Rattie, a player well known to incoming Lokomotiv head coach Craig MacTavish, is one of the guys carrying a significant weight of expectation this season. Here though, his goal counted for little: Spartak continued to create the better chances and a second goal for Talaluyev put the game firmly out of reach.

Kulyomin gets the game winner again

Dynamo Moscow 3 Dinamo Minsk 2 (0-1, 2-0, 1-1)

Goals: 0-1 Pulkkinen (17:22); 1-1 Shipachyov (23:11 PP); 2-1 Moiseyev (Mironov, Kulyomin 23:37); 3-1 Kulyomin (40:32); 3-2 Kostitsyn (Elliott, Pare 50:42 PP)

Goalies: Bocharov – Enroth

Vyacheslav Kulyomin got the game winner for the second time in three days as Dinamo Minsk’s unhappy form continued when it visited its Moscow namesake. The Belarusians suffered defeat in their opening game of the KHL season against Neftekhimik after a frustrating pre-season campaign and this loss in the Russian capital did little to lift the mood around the club.

Photo: 04.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Dynamo (Moscow) - Dinamo (Minsk)

The one bright spot for Craig Woodcroft’s team has been the form of Finnish forward Teemu Pulkkinen. Last season’s top scorer was on the mark on Tuesday and opened the scoring here today.

However, Dynamo hit back with two goals in 26 seconds at the start of the middle frame – Vadim Shipachyov on the power play to tie it up, Dmitry Moiseyev with the go-ahead goal – and never looked back. Kulyomin, the game-winner against Torpedo in the team’s first game, extended the lead at the start of the third and there was no way back for Minsk despite a power play goal from Andrei Kostitsyn in the 51st minute.

Shikin wins goalie duel in Sochi

HC Sochi 3 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 2 (0-0, 1-0, 2-2)

Goals: 1-0 Tochitsky (Shmelyov, Alexandrov 37:55 PP); 2-0 Rosen (Krikunov, Pogorishny 42:52); 2-1 Mitchell (44:42 SH); 3-1 Collins (Rosen, Ellis 49:44 PP); 3-2 Shiksatdarov (Fazleyev 52:31)

Goalies: Shikin – Barulin

Sochi started its season at home to Neftekhimik and immediately faced former goalie Konstantin Barulin. Fittingly, with two former team-mates between the piping, this had the feel of a goaltending duel between the former Russian international and Sochi’s Dmitry Shikin.

For almost two periods the scores were goalless but Sochi got in front just before the second intermission. Sergei Shmelyov’s feed from behind the net presented Nikita Tochitsky with the chance to convert the power play and send the home team to the intermission with a narrow advantage.

Early in the final frame, Robert Rosen doubled the home advantage but a short-handed goal from Zack Mitchell brought Neftekhimik right back into contention. The goal came from Andrei Altybarmakyan’s mistake on the blue line; Mitchell stole the puck and streaked up the ice to punish the lapse. But the Sochi power play proved its worth again later in the session when a fine Rosen feed set up Sean Collins to make it 3-1. Ildar Shiksatdarov scored in his first appearance of the season but could not change the final outcome.

McMillan strikes twice as Riga defeats Torpedo

Dinamo Riga 3 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 0 (0-0, 2-0, 1-0)

Goals: 1-0 McMillan (Dzerins, K Berglund 32:52 PP); 2-0 Alisauskas (Zile, Darzins 37:23); 3-0 McMillan (Redlihs, Balinskis 46:14 PP)

Goalies: Gudlevskis – Tikhomirov

Dinamo Riga got its second win of the season thanks to an assured display against Torpedo. Two power play goals from Brandon McMillan did the damage, while Kristers Gudlevskis made 25 saves to claim his first shut-out of the season.

The first period was evenly matched and goalless, but the home team took control in the middle frame. Dinamo dominated the play as Torpedo struggled to get shots on Gudlevskis. The breakthrough came in the 33rd minute when McMillan pounced on a loose puck in front of Andrei Tikhomirov’s net to fire home the opener. Nerijus Alisauskas extended the lead shortly afterwards and McMillan struck again in the third to put the game out of Torpedo’s reach.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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