Andy Potts Andy Potts
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A shut-out from Ilya Sorokin helped CSKA to a 3-0 win at SKA. The Muscovites move to the top of the Western Conference, one point ahead of Spartak and Vityaz. The big game in the East saw Ak Bars edge Metallurg 2-1 thanks to a game-winning display from Danis Zaripov. Torpedo won a thriller at home to Jokerit, coming from 1-4 down to get a 6-5 overtime verdict. Admiral began the day with a 3-0 win at home to Barys.

Glazachev stars for Admiral

Admiral Vladivostok 3 Barys Nur-Sultan 0 (1-0, 0-0, 2-0)

Goals: 1-0 Vikharev (Glazachev, Voronin 1:28); 2-0 Glazachev (Voronin, Dyakov 44:35); 3-0 Glazachev (59:07 empty net)

Goalies: Olkinuora – Pasquale

Konstantin Glazachev was the star for Admiral as it sank Barys for the second time this season. The team’s captain scored twice and had an assist on Denis Vikharev’s opener as the Sailors improved on their 3-1 win in Kazakhstan earlier in the campaign.

The forward’s first contribution came within 90 seconds of the start when he produced a terrific pass off the boards to find Denis Vikharev at the far post for the opening goal. In the second period, it was the goalies’ turn to shine: between them, Juho Olkinuora and Eddie Pasquale stopped 32 shots as Admiral held that one-goal lead.

Glazachev and his line-mates Vikharev and Kirill Voronin would have the final say, however. That third line combined for two further goals in the final stanza, both converted by Glazachev to give Admiral a convincing victory.

Zaripov inspires Ak Bars to victory

Ak Bars Kazan 2 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 1 (1-0, 0-0, 1-1)

Goals: 1-0 Wikstrand (Zaripov 9:56); 1-1 Loktionov (Antipin 49:08 SH); 2-1 Zaripov (49:45)

Goalies: Reideborn – Koshechkin

Danis Zaripov made the difference as Ak Bars won its first home game of the season – and claimed a significant scalp with victory over Kharlamov Division rival Metallurg.

Photo: 13.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Ak Bars (Kazan) - Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)

Ak Bars took the lead midway through the first period. Zaripov robbed Grigory Dronov of the puck behind the visitor’s net and sent a pass to Mikael Wikstrand between the hash marks. The Swedish defenseman made no mistake to record his second goal in two games.

Subsequently we saw another example of how Metallurg is struggling to get goals this season. The team’s previous game in Tatarstan ended in a shut-out loss at Neftkehimik and here in Kazan Adam Reideborn was eager to repeat that punishment. The Swedish goalie’s finest moment came in the second period with a breathtaking stick save to rob Sergei Mozyakin of a certain goal.

Magnitka did get the puck in the net early in the third when Ak Bars turned over the puck in its own end. Brian O’Neill took it to the net but found Reideborn’s pads; Brandon Kozun stuffed it over the line but only after infringing on the goalie. The video review chalked off the goal and Metallurg suffered more misfortune when youngster Ilya Avramenko fired one off the Ak Bars post.

The tying goal came in unlikely circumstances with Andrei Loktionov scoring a short-handed effort. Viktor Antipin lifted the puck out of the Metallurg zone and Loktionov – who played under Ak Bars head coach Dmitry Kvartalnov at Lokomotiv last season – raced away, judged the bounce perfectly and beat Reideborn from close range. But there was still a penalty to kill and after Vasily Koshechkin pulled off one fine save to keep the scores level, Danis Zaripov shot home his third of the season to restore the home lead after just 36 seconds.

That proved decisive: Zaripov’s two-point haul was enough to give Ak Bars the points, Magnitka’s last surge produced one more chance for Kozun but no goal to deny Kazan in its first home game of the season.

Torpedo rallies to win a thriller

Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 6 Jokerit Helsinki 5 OT (0-2, 2-2, 3-1, 1-0)

Goals: 0-1 Kontiola (Haapala 6:24); 0-2 Pihlstrom (Lehtonen 15:16); 0-3 Lehtonen (Jensen, Grant 22:00); 1-3 Alyayev (Howden, Barantsev 31:27 PP); 1-4 Ikonen (Oksanen, Regin 33:36); 2-4 Orlov (Howden, Urakov 39:47); 3-4 Zhafyarov (Genoway, Schroeder 48:05 PP); 3-5 Grant (Regin, Lehtonen 50:57); 4-5 Belevich (Varnakov, Misharin 52:42); 5-5 Varnakov (59:00); 6-5 Barantsev (Urakov 63:04)

Goalies: Lindbak (Tikhomirov 33:36) – Niemi

This was a classic game of two halves, with Jokerit dominant for the early stages before seeing a 4-1 lead evaporate and losing in overtime. A Mikhail Varnakov goal with 60 seconds to play tied the game at 5-5 before Denis Barantsev got the winner for the host.

Petri Kontiola got Jokerit on its way early in the game and the visitor absorbed plenty of home pressure before taking a two-goal lead into the intermission. Antti Pihlstrom got the second off a Lehtonen assist. Then the defenseman scored one himself at the start of the middle frame and would finish the evening with 7 (3+4) points from five games this season.

However, Torpedo was not about to roll over. A 5-on-3 power play gave the home team momentum and seconds after Jokerit’s fourth player returned to the ice Artyom Alyayev reduced the deficit. Henri Ikonen added a fourth for the Finns, but a Mikhail Orlov strike just before the hooter gave David Nemirovsky’s team hope going into the final session.

Damir Zhafyarov turned hope into belief early in the third and Andrei Belevich got his first goal in the KHL to take Torpedo to four. In between, though, Alex Grant potted a fifth for Jokerit – Lehtonen with another helper – to keep Jokerit in front.

However, there was late drama to come: Varnakov claimed the tying goal despite claims of goalie interference from the visitor’s bench. And Barantsev’s decider in the 64th minute means that Antti Niemi is still awaiting his first KHL win between the piping for Jokerit.

Sorokin denies SKA

SKA St. Petersburg 0 CSKA Moscow 3 (0-1, 0-1, 0-1)

Goals: 0-1 Slepyshev (Kiselevich 8:58); 0-2 Okulov (Kaprizov, Vey 25:52 PP); 0-3 Kalinin (Andronov, Grigorenko 59:05)

Goalies: Kochetkov – Sorokin

For much of last season, CSKA had the beating of SKA. In the regular season, the Muscovites won all four meetings between the clubs. In the playoffs, things were much tighter, but three home wins in Petersburg weren’t enough to take SKA to the Gagarin Cup final.

Photo: 13.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. SKA (St.Petersburg) - CSKA (Moscow)

The first encounter of 2019/20 also went the way of the Moscow team. In a game of few chances, the visitor was more clinical in front of goal while Ilya Sorokin denied SKA to secure the verdict. CSKA opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Anton Slepyshev squeezed a wrist shot through traffic. Pyotr Kochetkov got his glove close to the puck, but it brushed past him into the net.

The second goal was also well taken, with Konstantin Okulov spotting Yaroslav Dyblenko out of position during a CSKA power play. The forward took advantage to get to the face off spot and shoot over Kochetkov’s shoulder and double the lead. Sergei Kalinin finished the job with an empty-net goal.

In between SKA created more chances, but a final shot count of 21-16 in the host’s favor speaks much to the quality of defense from both teams. CSKA, in particular, worked tirelessly to slow the host’s forwards, blocking 17 shots as it safely absorbed significant pressure. The result lifts the defending champion to the top of the Western Conference with nine points from six games. SKA is currently fourth with three wins from five games.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Barys (Nur-Sultan) Barys (Nur-Sultan)
Jokerit (Helsinki) Jokerit (Helsinki)
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
SKA (Saint Petersburg) SKA (Saint Petersburg)
Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod) Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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