Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Vityaz maintained its impressive start to the season with a shoot-out victory over Metallurg to consolidate its place atop the KHL table. The visitor, though, slips to the foot of the Eastern Conference following Amur’s win over Sibir. SKA enjoyed a 4-1 win over Dynamo in the big game in the Western Conference, Jokerit got a big boost with a home success against Avtomobilist and there were shoot-out wins for Neftekhimik and Spartak in a high-scoring day of KHL action.

Shut-out win for Amur

Amur Khabarovsk 3 Sibir Novosibirsk 0 (1-0, 2-0, 0-0)

Goals: 1-0 Vl Ushenin (Vy Ushenin 10:19); 2-0 H Zohorna (Velichkin 26:40); 3-0 Vasilyev (H Zohorna 31:32

Goalies: Alikin – Sateri

Amur moved off the foot of the KHL table after Evgeny Alikin blanked Sibir. The Tigers’ second win of the season takes them to seven points, one better than both Dinamo Riga and Metallurg.

The home team opened the scoring midway through the first period when the Ushenin twins combined for Vladislav to find the net. In the middle frame, Hynek Zohorna increased the lead with his first KHL goal, then added an assist as Valery Vasilyev made it 3-0. Alikin made 31 stops to give Amur its first shut-out of the season.

Zaripov overtakes Morozov’s record

Ak Bars Kazan 5 Kunlun Red Star 0 (1-0, 1-0, 3-0)

Goals: 1-0 Osnovin (Frattin, Galimov 18:44); 2-0 Pedan (Cormier, Frattin 25:39); 3-0 Frattin (Yarullin, Zaripov 46:48 PP); 4-0 Zaripov (Galimov 55:54); 5-0 Valeyev (Volonkov, Zaripov 59:53)

Goalies: Bilyalov – Smith

A decisive display in front of goal saw Ak Bars power to victory over Red Star, with Danis Zaripov and Matt Frattin each contributing three points to the cause. Zaripov’s trio took his KHL career tally to 326 and moved him ahead of Alexei Morozov’s club record.

The Dragons failed to take flight in this game, although things might have been different had Tyler Wong converted a penalty shot with the score at 0-2. Instead the youngster put his effort wide of Timur Bilyalov’s net and the home goalie was not seriously troubled in the rest of the game.

The first period was fairly even, but Ak Bars always had the initiative and duly went ahead late in the frame when Frattin assisted on a Vyacheslav Osnovin goal. Andrei Pedan extended that lead in the second stanza before Wong’s penalty miss. Then, in the third, Frattin scored on the power play and late goals from Danis Zaripov and Artyom Valeyev wrapped up a convincing win.

Late equalizer can’t save Dinamo

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 5 Dinamo Minsk 4 SO (2-1, 2-2, 0-1, 0-0, 1-0)

Goals: 0-1 Shore (Pulkkinen, Prince 5:11); 1-1 Sharipzyanov (Zakharchuk, Chernikov 15:27 PP); 2-1 Poryadin (White, Ryasenasky 16:57 PP); 2-2 Gragnani (Prince 21:26); 3-2 White (26:17); 3-3 Martynov (Demkov, Stepanov 28:38); 4-3 Avtsin (34:15); 4-4 Kostitsyn (Pare, Shore 59:45 PP); 5-4 Mitchell (65:00 shoot-out)

Goalies: Sharychenkov – Enroth

It took a shoot-out to settle an absorbing encounter between these two teams with Dinamo snatching a last-gasp equalizer to salvage a point.

Andrei Kostitsyn scored on the power play with 15 seconds left on the clock to tie the scores at 4-4 and send the game to overtime. However, the Belarusians could not secure the win as Zack Mitchell settled the shoot-out.

Neftekhimik’s forward Pavel Poryadin kept up his rich form, potting his seventh goal of the season in a helter-skelter second period, while Dinamo youngster Igor Martynov collected his first ever KHL goal as Dinamo kept pegging the home team back.

Severstal moves into a playoff place

Severstal Cherepovets 4 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 3 (2-0, 1-2, 1-1)

Goals: 1-0 Geraskin (Trubachyov 4:40); 2-0 Baldeyev (14:20); 2-1 Kartayev (Gimatov, Zharkov 28:16); 2-2 Koledov (Soshnikov, Burmistrov 33:43); 3-2 Khabarov (Vovchenko, Khokhlov 38:49); 4-2 Liska (Khlystov, Yakimov 46:06); 4-3 Hartikainen (Manninen 59:56)

Goalies: Podyapolsky – Metsola

Severstal sprang a surprise with a win over Salavat Yulaev. The Steelmen’s third successive triumph also lifted the team into the top eight in the Western Conference.

The home team built a decisive advantage in the first period, opening a 2-0 lead on goals from Igor Geraskin and Viktor Baldayev. However, Salavat Yulaev hit back in the second to tie the game through Vladislav Kartayev and Pavel Koledov before a late goal from Makar Khabarov put Severstal back in front.

Adam Liska got the game-winner early in the third and a late storm from the visitor did not yield enough to change the course of the game. Teemu Hartikainen reduced the arrears but there were only four seconds late to play.

Boost for Jokerit, Avto’s losing run continues

Jokerit Helsinki 4 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 2 (2-1, 1-0, 1-1)

Goals: 0-1 Belousov (13:44); 1-1 Loov (Moses, Lepisto 14:26); 2-1 Eronen (Joensuu, Regin 18:50); 3-1 Joensuu (Moses, Haapala 35:24); 3-2 Mamkin (Bodrov, Dawes 57:22); 4-2 Ikonen (O’Neill, Norman 58:30 empty net)

Goalies: Kalnins – Kovar

Jokerit got a big lift from its recent indifferent form with an impressive home win against Avtomobilist. The Eastern Conference high-flier, though, slipped to a fourth successive loss after eight straight wins and saw its lead in the East cut to a single point.

Jokerit’s start to the season has been patchy and the Finns had suffered four losses in their last five games. So home fans must have feared the worst when their heroes gifted Avtomobilist the first goal, presenting the puck for Georgy Belousov to score unchallenged. But this time Jokerit rallied at once. Viktor Loov smashed home from the point and moments later Teemu Eronen’s slap shot put the host in front.

Avtomobilist squandered a 5-on-3 power play early in the middle frame and Jokerit extended its lead thanks to Steve Moses. The final session saw the visitor try to force the pace and it looked like there might be a dramatic finished when Mikhail Mamkin pulled a goal back with just over two minutes to play. Janis Kalnins had to produce a smart save to deny Dan Sexton in the closing stages before an empty-net goal from Henri Ikonen settled the outcome.

Spartak rallies to shoot down Avangard

Avangard Omsk 3 Spartak Moscow 4 SO (0-1, 2-0, 1-2, 0-0, 0-1)

Goals: 0-1 Khokhlachyov (Vishnevsky, Fyodorov 7:10 PP); 1-1 Chudinov (Andrighetto 25:11 PP); 2-1 Klinkhammer (Beck, Andrighetto 38:20 PP); 3-1 Voynov (Beck, Semyonov 44:48 PP); 3-2 Daugavins (Kulik, Karsums 45:56); 3-3 Hersley (Fyodorov, Haznl 49:10); 3-4 Hanzl (65:00 penalty shot)

Goalies: Sudnitsin – Hudacek

For the second time this season, this teams could not be separated in 60 minutes. On Sep. 10, Spartak lost in overtime after recovering a two-goal deficit but today the Red-and-Whites went one better. This time, Oleg Znarok’s team battled back from 1-3 to tie the game before Robin Hanzl got the shoot-out winner.

Photo: 28.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Avangard (Omsk) - Spartak (Moscow)

The early stages of the game were dominated by special teams. Spartak opened the scoring with a power play goal from Alexander Khokhlachyov before Avangard responded with three PP goals of its own. Maxim Chudinov, Rob Klinkhammer and Slava Voynov were the scorers, Sven Andrighetto had two assists.

But that was merely the appetizer. Kaspars Daugavins halved the deficit shortly after Voynov’s goal, with the first marker scored in equal-strength play. It took a video review to confirm there was no interference on Alexander Sudnitsin, but the verdict tipped the momentum back towards the visitor. Patrik Hersley got the tying goal with 10 minutes left in regulation but neither team could find a winner in the remaining play.

In the shoot-out, Julius Hudacek proved unbeatable in the Spartak net, adding to his heroics against Avtomobilist to help clinch another win against a big hitter from the Eastern Conference.

Vityaz Moscow Region 3 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 2 SO (1-1, 0-1, 1-0, 0-0, 1-0)

Goals: 1-0 Mons (Jerabek, Chernov 4:33); 1-1 Potekhin (Dronov, Yakovlev 10:11); 1-2 Parshin (Dronov 26:46); 2-2 Aaltonen (49:09); 3-2 Larichev (65:00 penalty shot)

Goalies: Ezhov – Galimov

Vityaz continues its great start to the season with a shoot-out win over Metallurg, but the crisis in Magnitogorsk deepens after the team drops to the foot of the Eastern Conference.

Photo: 28.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Vityaz (Moscow Region) - Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)

Right now, the team from Podolsk is full of confidence, and rightly so after battling its way to the top of the KHL standings with a brand of pacey, effective hockey. Magnitka, in contrast, is stuttering from game to game, relying on its big names to compensate for a lack of consistent game play. And today’s game followed that pattern, with Metallurg unable to deny Vityaz a significant advantage in terms of possession and shots despite owning players capable of taking the chances it created.

Vityaz took an early lead when Evgeny Mons scored in the fourth minute. Defenseman Jakub Jerabek continued his solid start to the season with another assist on that one. But Metallurg managed to turn it around with goals either side of the intermission. Bogdan Potekhin, back at his hometown club, tied it up with his first of the season before Denis Parshin made it 2-1 early in the second stanza.

Once, that might have seen the balance of play shift decisively. Today, though, Vityaz was more than ready to battle back from adversity. Miro Aaltonen forced the puck home from close range after a string of ricochets around the Magnitka crease and the game was tied and destined for overtime. Another Aaltonen rebound might have won it before the shoot-out, but Stanislav Galimov kept that one out and the game went the full distance.

That shoot-out started with both teams scoring their first attempts but subsequently goalies were on top in that sequence. Finally, Ivan Larichev solved Galimov to give Vityaz the win and consolidate its position on top of the table.

Plotnikov inspires SKA’s victory

SKA St. Petersburg 4 Dynamo Moscow 1 (1-0, 1-1, 2-0)

Goals: 1-0 Lehtera (Tkachyov, Plotnikov 14:20); 2-0 Ketov (Kablukov 22:23 SH); 2-1 Petersson (Shipachyov, Hietanen 33:32); 3-1 Plotnikov (Yakupov, Tkachyov 48:23 PP); 4-1 Lehtera (Tkachyov, Plotnikov 56:07)

Goalies: Melnichuk – Kuznetsov

SKA captain Sergei Plotnikov is filling the vacancy left by Pavel Datsyuk – and some of the magic man’s tricks are apparently influencing his play.

Photo: 28.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. SKA (St.Petersburg) - Dynamo (Moscow)

Against Salavat Yulaev, Plotnikov scored a goal that called Datsyuk’s play to mind; today he produced a no-look pass from the master’s playbook to set up Jori Lehtera for the opening goal. After emulating one great of the game, Plotnikov went on to mimic another: with a fight in the second period and a goal in the third he completed a Gordie Howe hat-trick.

Evgeny Ketov also achieved a notable distinction. In the 23rd minute he got his 18th short-handed goal to establish an outright KHL record. Andre Petersson got one back for Dynamo in that middle frame but there was no way for the visitor to change the tide of the game. Late in the third, Plotnikov’s line delivered once again, with another Lehtera goal off helpers from the captain and his colleague Vladimir Tkachyov.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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