Goals: 1-0 Malykhin (Thomas, Kalof 21:38); 2-0 Hyka (Kruchinin 24:02); 2-1 Lander (Rattie, Rafikov 26:08 PP)
Goalies: Fedotov – Konovalov
Traktor snapped a four-game losing streak to record its first home victory of the season as the problems surrounding Lokomotiv continue. The Railwaymen parted company with Craig MacTavish last week and, despite a victory under the interim guidance of Alexander Ardashev, remain adrift of the playoff places in the Western Conference.
With both teams struggling to find their best form, the first period was a cautious affair. The teams largely cancelled each other out as they watched each other’s games attentively. But it all changed after the intermission when Traktor jumped to a two-goal lead.
First, Fyodor Malykhin scored on a delayed penalty, then Tomas Hyka potted the second goal within three minutes. The Czech was one of three senior players who returned to Peteris Skudra’s roster today, along with Dmitry Kalinin and Sergei Konkov, and he celebrated by scoring his first KHL goal to go with five assists in his first 10 games. Lokomotiv hit back with a power play goal from Anton Lander and had more than half and hour to find a way to tie the scores. However, the home team was disciplined in defense and held on for an anxious victory. Traktor moves to sixth in the Eastern Conference, Loko remains 11th in the West.
Goals: 0-1 Lugin (Petrov, Pogorishny 8:46); 1-1 Zhafyarov (18:57 PP); 2-1 Orlov (Urakov, Veryayev 30:45); 3-1 Genoway (Varnakov, Zhafyarov 37:02); 4-1 Belevich (38:20)
Goalies: Lindbak – Shikin
HC Sochi missed its chance to break into the top eight as Torpedo consolidated its grip on fourth place in the Western Conference thanks to a strong second-period performance.
The teams were locked at 1-1 after the first session, with Damir Zhafyarov’s power play goal cancelling out Dmitry Lugin’s opener for the visitor. Things remained even for the first 10 minutes of the middle frame, but Torpedo forged ahead with three goals in less than eight minutes to take an unassailable lead into the third period.
Mikhail Orlov put the home team ahead just after the half-hour mark when he powered into the open space between the hash marks and rifled home a feed from Danil Veryayev. The two teams traded penalties thereafter, but once things settled down Torpedo assumed total control. Chay Genoway made it 3-1 in the 37th minute, assisted by the first-line duo of Zhafyarov and Mikhail Varnakov. Barely a minute later Andrei Belevich added a fourth goal. It was the 22-year-old’s third goal in the KHL, and his second against Sochi. Ten days earlier he was on target in Torpedo’s 4-5 loss by the Black Sea.
Sochi had a big chance to get back into the game midway through the third period when it played 5-on-3 for 1:51. However, the Torpedo defense stuck to its task and killed the penalties as the team secured a 4-1 win.