Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Fans in Helsinki had to wait for their heroes to hit top form – but Jokerit staged a third-period revival that wiped out a 0-2 deficit before sinking Sochi in overtime. Dmitry Kvartalnov returned to Lokomotiv and claimed a 4-0 win with his Ak Bars team, while CSKA eased to a 4-1 win at home to Amur.

Lehtonen crowns Jokerit fightback

Jokerit Helsinki 3 HC Sochi 2 OT (0-1, 0-1, 2-0, 1-0)

Goals: 0-1 Lugin (Altybarmakyan, Shmelyov 14:30 PP); 0-2 Collins (Krikunov, Alexandrov 24:49); 1-2 Joensuu (Antilla, Pihlstrom 42:32); 2-2 Regin (Maenalanen, Kontiola 46:27); 3-2 Lehtonen (Haapala 63:33)

Goalies: Kalnins – Shikin

Jokerit battled back from 0-2 down to take an overtime win over Sochi. The result makes it five wins from six for the Finns and lifts the team to seventh in the Western Conference table.

However, things looked far less promising after two periods in Helsinki. The visitor arrived with a clear game plan: soak up the pressure from the host, hit on the counter and look to get pucks to the net wherever possible. Over the first 40 minutes, Jokerit had substantially more time on the attack and produced more attempts but trailed in shots on goal and – crucially – goals scored.

Dmitry Lugin opened the scoring on the power play in the 15th minute and Sean Collins doubled that lead early in the second period. Jokerit worked hard to keep pressure on Dmitry Shikin’s net but struggled to find good chances in the face of a resolute visiting defense.

It wasn’t until the beginning of the third period that the home team broke the spell. Antti Pihlstrom brought the puck out from behind the net, swivelled and slung the puck across the face of Shikin’s net. A deflection off a Sochi skate put it onto Jesse Joensuu’s stick and he made it 1-2. The tying goal arrived four minutes later. Saku Maenalanen thumped in a shot, Shikin saved, but the puck went straight to Peter Regin for his 50th KHL goal.

Both teams had chances to win it in regulation, with Kalnins producing a triple save during a Sochi power play, but the game went to the extras. Mikko Lehtonen claimed the winner when he fired home off a Henrik Haapala feed.

Impressive Ak Bars adds to Loko woe

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 0 Ak Bars Kazan 4 (0-1, 0-2, 0-1)

Goals: 0-1 Fisenko (Osnovin, Lukoyanov 1:41); 0-2 Fisenko (Wikstrand, Petrov 23:29 SH); 0-3 Galiyev (Zaripov 32:29); 0-4 Petrov (Cormier, Yarullin 56:19)

Goalies: Konovalov – Bilyalov

Ak Bars recorded its sixth successive victory as Lokomotiv’s problems continue. The home team was looking to build on Sunday’s win over Avangard but found itself unable to respond to a powerful performance from the Eastern Conference leader. Kazan head coach Dmitry Kvartalnov thus had an enjoyable return to his former club.

Photo: 08.10.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) - Ak Bars (Kazan)

The visitor went ahead early on through Mikhail Fisenko, ushering in a first period that saw Ak Bars outshoot it host 15-3. The home team was left with only a fight between Daniil Misyul and Patrice Cormier to cheer; the young Loko defenseman wrestled his opponent to the ice, but it would be Ak Bars that went on to apply the knock-out blows.

Fisenko doubled the lead in the second period, and it says much for Lokomotiv’s current fortunes that he potted a short-handed goal. Soon after, there was another big power play chance for the homester when Emil Galimov was ejected for kneeing. Once again, though, the home PP could not deliver.

The best goal of the game arrived in the 33rd minute as Ak Bars made it 3-0. Danis Zaripov produced a superb pass on the turn, instantly freezing out two defensemen, and Stanislav Galiyev was the beneficiary. Kirill Petrov completed the scoring in the third, Timur Bilyalov made 20 saves for his shut-out.

Marchenko leads CSKA to convincing win

CSKA Moscow 4 Amur Khabarovsk 1 (0-0, 1-0, 3-1)

Goals: 1-0 Sekac (Robinson 21:49); 2-0 Kalinin (Marchenko, Kiselevich 40:20); 3-0 Marchenko (Robinson, Shalunov 47:39 PP); 4-0 Shalunov (Marchenko 54:25); 4-1 T. Zohorna (Golubev 57:48 PP)

Goalies: Sorokin – Alikin

Alexei Marchenko led the way with a goal and two assists as CSKA proved too strong for Amur in Moscow.

Photo: 08.10.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. CSKA (Moscow) - Amur (Khabarovsk)

For two periods, Amur was fully in this game. The opening stanza was goalless with Evgeny Alikin standing up well in the face of CSKA’s offense. Early in the second, Jiri Sekac made the breakthrough but Amur responded bravely to limit the Army Men’s chances and keep it at a one-goal game.

Early in the third, though, Sergei Kalinin doubled the lead with Marchenko getting his first point of the night. A power play midway through the frame saw the defenseman find the net himself when he skidded a one-timer home off Mat Robinson’s feed. Maxim Shalunov had an assist on that play, and the Shalunov – Marchenko combination worked again for CSKA’s fourth goal, with the defenseman turning provider for Shalunov to wire a wrister from the left-hand face-off spot to convert another power play chance.

There was a late consolation for Amur when Tomas Zohorna shot over Ilya Sorokin’s glove late in the game, robbing the goalie of a shut-out. But there was no time to contemplate a fully-fledged fightback and CSKA eased to a win that keeps it neck-and-neck with Vityaz at the top of the KHL standings.

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Ak Bars (Kazan) Ak Bars (Kazan)
Amur (Khabarovsk) Amur (Khabarovsk)
Jokerit (Helsinki) Jokerit (Helsinki)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
HC Sochi (Sochi) HC Sochi (Sochi)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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