It took just 22 seconds of overtime for Red Star captain Brandon Yip to settle this game and give the Chinese team back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Yesterday the teams met in Beijing, with the Dragons taking a 2-1 verdict in regulation; today they repeated that scoreline in the extras.
The home team went ahead in the 13th minute thanks to a well-taken goal from Tyler Wong, who moves to six for the season. Goalie Simon Hrubec was in good form to frustrate the visiting offense; he finished with 30 saves but was beaten early in the third period when Zack Mitchell tapped the puck into an empty net after a Pavel Poryadin shot bounced around the crease.
Both teams could have won it in regulation, with Konstantin Barulin making a big save to deny a one-on-one from Ethan Werek with two minutes left, but it went to overtime before Trevor Murphy set up Yip for the decisive goal.
Metallurg remains near the foot of the Eastern Conference after falling to Admiral in overtime. Magnitka clawed back a 0-2 deficit to lead 3-2 but could not hold on and was beaten by Markus Ljungh’s goal in the extras.
Admiral made a strong start, with Alexander Mereskin and Martin Bakos giving the visitor a two-goal lead inside the first 10 minutes. Late in the first period, though, Denis Parshin set up Sergei Mozyakin to reduce the deficit. New signing Andrej Nestrasil got his first point for the club with an assist on that play.
In the second period, the home team looked to have solved its problems. Brandon Kozun tied it up when he got to the rebound following a Dennis Rasmussen shot then Mozyakin’s delightful pass set up Ivan Vereshchagin for a point shot that was redirected home by Parshin.
Admiral barely had a chance in the second session but wasted little time in tying the game in the third. A power play saw Konstantin Glazachev race into the danger zone and beat Vasily Koshechkin. Neither team could break the deadlock in the remainder of the period as Admiral survived a late penalty to take the game to overtime. Once there, Ljungh needed just 50 seconds to beat Koshechkin and take the win for the visitor.
After the game it was announced that Metallurg’s long-serving vice-president Gennady Velichkin had left his position with the club. Velichkin was General Director of the club from 1991-2009 before his job title changed to vice-president.
Lokomotiv needed plenty of patience to get ahead of Sochi, but a third-period goal finally broke the deadlock in Yaroslavl and enabled the host to improve to two wins in three games, having gone into today’s action with just one success in the last five.
It took a long time coming, but Lokomotiv eventually broke down Sochi’s defense to claim a much-needed win. Midway through the third period, Artur Kayumov’s power play goal finally got the home team on the scoreboard and snapped a goal drought that extended more than 140 minutes since Stephane Da Costa’s game winner against Avangard.
Jakub Nakladal’s point shot started the play; Dmitry Shikin’s pad sent the puck squirting to the side where Denis Alexeyev collected it and took a moment to pick out the unmarked Kayumov lurking between the hash marks. The finish was clinical, the train whistle sounded at last and Loko was on course for victory. Sochi played a full part in a hard-fought game but left with nothing as the clock ran down. Ilya Konovalov secured his second shut-out of the season with 26 saves.
Avangard returned to the top of the Chernyshev Division but had to work hard to wear down the Eastern Conference’s basement team.
Amur, steadily improving after a rough start to the season, was a good match for last year’s finalist in an even game. However, 33 saves from Igor Bobkov frustrated the visitor and a rare power play chance for the home team settled the outcome.
The goal came in the 24th minute. Amur was just seconds away from completing the penalty kill when Taylor Beck looked for one last chance to find the net. His feed found Slava Voynov and the defenseman’s powerful one-timer from the left-hand spot gave Evgeny Alikin no chance.
It was the blue liner’s sixth goal of the season, and his fourth on the power play, as the former SKA man moved to 12 points for the campaign and joined Philip Larsen, Yakov Rylov and Mikael Wikstrand as the top-scoring defensemen in the league.
SKA won for the first time in four games thanks to an overtime goal from Artyom Zub. The defenseman got forward to join Sergei Plotnikov on the rush and tucked away the rebound after Jakub Kovar stopped the SKA captain’s initial shot. Kovar had performed bravely in regulation time to steer his team to a 1-1 tie, stopping 33 shots, but could not find the answers as the Army Men continued to press in overtime.
SKA got a boost coming into this game with the return of goalie Magnus Hellberg. The Swede, always a stable presence between the piping, had not played previously this season due to injury; fit again, he was tasked with halting a three-game losing streak. Avtomobilist, meanwhile, included Pavel Datsyuk as the veteran forward made his first return to Petersburg since leaving SKA in the summer. The visitor had two wins from its last three games, moving away from a run of four defeats.
The first period produced few clear chances, but Hellberg was called into action late in the frame to deny Anatoly Golyshev after Datsyuk’s perceptive feed found the unmarked forward in a threatening position. But that was a rare opening for the visitor as SKA had the better of the game without creating a big scoring opportunity.
Early in the second period, though, that changed. SKA got on the power play, Vladimir Tkachyov fed Vasily Tokranov on the blue line and his shot was diverted past Kovar by Jori Lehtera. More impressive from the host was the lockdown it placed on the visiting offense: in 40 minutes of play, Avtomobilist managed just eight shots at Hellberg, despite boasting the attacking talents of Datsyuk, Dawes, Golyshev and Sexton.
However, Avtomobilist began the third period on the power play and immediately took the initiative. SKA killed the penalty but could not withstand the pressure and Peter Holland took a Maxim Berezin pass up the ice to tie the scores in the 43rd minute. Soon after, the visitor might have taken the lead when Golyshev went around the net and fed Artyom Gareyev on the slot; Hellberg came up with the save.
The home team responded with good chances for Jarno Koskiranta and Evgeny Ketov was close to squeezing an Andrei Kuzmenko feed through Kovar’s pads. And SKA thought it had won it late in regulation when Andrei Zubarev’s shot looped up off Kovar and Maxim Karpov batted the puck into the net. However, the forward’s stick was high and a video review upheld the Czech goalie’s protests.