After Traktor won twice in Khabarovsk last month, Amur came to Chelyabinsk and continued the bias in favor of the visiting team in this match-up. The 2-1 scoreline matched the previous two encounters, but the result was the visitor’s first win here for nine years.
Vyacheslav Ushenin put Amur ahead in the eighth minute, but the lead didn’t last long. Traktor needed just 30 seconds to level when Sergei Tereshchenko got his first goal for the club. That wasn’t the only ‘first’ for the home team: triallists Alexander Avtsin and Enver Lisin were involved for the first time.
The hope is that those two might produce some extra scoring power in Chelyabinsk; the reality was somewhat different. Kirill Rasskazov got the decisive goal midway through the game to take the points to Khabarovsk.
The result lifts Amur to 10th in a congested Eastern Conference. Just three points separate basement club Kunlun Red Star from Neftekhimik in seventh place.
Jokerit made it two wins from two on this road trip after edging past Severstal in overtime. The Finns came through a tough battle in Cherepovets, weathering an early storm and bouncing back after allowing a late tying goal.
The first period saw Severstal take the initiative. The home team was always more eager to shoot and kept Janis Kalnins busy. However, it was unable to open the scoring and fell behind early in the second session when Jesse Joensuu converted a power play. Severstal continued to press for an equalizer and finally found a way past Kalnins in the 57th minute when Czech defenseman Libor Sulak scored his first goal in the KHL.
Overtime could have gone either way. In the space of a few seconds, both teams had a big chance. First, Kalnins pulled off a big save to thwart a breakaway involving Sulak and Daniil Vovchenko. Then the puck broke for Henrik Haapala to send Peter Regin off to the races and the Jokerit captain won his duel with Vladislav Podyapolsky to settle the outcome.
Lokomotiv tightened its grip on a playoff place, moving one point clear of Severstal after a battling overtime win against SKA. The visitor, meanwhile, slumped to a fifth successive loss as head coach Alexei Kudashov had an unhappy return to one of his former clubs.
Lokomotiv thought it had an equalizer early in the second period when Alexander Polunin fired a shot against the crossbar and Alexander Svitov bundled home the rebound. However, the home forward used his hand to put the puck in the net and the goal was ruled out.
Midway through the session, though, Roman Savchenko got a legitimate tally. Stephane Da Costa’s diagonal pass back to the blue line pulled the SKA defense out of shape and goalie Alexander Samonov was screened by two of his players as Savchenko thumped home a one-timer.
In the third, the home team got in front for the first time when Artyom Ilyenko smuggled the puck away from a face-off and shot past Samonov, but SKA tied the scores with six minutes to play when Artyom Zub unleashed a one-timer from between the hash marks after Jori Lehtera’s pass.
Lokomotiv needed barely a minute of overtime to settle the outcome. Moments after Barabanov dinged the piping at one end, Denis Alexeyev sent Pavel Kudryavtsev into the SKA zone and the youngster’s shot deceived Samonov, bouncing through the goalie’s defences and into the net.
Matt Frattin scored against his former club as the Eastern Conference leader edged a 3-2 verdict over Barys. As a result, Ak Bars enjoys a four-point cushion over the chasing pack while Barys missed the chance to overtake Chernyshev Division leader Avangard and draw level on points with today’s opponent.
With plenty to play for, the first period was cautious. Ak Bars had the territorial advantage but struggled to carve out clear shooting opportunities. Barys sent way less time in the opposition end but managed an equal number of shots. More importantly, the teams also had an equal number of goals. Kamil Fazylzyanov’s opened the scoring in improbable fashion, beating Eddie Pasquale from deep inside his own zone. That was cancelled out by Alikhan Asetov, with the 23-year-old potting his fourth goal in five games.
Frattin’s big moment came in the second period, as he restored the home lead with a power play effort. It took just 12 seconds from Leonid Metalnikov’s arrival in the box to the Canadian’s thunderous shot ripping into the net from the top of the circle after Mikael Wikstrand quarterbacked the PP.