Neftekhimik set a new club record after winning its sixth successive game in the KHL. Once again, Vyacheslav Butsayev’s team secured a one-goal verdict – and this time it needed a big fightback to sink Admiral
The home team started with a dominant display, outshooting Admiral 18-2 in the first period. However, Juho Olkinuora was in fine form in the visitor’s net and despite the lopsided pattern of play the scores were goalless at the intermission.
Inspired by that reprieve, Admiral then jumped to a 3-0 lead at the start of the second. Konstantin Glazachev opened the scoring in the 22nd minute and Denis Vikharev doubled the advantage 90 seconds later. That was the end of Alexander Sharychenkov’s evening, with Konstantin Barulin coming to the crease to replace him. It wasn’t long, though, before Vikharev scored on him. Neftekhimik’s winning run looked destined to come to a halt.
Things began to change at the midway point. A pair of penalties for Admiral handed the initiative back to the home team and Matt White scored to reduce the deficit. And even though the scoreline was very much in Admiral’s favor, the shot count after two periods gave Neftekhimik grounds for hope: 27-7.
Two goals in 20 seconds early in the third period brought the scores level. Jacob Berglund got his first for Neftekhimik since arriving from Dinamo Riga then Timur Sharifyanov tied the game. Three minutes later, Zack Mitchell made it 4-3 and Neftekhimik led for the first time on the night. Now it was Admiral’s turn to change goalie, bringing in Anton Krasotkin. That stopped the flow of goals, but could do nothing to force an equalizer at the other end.
Ak Bars remains out in front in the Eastern Conference after a comfortable home victory over Amur. The visitor arrived in Kazan on a run of five wins in six to keep it in touch with the race for the playoff places, but had no answer to the early-season pacesetter.
From the opening minutes, Ak Bars was on top. The puck was in Amur’s net in the third minute, only for the goal to be whistled off for a high stick. In the sixth minute, though, there was no doubt about Patrice Cormier’s opener. Five minutes later, Andrei Pedan doubled the lead and the period finished with a 2-0 lead and a 16-3 shot count.
Amur briefly had hope. A power play at the start of the second period saw Kirill Rasskazov reduce the arrears, but that was as good as it got for the visitor. Even though the game was more even in the second and third frames, the only other goal came from Mikhail Glukhov to make it 3-1 in the 34th minute.
SKA snapped its five-game losing streak but needed a shoot-out to inch past a stubborn Severstal team in Cherepovets.
The Army Men dominated much of the play, particularly in the first two periods, but found clear-cut chances hard to come by. When Alexei Kudashov’s men did get a look at Vladislav Podyapolsky’s net, they found the home goalie in their way until the end of the second period when Joonas Kemppainen broke the deadlock. That was his first goal for SKA following his summer move from Salavat Yulaev.
Severstal responded by changing tactics in the third and looking to generate more offense. That paid off when Yegor Morozov tied the game with five minutes left in regulation. Overtime, supposedly a fast and frantic passage of 3-on-3 action and all-out attack, was a bit of a damp squib: neither team managed an attempt on goal in the five minutes as the game went to a shoot-out. Vladimir Tkachyov converted both his attempts to give SKA the win.