Salavat Yulaev racked up the biggest win of the season so far with a nine-goal demolition of Dinamo Minsk. The visitor slumped to its 11th successive loss as Ufa snapped a two-game losing run in fine style.
Sunday’s game was in stark contrast to the events of one week earlier, when Dinamo hosted Salavat and blew a 2-0 lead to lose in overtime after a hard-fought game. This time, instead of a contest fans were treated to something of a procession. The early stages saw plenty of chances around Jhonas Enroth’s net and it was little surprise when the host opened the scoring in the 13th minute through Nikita Soshnikov. The second goal arrived 22 seconds later through Alexander Kadeikin and the visitor already looked to be in big trouble. Two more first-period goals, followed by Oleg Yevenko’s dismissal for instigating a fight, put Dinamo firmly behind the eight-ball.
Linus Omark scored early in the second period on that power play and then assisted as Teemu Hartikainen made it 6-0 and chased Enroth from the net. Vladislav Yeryomenko’s power play goal put Minsk on the scoreboard; Ryan Spooner got his second assist against Salavat Yulaev along the way.
Dmitry Kugryshev got another for the home team late in the middle frame and the final stanza saw Soshnikov and Kadeikin both claim their second of the game. Dinamo, meanwhile, repeated an unhappy club record and went down to its 11th successive loss. Craig Woodcroft will be keen to get some time to work with his players during the international break.
Sibir’s six-game winning streak has lifted Nikolai Zavarukhin’s team up the Eastern Conference table, but that sequence came to a halt in Magnitogorsk. The home team had just one loss in its previous seven games – and that came a week ago in Novosibirsk when Sibir edged an overtime verdict.
Sibir began the game with all the confidence you’d expect from a team on a long winning run, and Metallurg was forced to defend stoutly from the off. Indeed, the home team was limited to just three shots at Harri Sateri’s net … but managed to take the lead late in the frame when a Denis Parshin shot pinballed its way through the visiting defense and deflected past Sateri and into the net.
The visitor ran into penalty trouble in the middle of the third period, twice fouling Parshin in quick succession. Nikolai Kulemin scored on the power play to extend Magnitka’s lead but Sibir responded before the second intermission when Alexei Yakovlev broke three all on his own and won his duel with Vasily Koshechkin to make it 2-1.
From one Yakovlev to another, Metallurg restored that two-goal cushion when Yegor Yakovlev redirected a Viktor Antipin shot into the net early in the third and Evgeny Timkin completed the scoring late in the game.
Two fast-improving teams met in Sochi. For Red Star, the current club record five-game winning streak began with a 3-2 win over Sochi in Beijing; for the host, three straight victories as Alexander Andrievsky took charge had the team closing on the playoff places after a long losing run.
Red Star handed a debut to Devante Smith-Pelly, a 2018 Stanley Cup winner with Washington, as it looked to extend that winning run. The power forward saw his first action of the season, completing just under 11 minutes on the ice and firing in one shot at Ivan Nalimov.
However, he was upstaged by a former Red Star forward, Sean Collins. Towards the end of a competitive first period, he opened the scoring. Then, two minutes later, he was among the helpers as Malte Stromwall doubled the lead on the power play.
The rest of the game proceeded with relatively few scoring chances. Red Star had three power play opportunities in the third period but could not find a way past Nalimov as Sochi got its second shut-out of the season and its fourth successive victory.
Kirill Marchenko showed nerves of steel to claim a shoot-out winner after an entertaining game in Petersburg. SKA’s 19-year-old forward, making only his sixth KHL appearance for the club, slotted the Army Men’s third attempt past Alexander Salak, opening a 2-0 lead in the shoot-out and ultimately securing the win for his team. However, SKA’s third win in four games only came after a real battle against the league’s basement club.
The first period was dominated by SKA. Salak was beaten for the first time in the fifth minute when Andrei Kuzmenko’s pass from behind the net was converted by Anton Burdasov. Kuzmenko thought he’d doubled the lead in the 10th minute when he squeezed a shot through Salak’s pads, but a challenge from the Riga bench saw the play whistled off for offside. However, with SKA dominating the play it was little surprise when the home team did increase the lead at the start of the second period thanks to Alexander Barabanov.
However, that second goal served to awaken Dinamo’s previously dormant offense. Uvis Balinskis served notice with a range finder from the blue line, then two goals in three minutes saw Lauris Darzins and Brandon McMillan tie the scores before the midway point. And that was just the start. Four minutes before the second intermission, McMillan scored again, smashing home a Darzins pass from behind the net to give Dinamo the lead.
SKA responded to tie the scores with a power play goal from the lively Kuzmenko just before the hooter, but in the third period Salak proved to be an impregnable barrier. The home team dominated the play, outshooting Riga 11-1 and produced 23 attempts on goal to Dinamo’s four. However, Salak repeatedly said ‘no’ and forced the play into overtime.
In the extras, McMillan was denied a game-winning hat-trick following a video review. The Canadian forward’s shot crept through Alexei Melnichuk’s defenses and was pushed over the line by the goalie’s trailing skate. However, a video review determined that the home goalie was pushed into the net along with the puck following Carter Ashton’s shove on Artyom Zub; goalie interference and thus no goal. Play went to the other end, where Vladimir Tkachyov fired a shot into Salak’s helmet, but the game was destined to go all the way to a shoot-out.
Dynamo’s winning run came to an end in Balashikha, but only after an absorbing battle against Avangard. The Blue-and-Whites, who defeated Bob Hartley’s Hawks 1-0 last week, clawed back a 1-3 deficit with two quick goals in the third period but lost out to a Taylor Beck effort.
The visitor got the opening goal in the fifth minute when Juuso Hietanen converted the first power play of the game. But it took barely a minute for Kirill Semyonov to tie the scores and Avangard went on to dominate the first period without finding a way to get in front.
That go-ahead goal came early in the second period when Beck scored on the power play. Once again, Avangard was the stronger of the teams but, once again, it was hard to turn that superiority into goals. Another power play made the difference. Although Igor Polygalov was back on the ice when Sven Andrighetto made it 3-1 at the start of the third, the goal came just two seconds after his penalty ended.
Then came the fightback. Hietanen pulled a goal back then Dmitrij Jaskin stunned Avangard with a shorthanded goal. Two strikes in barely 90 seconds had the scores tied and the game was right back in the balance.