Shcherbak, who arrived from Avangard during the international break, was close to carving out an opening goal on the first shift of the game. However, midway through the first period he took a cross checking penalty and Yegor Yakovlev opened the scoring for Magnitka on the power play. Traktor, playing its first game under new head coach Vladimir Yurzinov, tied the game in the 15th minute through Jesse Virtanen, but could not find a lead in the first period despite outshooting Metallurg 15-6.
In the middle frame, though, the home team scored twice in 20 seconds to establish a commanding advantage. Alexei Bereglazov restored the lead before Potekhin got his first of the evening. The forward then had an assist as Dennis Rasmussen made it 4-1, before scoring Metallurg’s fifth of the night with 10 minutes left to play. That’s the first three-point game in Potekhin’s KHL career. Shcherbak marked his debut with a goal in the 57th minute, but the game was gone.
Timur Bilyalov’s sixth shut-out of the season helped Ak Bars to victory over Avangard – and saw the 24-year-old close in on a KHL record. It’s now 282 minutes, 32 seconds, since Bilyalov last allowed a goal, longer than any goalie has managed this season. The all-time KHL record belongs to Alexei Murygin, who went 302:11 without conceding while playing for Lokomotiv.
Bilyalov made 26 saves on the night as he set a new club record and saw Ak Bars move one point clear at the top of the KHL table. At the other end, the Kazan offense impressed as well, firing 40 shots on the Avangard net.
The host had the edge in the first period but had to wait until early in the second before Mikhail Fisenko broke the deadlock. Early in the third, Vladislav Kara potted his first of the season – assisted by new arrival Viktor Tikhonov – to double the lead and Justin Azevedo wrapped up the win with an empty net goal. Ak Bars now has five wins from six games, Avangard saw a two-game winning streak come to an end.
Spartak snapped a 14-game losing skid against CSKA to defeat the Army Men for the first time since September 2013. An exciting Moscow derby went to overtime, with Spartak effectively having to win the game twice after allowing a last-minute equalizer to wipe out its long-held lead.
In the extras, though, the Red-and-Whites always looked threatening and the winning goal came after 64 minutes. Ilya Zubov’s skate deflected a Kaspars Daugavins pass into Lars Johansson’s net; a long video review ruled that there was no deliberate attempt to play the puck with the foot and the goal was awarded.
For CSKA, that meant back-to-back losses for the first time this season. The defending champion spent much of the game pressing Spartak but struggled to claw back two early goals. Mikhail Yunkov gave the visitor a ninth-minute lead and Zubov doubled that advantage a couple of minutes later, even as CSKA dominated the first period. Alexei Marchenko halved the deficit, but Julius Hudacek came up big in the Spartak net to preserve his team’s one-goal edge until the closing seconds.
As CSKA went to 6-on-5 for the last couple of minutes, Anton Slepyshev was agonizingly close to a tying goal when he narrowly failed to convert a Mikhail Grigorenko feed at the back door. Seconds later, though, Alexander Popov got the all-important goal and, at the age of 39 years and 73 days, became his team’s oldest goalscorer in the KHL. However, it wasn’t enough to halt Spartak as Oleg Znarok’s team avenged a 9-3 loss against its city rival early in the season.
Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson got his first goal in the KHL to set Lokomotiv on the way to victory over Sibir. The Swede, who arrived late in October, opened the scoring here in the fourth minute. However, it wasn’t until Anton Lander scored in the empty net 1:15 from the end that the Railwaymen could feel secure against a Sibir team that arrived after winning six of its previous seven games.
Paajarvi-Svensson and Lander have played together throughout their careers – the newbie scored his first goal in adult hockey off a Lander assist – and that combo worked again here at the start of the game. Lander’s feed enabled Paajarvi-Svensson to unleash his wrister and Loko was in front.
After that, Mike Pelino’s team played a highly controlled game. Discipline was the watch-word – Loko took just two minor penalties all night – and the game management was impressive. However, it wasn’t until Lander’s goal that the home team could relax. Alexander Lazushin collected his first shut-out of the season, making 28 saves.
Two teams struggling for form met in Cherepovets. Barys arrived on a five-game losing run but faced an opponent that had lost its previous eight encounters.
Seeking to arrest that slump, Severstal handed debuts to three players: imports Kyle Chipchura and Geoff Kinrade played on the second line, while Kirill Kapustin was added to the fourth. However, it was Kapustin who opened the scoring in this game, finding the net late in the first period.
Barys struggled to find a way back into the game but eventually levelled it when Eric Tangradi scored a power play goal in the 47th minute. Roman Starchenko collected an assist to mark his 600th KHL appearance. That took us to overtime, where another new signing, Atte Ohtamaa, made an impact for Barys when he helped create the winner for Anton Sagadeyev.
Neftekhimik picked up where it left off before the international break, extending its club record winning streak to 10 games with a high-scoring success in Moscow.
Pavel Poryadin got things moving with an early power play goal, but the real damage was done early in the second period when the visitor scored twice in 18 seconds. Denis Kazionov and Pavel Kulikov got the goals, Ildar Shiksatdarov assisted on both.
Jonas Enlund made it 4-0 in the third period before the Blue-and-Whites belatedly attempted a fightback. Andre Petersson, back from injury, scored on the power play before Daniil Tarasov made it 2-4 and threatened to make a game of it. Nefetkhimik was unruffled, however. Alexander Bryntsev added a fifth then Ryan Murphy emerged from the box to make it 6-2. Dmitrij Jaskin’s late effort was scant consolation for the host.
After 11 successive losses, Dinamo got a much-needed boost. Torpedo, meanwhile, took part in yet another high-scoring encounter before losing out to Ryan Spooner and Alexander Kogalev in the shoot-out.
The Belarusians needed a boost and were handed one early in the game when an error from Ty Rattie presented Francis Pare with the chance to open the scoring in the fourth minute. The return to fitness of Teemu Pulkkinen was another encouraging sign for the host and the Finn doubled that lead late in the frame.
In the second period, though, things got tougher. There was a goal for defenseman Roman Dostanko on his KHL debut and a second of the night for Pare, but on the debit side Torpedo hit back with three of its own to put the outcome in doubt. The third period brought two goals for the visitor’s Anton Shenfeld, either side of a 55th-minute effort from Artyom Demkov, as the game finished in a 5-5 tie.
That set up the shoot-out, and Jhonas Enroth won all of his duels in the Minsk goal. Spooner’s successful conversion took the game beyond Torpedo and – at last – Dinamo had a win to celebrate.
A Dmitry Kugryshev goal two minutes into overtime saw Salavat Yulaev past Dinamo Riga. For the second game running, the Latvians forced a tie in regulation but could not convert that into a first victory since Oct. 25’s road win in Minsk.
In a goalless first period, Dinamo failed on three power play attempts. The home team spent more time on the attack than its opponent but could not convert that into a clear advantage in terms of shots, nor goals.
That pattern continued into the second period, which saw the teams trade markers. Kugryshev put Ufa in front, but Nerijus Alisauskas tied the scores in the 36th minute. The final stanza was more even, despite Dinamo enjoyed a power play for six of the first eight minutes, and the game was settled in the extras when Kugryshev redirected a Pavel Koledov shot to win it for Salavat Yulaev.