This game was all about goalie Timur Bilyalov. Coming into the game, the 24-year-old had not allowed a goal in 282 minutes, beating Fred Braithwaite’s all-time record for Ak Bars. But there were more achievements on the horizon. Survive the first period, and he would eclipse Alexei Murygin’s KHL record shut-out sequence of 302 minutes, 11 seconds. Keep it going into the second period, and Jiri Trvaj’s all-time Russian record of 305:56, set in 2004 while playing for Lada Togliatti, would also fall.
And the Kazan native got the job done. Helped by a strong performance that limited Traktor to just six shots in the first period, Bilyalov secured the first mark. True, there was one anxious moment when a Vitaly Kravtsov shot bobbled awkwardly around his pads late in the opening frame, but for the most part this was a calm evening. Into the second stanza, and after killing a penalty early on Ak Bars kept the visitor at arm’s length and helped secure the new record. Bilyalov reached 316:09 Without allowing a goal before Lukas Sedlak redirected a Jesse Virtanen point shot to end the record-breaking sequence.
By that time, though, Ak Bars was in control of the game. Early goals from Stanislav Galiyev and Kristian Khenkel put the home team on top, and Vasily Demchenko came off the Traktor bench to try to keep his colleagues in contention. Midway through the second, Vladislav Kara scored his second goal in successive games, while new signing Viktor Tikhonov collected his second assist in his second appearance for the club. Kara, a young forward building a bright reputation for himself, got another goal at the start of the third period to complete the win, but this game was all about Bilyalov’s record.
After 10 successive victories, Neftekhimik arrived in Yaroslavl full of confidence. However, the home team opened the scoring after 25 seconds and kept on piling up the punishment.
Stepan Sannikov got that opener, swatting home the puck backhanded from close range. Anton Lander doubled the lead, gobbling up the rebound from a Markus Paajarvi-Svensson shot and Denis Alexeyev made it 3-0 late in the first period.
There was some respite early in the third period. Lokomotiv continued to press but had to wait until the 33rd minute before extending its lead. However, Jakub Nakladal’s slap shot opened the floodgates once again. Lander soon potted his second of the game, Konstantin Barulin replaced Alexander Sharychenkov in the visitor’s net, but Grigory Denisenko added a sixth minutes after the veteran goalie entered the game.
A power play goal from Zack Mitchell got Neftekhimik on the scoreboard in the third period and there were further markers from Jacob Berglund and Ildar Shiksatdarov to give the final score a more respectable look, but there was never much doubt about the outcome of this game.
Avangard bounced back from Tuesday’s 0-3 loss to Ak Bars with a solid victory over Severstal. Earlier in the season, the Steelmen surprised Bob Hartley’s team with a 5-1 win in Balaskhika, but today Avangard condemned its opponent to a 10th successive loss.
Both teams changed goalies in the opening minutes, albeit for very different reasons. Avangard’s Alexander Sudnitsin left the game after 76 seconds, injured after a pile-up on his crease. Igor Bobkov replaced him and watched his team jump to a 2-0 lead. Igor Makarov scored the first then had an assist as Pavel Dedunov made it 2-0 on 5:25. That was enough for Severstal’s Vladislav Podyapolsky, who was replaced by Rafael Khakimov.
The new goalie kept it tight until the start of the second period. Then Avangard got a 5-on-3 power play and Sven Andrighetto capitalized to make it 3-0. Yegor Morozov pulled one back for the home team, but another power play chance saw Taylor Beck make it 4-1 to the visitor by the second intermission.
There was little action in the third period, but late in the game Sergei Shirokov got Avangard’s fifth with a penalty shot. And thus, the game finished as a mirror of the teams’ earlier meeting this season with the visitor winning 5-1.
Torpedo’s Swedish goalie Anders Lindbak returned to action for the first time since Oct. 1 and proved his return to fitness by collecting his fifth victory of the season. However, his evening was more difficult than the comfortable final score suggests, as Sibir gave its host plenty to think about before succumbing in the third period.
The first half of this game was a hard-fought battle. Sibir got an early lead thanks to Mikael Ruohomaa, only for Jordan Schroeder to tie the scores on the night’s first power play. Then, early in the second period, the teams traded goals in the space of 45 seconds. Denis Barantsev put Torpedo in front but Jukka Peltola replied almost immediately.
Daniil Ilyin’s 33rd-minute goal proved to be the game-breaker. Torpedo held that lead to the second intermission and increased it in the third. Stanislav Bocharov scored twice – one of them short-handed – before Damir Zhafyarov wrapped it up with four seconds to play.
An exciting encounter in Moscow was decided by two incidents referred to the video officials at the start of the third period. With the scores tied at 2-2 after 40 minutes, CSKA was denied a goal due to interference on visiting goalie Juha Metsola. But Salavat Yulaev saw Mikhail Pashnin’s go-ahead goal awarded despite a coach’s challenge from the Army Men and the visitor went on to win the game.
The first period was all about Andrei Svetlakov. CSKA’s forward scored twice, cancelling out Philip Larsen’s opener and putting his team in front in the 13th minute. However, Sakari Manninen tied the scores before the intermission and Ufa went in level at 2-2 despite being somewhat outplayed in the opening exchanges. The second period was goalless, with Salavat playing a great part in the action, but that was merely a prelude to the drama ahead.
There was controversy at the start of the third period when CSKA thought it had regained the lead. Mat Robinson’s shot was blocked by Metsola, Svetlakov got to the rebound first, but as he steered the puck towards Sergei Tolchinsky the forward got his stick caught up in the goalie’s pads and the play was ruled off for goalie interference.
The video was called upon once again moments later when Salavat Yulaev’s Mikhail Pashnin beat Sorokin. The former CSKA defenseman surged up the ice and fired a shot that crept through Sorokin’s defenses. However, after the shot, he slipped and crashed into the goalie, prompting Igor Nikitin to appeal for goalie interference on this play. This time, though, the contact was ruled accidental and the goal was awarded. A couple of minutes later, Maxim Mayorov made it 4-2 to the visitor and CSKA was facing its third successive defeat even before Dmitry Kugryshev found the empty net in the last second.
Dmitrij Jaskin’s overtime winner halted Dynamo’s two-game losing streak, as Barys was unable to build on a winning return to action after the international break.
The visitor had taken an overtime verdict at Severstal on Tuesday, snapping a five-game losing sequence of its own, while Dynamo’s shaky defense allowed Neftekhimik to score six here in Moscow. Today, though, the Blue-and-Whites rehabilitated themselves.
It was far from straightforward: after Artyom Volkov put the host in front early in the game, Barys responded to lead at the first intermission on goals from Leonid Metalnikov and Nikita Mikhailis. However, Volkov turned provider as Igor Polygalov tied the scores in the third and overtime saw Jaskin settle the issue in just 23 seconds. The Czech international has scored in each of his last four KHL games and has produced at least one point in nine of the last 10 games. Over that time, he has compiled 19 (9+10) points.
Dinamo snapped a five-game losing streak thanks to a late goal from Nikita Setdikov. The forward, playing only his second game for Riga since moving from Avtomobilist, potted the decisive marker with barely three minutes left to play and his first effort for his new club earned his team a much-needed victory.
The play started with Andris Dzerins battling to get the puck out from behind the net. Derzins then headed to the slot to combine with Uvis Balinskis and screen Julius Hudacek in the Spartak net. Setdikov rolled around to the top of the right-hand circle and fired in a shot that whipped between his two team-mates and past Hudacek to restore the home lead. Dzerins then finished it off with an empty-net goal.
Earlier, Nerijus Alisauskas had given Dinamo the lead in the sixth minute. The Lithuanian defenseman also found the net in Tuesday’s overtime loss against Salavat Yulaev and had an assist against SKA before the international break as he established his first three-game scoring sequence in his career.