Andy Potts Andy Potts
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After four straight losses, CSKA needed to get back on track and a 3-2 overtime win at Vityaz helped the Army Men to do just that. City rival Dynamo also had an overtime victory thanks to a last-second goal from Vadim Shipachyov in Riga. And a third Moscow team, Spartak, defeated Lokomotiv in a shoot-out. Elsewhere, Timur Bilyalov and Juha Metsola produced big goaltending displays to help Ak Bars and Salavat Yulaev defeat Sibir and Kunlun Red Star respectively.

Busy night for Petrov

Sibir Novosibirsk 1 Ak Bars Kazan 4 (0-1, 0-1, 1-2)

Two goals from Kirill Petrov and another impressive performance from Timur Bilyalov kept league leader Ak Bars out in front with a big win at Sibir. The home team made five changes from its previous game, including the return of leading scorer Juuso Puustinen, but could not find a way to halt its losing streak.

Ak Bars made a fast start and soon took the lead through Matt Frattin. However, the rest of the first period belonged to the host, with record-breaking goalie Bilyalov at his best to steer his team through a torrid spell. In the middle session, penalties disrupted the play as the teams shared eight minors. Ak Bars spent more time in the bin and was limited to just three attempts on target. However, a power play goal from Petrov extended the visitor’s lead, albeit somewhat against the run of play.

The forward had missed the previous game at Traktor and was having a busy night in Novosibirsk. Late in the second period he got his second penalty of the game and early in the third Yegor Milovzorov scored on the power play. Petrov then watched from the sidelines as his teammates killed yet another penalty before Danis Zaripov made it 3-1 in the 48th minute. In the 53rd minute, Petrov got his second of the game to make the final score 4-1. Sibir suffers its fifth straight loss, Ak Bars celebrates a fourth successive win.

Metsola frustrates Red Star

Salavat Yulaev Ufa 1 Kunlun Red Star 0 (1-0, 0-0, 0-0)

Juha Metsola produced a game-winning performance as he made 34 saves to thwart Kunlun. The Finn was at his best in the third period, when a dominant Dragons display forced him into 18 saves.

The best of them came with about five minutes to play. First he said ‘no’ to Andrew Miller, all alone on the slot, then he slid across the crease to close the door on Ryan Sproul as the American defenseman looked to tap in the rebound.

There were other big chance for Red Star. Devante Smith-Pelly might have opened his KHL account in the second period had a Cory Kane feed not got caught up in his skates. And in the opening frame, Brandon DeFazio hit the post and Miller saw a shot deflected narrowly wide off an Ufa skate.

But the only goal came at the other end after just four minutes of play. Jason Fram was caught in possession taking the puck away from his net and Maxim Mayorov’s shot was redirected past Jeremy Smith by Nikita Soshnikov. That goal makes Soshnikov the leading goalscorer in the KHL this season with 15, one ahead of Kirill Kaprizov of CSKA.

CSKA snaps losing streak, Vityaz continues to struggle

Vityaz Moscow Region 2 CSKA Moscow 3 OT (1-2, 0-0, 1-0, 0-1)

CSKA halted its four-game losing streak thanks to a Konstantin Okulov goal in overtime – but after a blistering start, the defending champion made hard work of seeing off a Vityaz team that has now lost its last five.

Photo: 20.11.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Vityaz (Moscow Region) - CSKA (Moscow)

The Army Men came to Podolsk with revenge in mind after losing 2-1 at home to Mikhail Kravets’ team during that sensational start to the season from Vityaz. And the early exchanges were a statement of intent as Mikhail Grigorenko’s power play on 74 seconds was followed by an effort from Sergei Tolchinsky 19 seconds later.

That forced Vityaz to change goalie, and incoming stopper Pyotr Kochetkov provided the stabilizing influence his team needed. The former SKA netminder went unbeaten through regulation time and saw the host battle back to tie the scores. Joonas Nattinen got his first goal of the season midway through the first period, and Alexei Byvaltsev potted his first since arriving from SKA to tie the game in the 54th minute.

In overtime, though, Vityaz could not live with the pace of CSKA’s offense. Okulov applied the coup de grace, circling to the deep slot before finally getting the better of Kochetkov to secure the win.

Loko loses despite late rally

Spartak Moscow 4 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 3 SO (1-0, 1-1, 1-2, 0-0, 1-0)

Lokomotiv scored twice late in this game to force overtime but ended up losing in the shoot-out at Arena Mytishchi. The game was moved from Spartak’s usual home in Moscow and, much like last year, the change of scenery seemed to suit the Red-and-Whites.

Photo: 20.11.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Spartak (Moscow) - Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)

The first period was evenly matched until the last minute, when Maxim Tsyplakov opened the scoring after a turnover in center ice. That lead was cancelled out right after the intermission, though, when Artyom Ilyenko replied for Lokomotiv.

Next, Spartak built up a two-goal lead on markers from defensemen. Dmitry Vishnevsky restored the advantage in the second period before Patrik Hersley converted a power play early in the third to score against one of his former clubs.

It looked like the home team had enough to win it, but Lokomotiv hit back in the last few minutes. Stephane Da Costa forced the puck home from close range to bring the game back to life and, with barely a minute left, Anton Lander fired in a point shot with Julius Hudacek screened. That sent the game all the way to penalty shots, where Yakov Rylov proved to be the winner.

Late double strike sinks Severstal

HC Sochi 4 Severstal Cherepovets 2 (0-2, 1-0, 3-0)

Two goals in the last two minutes brought Sochi victory over Severstal after the visitor began with a quick-fire double of its own.

Severstal, boosted by its overtime win at CSKA in the previous game, kept up that form in the opening exchanges. Bogdan Yakimov scored twice in the first 10 minutes and the first period was very much in the visitor’s favor.

However, it all changed after Sochi got on the board late in the second period. Sergei Shmelyov scored on the power play and that reawakened the home team. Another power play effort, this time for Denis Mosalyov, tied the game and Sochi went on to dominate the third period. Malte Stromwall got the winner when his shot deflected off a visiting defenseman and found the net. And, to wrap it up, Stromwall set up his fellow Swede Robert Rosen to make it 4-2.

Shipachyov lifts Dynamo in overtime

Dinamo Riga 3 Dynamo Moscow 4 OT (0-0, 1-2, 2-1, 0-1)

Vadim Shipachyov potted a last-gasp overtime winner in Riga. He stuffed the puck home from close range in the final second of the extras to finish an entertaining game in Moscow’s favor. Czech international Dmitrij Jaskin stretched his productive streak to 11 games with two assists, including one on Shipachyov’s decider.

This developed into a lively game, with the lead changing hands repeatedly as the teams battled out a 3-3 tie in regulation. But there was little evidence of that in a first period that produced just 14 shots on goal between the two teams.

It took Brandon McMillan to waken things up. He opened the scoring in the 28th minute and Dynamo rose to the challenge. Almost immediately the Muscovites got a power play and Juuso Hietanen tied the scores. Then, late in the frame, another penalty against Riga saw Daniil Tarasov put the visitor in front.

Veteran Latvian forward Mikelis Redlihs tied it up at the start of the third and Kristaps Sotnieks put the home team back in front midway through the frame. The defenseman was assisted by Nikita Setdikov and Alexander Protapovich, two recent signings from Avtomobilist. But penalty trouble hurt Riga once again and Michal Cajkovsky tied the game with three minutes left to play.

In overtime, the Latvians had a great chance to win it when Shipachyov was sin-binned for holding. However, Dynamo’s PK stood up and limited Riga’s special teams to efforts from the outside that did not unduly trouble Ivan Bocharov.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Dinamo (Riga) Dinamo (Riga)
Kunlun Red Star (Beijing) Kunlun Red Star (Beijing)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)
Severstal (Cherepovets) Severstal (Cherepovets)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
HC Sochi (Sochi) HC Sochi (Sochi)
Spartak (Moscow) Spartak (Moscow)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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