Friday’s action started with a roller coaster ride in Vladivostok as Admiral edged past Magnitka in a nine-goal thriller. The visitor led four times but was pegged back in the closing stages as Alexander Osipov got the gamewinner.
Metallurg arrived after losses at Kunlun and Amur and began the game in determined mood. Ilya Vorobyov’s team dominated the first period, outshooting the Sailors 17-5 and turning that pressure into a goal in the 18th minute thanks to Andrej Nestrasil.
In the middle stanza, the see-saw struggle really got going. Shawn Lalonde’s power play goal tied the game, Eric O’Dell restored Metallurg’s lead but, late in the frame, another power play saw Denis Vikharev make it 2-2 thanks to a great feed from Markus Ljungh.
The frantic pace went up another notch in the third. In the first couple of minutes, Sergei Mozyakin and Shawn Lalonde traded goals. Soon after, there was another rapid exchange as Mozyakin and Vikharev got their second markers of the game. But Osipov broke the pattern midway through the frame, putting Admiral ahead for the first time and condemning Metallurg to a third loss in the Far East.
Spartak recorded its third win in a row and now has four wins from four games at its reserve venue of Arena Mytishchi. Dinamo, which slipped to a third successive loss, was competitive in the first period but lost its way after two goals in 63 second midway through the middle frame.
Dinamo enjoyed a perfect start to the game, taking the lead on a third-minute power play goal from Francis Pare. Artyom Fyodorov tied it up, but a second power play brought a second goal for the visitor as Teemu Pulkkinen restored the lead. However, the advantage was short-lived and Kaspars Daugavins made it 2-2.
Early in the second session, Spartak killed a penalty for the first time in the game and as the evening went past the halfway stage the home team took command of the scoreboard. Alexander Khokhlachyov put the Red-and-Whites up for the first time in the game and barely a minute later Daugavins got his second of the game.
Another quickfire double at the start of the third ended Minsk’s hopes. Daugavins turned provider as Anatoly Nikontsevmade it 5-2, then Khokhlachyov got his second goal of the game. That brought Danny Taylor’s Dinamo debut to an early end as Mikhail Karnaukhov took over between the piping. Karnaukhov was beaten late in the game by Max Tsyplakov, who scored for the second game in a row to crown a big home win.
This battle of the big-hitters in the East saw Avangard enjoy more opportunities but ended with Avtomobilist collecting the win in overtime. Visiting goalie Jakub Kovar made 33 saves to help his team take the points.
Avtomobilist arrived looking to return to winning ways after its four-game successful streak was interrupted by an overtime loss in Kazakhstan. Nigel Dawes scored for the fifth consecutive game in Nur-Sultan but he changed roles to provide an assist for his team’s opener today. Dawes went behind the net to set up Brooks Macek and the German international found space on the slot to beat Igor Bobkov in the home net.
However, that eighth-minute goal was hardly indicative of the play in a first period where Avangard had the better of the action without managing to seriously test Jakub Kovar in the visitor’s net. It wasn’t until the second period that Avtomobilist began to start creating regular chance of its own, starting with a power play early in the session and continuing throughout the frame. Late in the second, Anatoly Golyshev jumped out of the box and was sent on a solo run at Bobkov but could not win the duel and double his team’s lead.
The third period saw Avangard throw everything forward in search of an equalizer. The pressure paid off when Sergei Shumakov got the puck in the net in the 52nd minute. It was a scruffy play; Avto goalie Kovar stopped two shots but the second looped up over his shoulder and Shumakov raised his stick to poke the puck into the net. Avtomobilist immediately challenged the play, claiming the forward’s stick was high, but the video review overruled the protest and the goal stood.
In the last minute, Pavel Dedunov was close to winning it but Kovar produced a pad save that denied the Avangard forward and sent the game to overtime. And that’s where Pavel Datsyuk stepped up to create the winning goal. The Magic Man surged into the Avangard zone and dropped the puck for Georgy Belousov. The initial shot was deflected back to Datsyuk, who had the presence of mind to produce a return pass for Belousov to slot the puck into an open net and win the game for the Motormen.