Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Linus Omark got his 300th point for Salavat Yulaev with an assist in today’s 5-3 win over Amur. That makes him the club’s top scorer in the KHL, ahead of Alexander Radulov. In Helsinki, Dmitrij Jaskin’s 11-game productive streak came to an end as Jokerit defeated Dynamo Moscow 3-1. Ak Bars youngster Nikita Dynyak, 22, had a debut to remember with a goal and three assists in a 5-1 win at Barys, while recent Riga signing Kirill Slepets got his first goal for his new club in a 1-4 loss at Vityaz. SKA had a comfortable win at home to Severstal, Simon Hrubec had his first KHL shut-out as Kunlun won at Neftekhimik again, Torpedo climbs to third in the West with victory at Sibir and Lokomotiv overpowered Sochi.

Torpedo leaves it late to move up to third

Sibir Novosibirsk 1 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 4 (0-0, 1-0, 0-4)

Torpedo moves to third in the Western Conference after coming from behind to beat Sibir in the third period. The victory makes it four in a row for David Nemirovsky’s team.

Not for the first time, though, Torpedo had to battle through adversity. While the first period was goalless, Sibir had the better of the play and outshot the visitor 16-5 as Anders Lindbak kept his team in contention. In the middle frame the host got in front in the 32nd minute when Alexander Torchenyuk released Nikita Mikhailov for the opening goal. Sibir had a great chance to double its lead when it got a 5-on-3 power play for almost two minutes but could not convert that opportunity into another goal.

Even the start of the third session saw Sibir on top, and only a coach’s challenge denied the home team a second goal. But Torpedo is used to salvaging games late on, and today was no exception. Moments after that reprieve, Chay Genoway tied the game. Suddenly, the balance shifted and Torpedo could see a path to victory. Jordan Schroeder blazed through the defense to make it 2-1 in the 51st minute and from that point on there was no way back for a Sibir team that had dominated for more than 40 minutes. Late goals from Quinton Howden and Mikhail Varnakov sealed the result.

Memorable debut for Dynyak

Barys Nur-Sultan 1 Ak Bars Kazan 5 (0-3, 0-0, 1-2)

A fast start from Ak Bars secured a fifth successive win for the league leader – and a debut to remember for young forward Nikita Dynyak. The 22-year-old, called up from the VHL, marked the occasion with his first ever KHL goal as the visitor powered to a 3-0 lead inside nine minutes. And all that without Justin Azevedo or Danis Zaripov on the roster.

Viktor Tikhonov’s defense-splitting pass enable Stanislav Galiyev to get things started in the fourth minute. A couple of minutes later Dynyak claimed an assist as Artyom Galimov doubled the lead. Then the youngster found the net himself, applying a redirect during a power play. It took just four shifts of KHL play to get Dynyak on the scoresheet and his goal chased Eddie Pasquale from the home net in favor of Henrik Karlsson.

The game might have been all but done already, but Dynyak wasn’t. After a scoreless middle frame, the rookie contributed two more assists in the third as Galiyev and Galimov took the game further away from Barys. Atte Ohtamaa, once an Ak Bars player, pulled one back between those markers, but it was scant consolation.

300 points for Omark

Salavat Yulaev Ufa 5 Amur Khabarovsk 3 (1-1, 1-1, 3-1)

Linus Omark collected his 300th point for Salavat Yulaev in this game and the Swede moves ahead of Alexander Radulov as his team’s leading scorer in the KHL.

Omark’s big moment came in the 25th minute when he assisted on Alexander Burmistrov’s goal to put Ufa 2-1 ahead. However, that was a long way from settling the outcome here. Amur tied the scores in the second period and the teams traded goals once again midway through the third.

However, Salavat Yulaev had enough to win it thanks to a pair of late goals. Sakari Manninen snapped the 3-3 tie with less than two minutes left and Alexander Kadeikin’s empty net goal made sure of the points. Nikolai Tsulygin’s team remains in third place in the East after a second home win in three days.

Hrubec’s first shut-out leads Red Star to victory

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 0 Kunlun Red Star 2 (0-0, 0-0, 0-2)

Red Star outshone Neftekhimik for the fourth time this season, with goalie Simon Hrubec making 29 saves to claim his first shut-out of the campaign.

For much of the game there was little between the teams. Although Red Star had won all three previous meetings, two had gone to overtime and the other was a 2-1 verdict in Beijing at the start of last month. Since then, Neftekhimik had compiled a club record 10-game winning streak and despite three recent losses there was renewed confidence that today the home team could overcome its oriental hoodoo.

However, early in the third period Red Star broke the deadlock. Garet Hunt, more widely renowned as an enforcer than a playmaker, burst down the left and slung the puck toward the slot. Home goalie Konstantin Barulin got tangled up with a defenseman and Olli Palola was on hand to tap into an empty net. Adam Cracknell doubled the lead midway through the frame and any hopes of a late surge from the host were scuppered by penalties in the closing stages.

SKA eases past Severstal

SKA St. Petersburg 5 Severstal Cherepovets 2 (2-1, 2-0, 1-1)

SKA recorded a fifth straight victory with a convincing performance against Severstal. The visitor has sprung some surprises this season, most recently in Monday’s overtime win at CSKA, but the Army Men never looked likely to stumble here.

Photo: 22.11.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. SKA (St.Petersburg) - Severstal (Cherepovets)

The host dominated the early exchanges and went in front in the ninth minute when Danila Galenyuk continued his recent burst of productivity with a point shot that was redirected past Rafael Khakimov by Andrei Kuzmenko. The only blip on a powerful first period came when Adam Liska beat Alexander Samonov to tie the scores, but after Anton Burdasov restored the home lead there was no way back for Severstal.

Two unanswered goals in the second period saw Sergei Plotnikov and Evgeny Ketov take the game away from the visitor. After two sessions, SKA had spent more than 11 minutes on the attack, while Severstal had just over three minutes at the other end of the ice.

And the home control continued in the third with Kuzmenko getting his second of the game as SKA continued to press. Severstal belatedly gained something of a foothold in the game and had a late consolation goal from Kirill Kapustin, but the game was settled long before that.

Jokerit silences Jaskin, defeats Dynamo

Jokerit Helsinki 3 Dynamo Moscow 1 (1-1, 1-0, 1-0)

Jokerit ended Dmitrij Jaskin’s productive run for Dynamo and reaped the benefits with a solid victory.

Czech international Jaskin was among the points in his last 11 KHL games, but that record came to an end this evening as Michal Cajkovsky scored the visitor’s only goal late in the first period off assists from Daniil Tarasov and Vadim Shipachyov.

That goal came at the end of a tight first period and cancelled out Aleksi Halme’s opener for the home team. But it did little to change the path of the game. In the second period, both teams had chances with Tarasov forcing a big save from Janis Kalnins before Alex Grant hit the post at the other end. Brian O’Neill restored the home lead midway through the session.

Grant increased the lead early in the third and, despite renewed Dynamo pressure, Jokerit held on. Kalnins denied Tarasov once again during a Blue-and-White power play and, for the first time in the game, the visitor had a clear territorial advantage. But there was no way back and Jokerit held on to end the Muscovites’ four-game winning streak.

Lokomotiv too strong for Sochi

HC Sochi 2 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 5 (1-1, 1-1, 0-3)

A strong third period saw Lokomotiv defeat Sochi for the third time this season and open a six-point gap between the playoff positions and the chasing pack.

In many respects, though, it was a surprise that the Railwaymen had to wait so long to secure control of this game. In the first two periods, Mike Pelino’s team outshot the opposition 34-8 but was still tied at 2-2 going into the second intermission. Pavel Kudryavtsev gave Loko an early lead, only for Robert Rosen to tie the game almost immediately. Then, in the middle frame, Artur Kayumov restored the lead from close range before Malte Stromwall’s backhander tied it up late in the session.

But the third period emphatically settled the issue. Denis Alexeyev pounced on a defensive error to make it 3-2 at the start of the third and this time Loko built on the lead. Within two minutes Alexeyev turned provider as Nikolai Kovalenko was released into the Sochi zone to make it 4-2. A penalty shot for Magnus Paajarvi Svensson sealed the win for the visitor.

Vityaz snaps losing run, Slepets gets debut goal for Riga

Vityaz Moscow Region 4 Dinamo Riga 1 (2-0, 1-1, 1-0)

Vityaz snapped a five-game losing streak as Dinamo came up short on its visit to Podolsk. The visitor’s only consolation was a first goal from Kirill Slepets, who joined the club recently from Lokomotiv.

Photo: 22.11.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Vityaz (Moscow Region) - Dinamo (Riga)

Vityaz moved into a 3-0 lead before Slepets got on the mark, though. Pavel Varfolomeyev got things moving with a power play goal midway through the first period and Pekka Jormakka doubled that advantage. Alexei Byvaltsev assisted on both of those goals.

In the middle frame, Danila Moiseyev extended the lead but Slepets kept Dinamo interested. The 20-year-old was tipped for big things after impressing at last season’s World Juniors and breaking into the KHL with Lokomotiv, but under Craig MacTavish and Mike Pelino he found himself at Yaroslavl’s farm club. A move to Riga gives him a chance to regroup and pick up much-needed game time in the big league.

Today though, he was on the losing side. Instead of inspiring a fightback, his goal merely delayed the inevitable. Miro Aaltonen added a fourth for the host midway through the third period and that was the end of the scoring.

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