Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Jokerit defenseman Mikko Lehtonen scored twice to lead his team to a 4-1 victory at home to Amur, while Maxim Afinogenov did much the same for Dynamo Moscow against Lokomotiv. On the road, CSKA got a boost with a hard-fought 3-2 win at Traktor, only a second success in seven games for the defending champion. Alexander Protapovich got his first KHL goal to give Dinamo Riga an overtime win at Severstal, but the extras brought little joy for Dinamo Minsk, beaten after blowing a 2-0 lead at home to Admiral. Barys also needed overtime to get past Metallurg, with Linus Videll extending Magnitka’s losing run. Avtomobilist was close to a comeback against Torpedo, but fell just short with the score at 3-4.

CSKA edges past Traktor

Traktor Chelyabinsk 2 CSKA Moscow 3 (1-0, 0-3, 1-0)

CSKA and Traktor are at opposite ends of the KHL table, but ahead of today’s game both teams had just one win in six games. As a result, both began the game somewhat cautiously and it wasn’t until late in the first period that we saw the opening goal.

That went to Traktor, its first goal against CSKA since December 2017, scored by Lukas Sedlak as he and his Czech colleague Tomas Hyka launched a two-man raid on the Army Men. However, it merely prompted the visitor to raise the tempo and the second period brought three unanswered CSKA goals. Jiri Sekac got the first, snapping a blank streak that extended for eight games. A couple of minutes later, the Czech turned provider with an assist as Maxim Shalunov put the defending champion ahead. Late in the frame Sergei Andronov added a third.

Starting the final stanza on the power play, CSKA was close to adding a fourth but Traktor held on – just – and gradually regained a foothold in the game. Nick Bailen’s goal in the 49th minute raised hopes of a fightback, but Traktor could not find a way to force overtime.

Videll gives Barys the verdict

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 1 Barys Nur-Sultan 2 OT (1-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Linus Videll’s overtime winner gave Barys a birthday boost while sending Metallurg to a fourth consecutive loss. The Swede got his second goal since moving to Kazakhstan, snapping a 1-1 tie as the men from Nur-Sultan marked the club’s 20th anniversary with a victory.

Photo: 26.11.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) - Barys (Nur-Sultan)

However, Barys needed to come from behind here. Metallurg captain Sergei Mozyakin opened the scoring in trademark fashion in the seventh minute, adding to the two he scored in a losing cause at Admiral in the previous game. Russian hockey’s all-time leading scorer moves on to 20 (8+12) points for the current season.

As in Vladivostok, though, it wasn’t enough to earn the win. Magnitka’s power play broke down early in the second period and Pavel Akolzin skated away on his own to tie the game with a short-handed goal.

After that, it was all about who would make the next mistake. Both teams had chances before the 60 minutes were up, but neither could convert them. It wasn’t until the second minute of overtime that Videll applied the finishing touch to give Barys the verdict.

Torpedo quells Macek’s fightback

Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 3 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 4 (0-2, 1-2, 2-0)

This season Torpedo has made a name for itself as a comeback specialist – but today it was almost on the receiving end of a dramatic fightback. In the closing minutes of this game, Avtomobilist grabbed two goals to raise hopes of taking something from an encounter that seemed to be lost.

Brooks Macek got both of the goals, in the 56th and 59th minutes, to turn Torpedo’s comfortable 4-1 lead into an anxious 4-3 margin. But the visitor held on for the last 82 seconds to make it five wins from six games.

The visitor made a flying start to this one, scoring twice in the first eight minutes. Ty Rattie opened the scoring on the power play before Chay Genoway doubled the lead. The Canadian defenseman had a productive evening, with two assists in addition to his goal.

Avto reacted by replacing experienced goalie Jakub Kovar with rookie Leonid Fomin and, for a time, the team responded. Suddenly, the play was all at the other end of the ice and in the 28th minute Pavel Datsyuk set up Georgy Belousov to halve the deficit. Not long after, the home team got a power play, but instead of tying the scores the Motormen allowed a short-handed goal from Damir Zhafyarov. And even as the host continued to dominate the play, Stanislav Bocharov extended the visitor’s advantage with a goal that proved decisive after Macek’s late efforts.

Protapovich opens his account in Riga victory

Severstal Cherepovets 1 Dinamo Riga 2 OT (1-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Alexander Protapovich got his first goal in the KHL to give Dinamo Riga victory at Severstal. The 23-year-old, whose 13 appearances so far have been with three different clubs, struck just 30 seconds into the extras as the Latvians picked up a second successive overtime win and left the host rooted to the foot of the Western Conference.

Severstal, with just one improbable win at CSKA in its previous 13 games, made the brighter start and deserved its lead at the first intermission after Bogdan Yakimov’s goal separated the teams. However, Brandon McMillan tied the game late in the second frame. The Canadian forward potted his ninth goal of the season and trails only Lauris Darzins on Riga’s scoring charts.

The third period produced relatively few chances and neither team could snap that 1-1 tie and secure the victory. But early in the extras came Protapovich’s big moment. A Kristaps Sotnieks pass split the home defense and sent the forward one-on-one with Vladislav Podyapolsky. As the goalie went to ground early, Protapovich easily skated around him to slide the puck home and seal the win.

Ljungh at the double as Admiral fights back

Dinamo Minsk 2 Admiral Vladivostok 3 OT (2-0, 0-2, 0-0, 0-1)

Admiral battled back from 0-2 to defeat Minsk in overtime and move to six wins from seven games. Yury Petrov got the deciding goal, firing home from between the hash marks with barely a minute left to play in the extras.

Earlier, though, the Belarusians seemed well placed to build on a hard-fought victory at Avangard last time out. First period goals from Andrei Kostitsyn and Shane Prince gave the home team a strong position to defend while Jhonas Enroth continued his impressive form from the Avangard game.

In the middle frame everything changed. Admiral still struggled to get shots at Enroth, but from eight attempts it managed to generate two goals. Markus Ljungh got them both, one on the power play. Shawn Lalonde had two assists.

There were few big chances at either end in the third but when Kostitsyn took a high sticks minor in overtime, Admiral was able to take its chance as Petrov potted the winner.

Dynamo slows Loko’s run of form

Dynamo Moscow 4 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 1 (1-0, 2-1, 1-0)

Dynamo jumps to third in the West, just one point behind SKA, after a good win against an in-form Lokomotiv team. The Railwaymen are still down in eighth in the conference but under Mike Pelino their form has improved significantly. Ahead of this meeting, Loko had five wins from six games. Dynamo, too, has been on a decent run, winning four in a row prior to Sunday’s 1-3 loss in Helsinki and the Blue-and-Whites picked up the points here.

Photo: 26.11.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Dynamo (Moscow) - Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)

The game began and ended with Maxim Afinogenov. Dynamo’s ageless forward opened the scoring here in the ninth minute when he fired home an Andre Petersson feed and applied the finishing touch to the victory with an empty net goal. Petersson collected his third helper of the night on that play.

In between, Loko tied the scores midway through the second period through Artur Kayumov, only for Dmitrij Jaskin to restore Dynamo’s lead three minutes later. The Czech saw his 11-game productive streak halted in Helsinki but was straight back on the goal trail here. Vladimir Bryukvin made it 3-1 late in the frame as the home team proved more clinical with its chances.

Lehtonen double paces Jokerit’s win

Jokerit Helsinki 4 Amur Khabarovsk 1 (1-0, 1-1, 2-0)

Jokerit shrugged off Sunday’s shoot-out defeat at home to Lokomotiv with a strong performance to defeat Amur. Defenseman Mikko Lehtonen led the way with two goals, moving to 19 (8+11) points for the season.

The 25-year-old joined Jokerit in the summer and is currently the team’s leading scorer in the KHL. In the eighth minute he opened the scoring here, converting the first power play of the game and setting the tone for a first period that the home team dominated.

In the middle stanza, though, Amur regained some ground. Dmitry Korobov tied the scores early on and for a time Jokerit was struggling to really impose itself on the Eastern Conference struggler. That changed when Antti Pihlstrom restored the home lead, and the final frame saw the Finns cruise to victory.

Petri Kontiola attempted an audacious play, trying to lift the puck over the net and in off the goalie’s back early in the session before John Norman extended the lead on the power play. With Jokerit in full control, Lehtonen got his second of the night, again on the PP, to seal a comfortable win.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod Region) Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod Region)
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