Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Metallurg picked up a hard-fought 1-0 victory to end a five-game skid at home to Salavat Yulaev. That result kept Kunlun Red Star out of the top eight in the East despite an overtime win over Avangard in Beijing. Spartak allowed four goals in five minutes on the way to a 0-5 loss at Amur and SKA also produced a third period goal blitz to overturn a 1-3 deficit and defeat Dinamo Riga.

Rapid revenge for Red Star

Kunlun Red Star 3 Avangard Omsk 2 OT (0-0, 2-2, 0-0, 1-0)

Two days after losing to Avangard in a shoot-out, Red Star got revenge with an overtime win against the same opponent. The Dragons and the Hawks have now taken five points apiece from their four meetings this season, with Kunlun’s success on Saturday lifting the team into the top eight in the Eastern Conference – albeit briefly.

After a goalless first period, the Dragons took the lead when fit-again Gilbert Brule deflected a Trevor Murphy shot past Igor Bobkov. However, as on Thursday, Avangard turned a 0-1 deficit into a 2-1 lead. Semyon Koshelev was on the scoresheet again before Alexei Potapov’s short-ended effort put the visitor in front. Just before the intermission, Spencer Foo tied the scores after an uncharacteristic error from Slava Voynov turned the puck over in the Avangard end.

There was no scoring in the third period, but the game was quickly settled in overtime. The Dragons’ first attack of the extras saw Andrew Miller’s long pass release Murphy and the defenseman beat Bobkov on the stick side to seal the points.

Amur posts biggest win of the season

Amur Khabarovsk 5 Spartak Moscow 0 (1-0, 0-0, 4-0)

Amur enjoyed a convincing win over Spartak – but still owed much to goalie Evgeny Alikin. In the second period, when the game was still poised at 1-0 to the host, Alikin performed heroics to preserve the lead. He helped his team withstand a 3-on-5 penalty kill then produced a string of highlight reel saves midway through the frame to frustrate Spartak’s search for an equalizer.

With 10 minutes played, only Hynek Zohorna’s first-period goal separated the teams. However, Spartak’s efforts on offense continually crashed against a wall of orange jerseys and gradually the visitor ran out of steam. The final 10 minutes saw Amur in the ascendency, scoring four unanswered goals to give the final scoreline a flattering appearance.

Kirill Rasskazov extended the lead in the 50th minute and Nikita Kamalov soon made it 3-0. Two goals in a minute from Denis Golubev and Vladislav Ushenin put the game well beyond Spartak. Alikin’s shut-out was his third of the campaign.

Kulemin goal snaps Metallurg’s losing run

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 1 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 0 (0-0, 0-0, 1-0)

Metallurg snapped a five-game losing streak to bounce straight back into the top eight in the Eastern Conference. Ilya Vorobyov’s team went into this game outside of the playoff places following Red Star’s win over Avangard, but a hard-working performance saw it edge a tight game.

Photo: 30.11.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) - Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)

Both teams made changes going into the game. Magnitka, looking to revive its fortunes, sent out a new first line of Nikolai Kulemin, Roman Lyubimov and Evgeny Timkin, while Ufa had to replace the injured Teemu Hartikainen with youngster Rodion Amirov.

It took time for the teams to settle into their game, although Metallurg generally looked the stronger of the two in the opening exchanges. Both teams had to contend with injuries during the course of the game: the second period saw Magnitka’s Yegor Yakovlev and Salavat’s Zakhar Arzamastsev leave the ice in separate incidents.

In a game of few chances it was perhaps no surprise that a breakdown made the decisive difference. A careless pass presented Kulemin with the puck and he raced up the ice to win a one-on-one duel with Juha Metsola. That was enough to win it; Vasily Koshechkin made 27 saves for his fifth shut-out of the season.

SKA battles back to win in Latvia

Dinamo Riga 3 SKA St. Petersburg 5 (1-0, 2-1, 0-4)

Dinamo gave SKA a big shock, but the visitor turned the game around emphatically in the third period to record its eighth successive win.

Photo: 30.11.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Dinamo (Riga) - SKA (St.Petersburg)

The Latvians were on top for 40 minutes of this game, opening a 3-1 lead. Carter Ashton, who scored twice in the recent overtime win in Sochi, opened the scoring midway through the first period and Uvis Balinskis doubled the advantage on the power play early in the second with a point shot that took at least one deflection on its way past Alexander Samonov. SKA responded with a goal from Dinar Khafizullin but Riga finished the frame on a high note when Lauris Darzins made it 3-1. Balinskis got a helper on that goal, taking him to three points for the night.

If Dinamo thought it could sit back and close out the game with a two-goal lead, SKA had other ideas. The visitor scored twice in the first five minutes of the third period to tie the game. Then Nail Yakupov celebrated his return to action with a power play goal to make it 4-3 midway through the frame. Anton Belov added an empty-net goal to wrap up the points for the visitor and frustrate Riga’s bid to record three straight wins for the first time this season.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Avangard (Omsk) Avangard (Omsk)
Amur (Khabarovsk) Amur (Khabarovsk)
Dinamo (Riga) Dinamo (Riga)
Kunlun Red Star (Beijing) Kunlun Red Star (Beijing)
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)
SKA (Saint Petersburg) SKA (Saint Petersburg)
Spartak (Moscow) Spartak (Moscow)
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