The Dragons tightened their grip on a top-eight place after completing back-to-back home wins over Admiral. The visitor, adapting to life without injured goalie Juho Olkinuora, suffered a tough time in Beijing, allowing 10 goals in two games as Anton Krasotkin stood in for the Finn.
Wednesday’s game was a notable one for Brandon Yip. The Red Star captain made his 139th appearance for the club, matching Joonas Jarvinen’s club record. He also scored the opening goal, stuffing home the rebound from a Jake Chelios shot. Another rebound saw Ethan Werek restore the home lead on the first power play of the game to make it 2-1 at the first intermission.
The teams traded power play goals at the start of the second, then Admiral’s Alexander Osipov was ejected from the game for boarding. Lucas Lockhart was the victim – he would exact revenge in the final stanza. Krasotkin’s unhappy evening continued when he gave up a huge rebound for the fourth goal and suffered the indignity of Tyler Wong bouncing the puck into the net off the goalie’s back before Denis Vikharev ensured it was a one-goal game going into the third.
Admiral was unable to recover, though. Lockhart scored twice in the final frame. The fifth came after a defensive error presented Spencer Foo with the puck behind the net, the sixth was a short-handed effort off a Devante Smith-Pelly feed.
Two quick goals early in the third period took this game away from Torpedo and sent the home team spinning to a fifth successive loss.
The visitor found itself under pressure in the first period as Henrik Karlsson was called upon to make 13 saves. However, Barys got in front early in the second thank to Corban Knight and went on to have much the better of the middle frame.
Yegor Petukhov stretched that lead with his second goal of the season in the 46th minute, then Dmitry Shevchenko added a third 83 seconds later. A fight between Torpedo’s Ty Rattie and Barys defenseman Atte Ohtamaa enlivened proceedings and, with the teams playing 4-on-4, Knight potted his second of the game.
Karlsson finished the game with 35 saves for his second shut-out of the season as Barys tightened its grip on third place in the East.
Sochi closed the gap on eighth-placed Torpedo as Dinamo suffered its eighth successive defeat.
The damage was done in the first period, as the Leopards raced into a three-goal lead. Damir Rakhimullin scored twice, opening his account for the season, before Malte Stromwall added a third. Midway through the second session, Artyom Tomilin made it 4-0 and the visitor was in complete control.
One bright spot for the Belarusians during this miserable run has been the contribution of Ryan Spooner. The Canadian forward stretched his productive run to four games (2 goals, 5 assists) when he potted Minsk’s second of the game late in the second period. Spooner’s goal came a minute after Artyom Demkov got the host on the scoreboard and raised hopes of a fightback in the third period.
However, it was not to be. Sochi steadied the ship and increased its lead when Stromwall got his second of the night midway through the final stanza.