Two goals from Mikhail Grigorenko saw CSKA get past Metallurg – but the defending champion twice came from behind before securing its sixth successive victory.
Metallurg opened the scoring midway through the first period thanks to Sergei Mozyakin. He got the redirect on a point shot from Viktor Antipin to break the deadlock during a spell of 4-on-4 action. That was the only goal of the opening session, although Magnitka outshot the host 11-4.
The middle frame was very different, with CSKA taking complete control of the play. The home team got its reward midway through the frame when Kirill Kaprizov galloped forward. The visiting defense was able to stifle his shooting chance but could do nothing about Mikhail Grigorenko as he collected the loose puck to tie the scores. But Metallurg struck back immediately. Ilya Vorobyov’s team only mustered two shots in the frame, but Andrej Nestrasil’s was good enough to restore the lead after Mozyakin stole the puck on the CSKA blue line.
The Army Men got back on level terms with five seconds left on the clock. Konstantin Okulov led the charge into Metallurg territory and swung out a pass for Maxim Shalunov in the left channel. His low shot found its way past Vasily Demchenko to tie the game at 2-2.
The third period was more evenly contested. However, when CSKA got a power play, the Army Men took advantage to go in front for the first time in the game. Nikita Nesterov’s feed picked out Grigorenko on the spot and his one-timer flashed past Demchenko. Magnitka then failed to take advantage of its own power play, stymied by some solid CSKA defense, and as the clock ran down the visitor struggled to carve out clear chances around Ilya Sorokin’s net. Not even a late surge could give Metallurg a way to force overtime as CSKA opened a three-point gap over SKA at the top of the Western Conference.