The Tigers roared back from 0-3 to defeat Avtomobilist in a shoot-out. Vyacheslav Ushenin was key to the comeback, scoring twice in the third period to tie the game before Igor Rudenkov got the decider in that shoot-out.
Earlier, though, the visitor got off to a great start. Peter Holland and Dan Sexton showed no respect to home goalie Evgeny Alikin and his back-to-back shut-outs, scoring twice in the first eight minutes to put the Motormen firmly on the road. However, even in the first period this game was far from one-way traffic, with Jakub Kovar kept busy in the Avto net.
The second period saw Brooks Macek extend the Avtomobilist lead but Amur responded within a couple of minutes as Kirill Rasskazov got the home team on the scoreboard and gave the fans hope. Against Dinamo Minsk, Amur had recovered a three-goal deficit and the Khabarovsk team did it again here. Ushenin took his chances to send the game to overtime and, after that failed to produce a winner, the shoot-out saw Alikin deny Avto as Rudenkov potted the winner.
SKA followed up its Christmas Day win in Kazakhstan with another success on the road at Sibir. But after the goal feast in Nur-Sultan the Army Men had to wait until late in this game before sealing the win.
It wasn’t for the want of trying. Stubborn Sibir defense snuffed out good chances for Anton Burdasov, Lukas Bengtsson and Vladimir Tkachyov in the early stages, while at the other Alexei Melnichuk got the better of Yegor Milovzorov and Juuso Puustinen when Sibir had chances to attack.
The breakthrough came in the 47th minute when Andrei Kuzmenko put SKA in front, taking advantage of a positional error by home D-man Nikolai Demidov to open a shooting lane. Tkachyov sealed it with an empty net goal and SKA took advantage of CSKA’s day off to move to the top of the Western Conference.
In a game rich in incident, Dynamo opened a 2-0 lead in the first period. Vladimir Bryukvin opened the scoring in the 10th minute and soon afterwards a power play helped Jaskin pot his 19th of the season off a Shipachyov assist.
But the second period reversed all that. Dustin Boyd pulled a goal back against a team he briefly represented between spells with Barys, then Anton Sagadeyev tied the scores in the 38th minute. Barys hit the front for the first time in the third, with Roman Starchenko scoring in the 45th minute. But Shipachyov, the KHL’s leading scorer, took his tally for the season to 46 (11+35) points with an assist on Andre Petersson’s tying goal and then the game-winner.
Today marks the 72nd anniversary of hockey in Chelyabinsk and Traktor was in a festive mood. However, opposing head coach Oleg Znarok, a Chelyabinsk native himself, knows all about hockey in this city – including how to get the better of the local team.
There was an early birthday present for the home team when Dmitry Kalinin opened the scoring after just 35 seconds, but Spartak had brought back several key players for this game and two of them combined to tie the game on the power play midway through the game. Martins Karsums fed Patrik Hersley for that goal and it was 1-1 at the first intermission.
The game was very much alive throughout the second period, but three goals in the space of two minutes turned it in Spartak’s favor. Traktor briefly regained the lead through Vyacheslav Osnovin, but a quickfire double from Karsums and Denis Kokarev gave the visitor the edge at the second break.