Andy Potts Andy Potts
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All five KHL games in Wednesday ended in victory for the visiting team. CSKA’s derby day triumph at Dynamo was the most eye-catching game, while Barys had the biggest win with a 5-1 success at Neftekhimik. Three of the games went to overtime, with Lokomotiv winning 2-1 at Salavat Yulaev and Jokerit pipping Spartak 3-2. Severstal needed a shoot-out to overcome Dinamo Riga by the same scoreline.

Lazushin wins goaltending duel

Salavat Yulaev Ufa 1 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 2 OT (0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 0-1)

Both goalies were in fine form in this lively encounter in Ufa, making 76 saves between them before Loko edged the verdict in overtime.

Photo: 08.01.20. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) - Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)

The combined efforts of Juha Metsola and Alexander Lazushin kept the scoresheet blank in the first period, although both teams were full of attacking intent. With different goaltending, it could easily have been 3-3 rather than 0-0 at the first intermission.

In the second period, the play continued in similar vein until the 33-minute mark, when Salavat broke the deadlock at last. Teemu Hartikainen’s productive streak extended to five games with his assist on Artyom Sergeyev’s effort. That was the first time Lazushin allowed a goal in 2020 and, for a time, Lokomotiv was subdued by the blow. Early in the third, the home team hit the bar and it wasn’t until the host ran into penalty trouble that Loko found a way back into contention. Metsola twice defied the Yaroslavl power play but was beaten by Anton Lander on a counter-attack once the teams were back to full strength.

That sent us to overtime, and if regulation was all about the goalies, the extras needed just two shots to settle the outcome. Rushan Rafikov potted the winner for Lokomotiv after 25 seconds, extending his team’s run to three straight wins.

In-form Jensen stops Spartak

Spartak Moscow 2 Jokerit Helsinki 3 OT (2-1, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Niklas Jensen followed up his hat-trick in Riga with two goals at Spartak as Jokerit made it 18 games in which it took at least one point. And after the Dane’s double in regulation secured a 2-2 tie, Sami Lepisto struck in overtime to send the points back to Finland.

Photo: 08.01.20. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Spartak (Moscow) - Jokerit (Helsinki)

Spartak made four changes to the team that beat SKA yesterday, with Tobias Viklund among the new faces following his return from injury. And the new-look line-up solved Janis Kalnins’ shut-out streak midway through the first period: Fyodor Malykhin scored on the goalie for the first time in 171 minutes.

Jensen cancelled that one out after great work from Henrik Haapala, but fortune was on Spartak’s side as it ended the period with the lead. Andrei Kuteikin’s shot wasn’t much of a threat for Kalnins, but a deflection off Teemu Eronen took it away from the goalie.

The Finns had enjoyed an extra day’s rest, and that additional freshness told in the second period. Jokerit got on top early in the frame and Jensen’s stick-handling earned him a second goal of the game. The in-form forward has nine goals in his last 12 games and has been among the points for eight consecutive outings.

The third period was evenly-matched, but neither team could find a winner. Instead it took a Lepisto effort in the second minute of overtime to decide the outcome.

CSKA ends Dynamo’s winning run

Dynamo Moscow 1 CSKA Moscow 4 (1-0, 0-3, 0-1)

CSKA avenged its derby defeat at the end of December, with two goals late in the second period tipping this game decisively in the league leader’s favor.

Photo: 08.01.20. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Dynamo (Moscow) - CSKA (Moscow)

The in-form host made a bright start, taking the lead in the fifth minute through Teemu Pulkkinen. The former Dinamo Minsk man potted his second goal for his new club with an elegant finish after CSKA was caught bringing the puck out of its zone.

For the rest of the opening stanza, Dynamo did a good job of slowing the visitor’s offense and Ivan Bocharov faced just eight shots as he took his shut-out streak past 145 minutes. However, he did not reach 146; just 25 seconds into the middle frame, Bogdan Kiselevich fired home from the point to tie the scores.

The next big incident saw Mikhail Naumenkov removed from the game for slashing. Dynamo fluffed its line, though, mustering just two shots during that major penalty and failing to take advantage of its chance. Late in the frame, CSKA showed how it should be done. Pulkkinen sat for tripping and nine seconds later Anton Slepyshev put the visitor in front. Jiri Sekac compounded the pain for the Blue-and-Whites, making it 3-1 with six seconds left on the clock.

Dynamo’s hopes of getting back into the game took a knock when Dmitrij Jaskin got a double minor for high sticks at the start of the third. His team-mates killed that penalty, but Konstantin Okulov went on to add a fourth goal midway through the frame and kill off any chance of a fightback. CSKA claimed the win, and its defense took the plaudits: 17 blocked shots, and just 17 attempts allowed on Ilya Sorokin’s net.

Big win for Barys

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 1 Barys Nur-Sultan 5 (0-0, 1-3, 0-2)

Neftekhimik started a six-game home stand today and Vyacheslav Butsayev’s team knew that a good haul of points from that series would go a long way towards pushing the team into the playoff places. However, the visit of a Barys team looking to take top spot in the Chernyshev Division ensured that the first of those games ended in a heavy defeat for the host.

After a goalless first period, Barys went in front at the start of the second. Darren Dietz converted his team’s first power play of the game. Neftekhimik responded with a power play goal of its own from Arsen Khisamutdinov midway through the game but the visitor took control with two unanswered goals towards the end of the session.

The third period, like the second, began with a Barys goal. This time Corban Knight was the scoring, winning a penalty shot and converting it himself. Dietz was later ejected from the game for a high hit, but Neftekhimik could not take advantage and it was left to Nikita Mikhailis to complete the scoring.

Steelmen edge shoot-out in Latvia

Dinamo Riga 2 Severstal Cherepovets 3 SO (0-0, 2-1, 0-1, 0-0, 1-0)

Severstal collected its third victory in four encounters with Dinamo Riga this season. But this was another close game between two teams down at the foot of the Western Conference that needed a shoot-out to settle the issue.

In that shoot-out, Vladislav Podyapolsky proved unbeatable in the Severstal goal, while Alexander Petunin and Vadim Kudako both scored on Janis Voris at the other end. The latter produced a particularly slick move to deke the Dinamo youngster and secure his team’s fourth win in five games.

For Dinamo, meanwhile, the point moves Girts Ankipans’ team another point away from Minsk at the foot of the table, while youngster Voris continues to look like a strong goaltending prospect. He came up with several big saves late in the game to force overtime, and defied the Severstal power play during the extras.

Earlier, the visitor took the lead in the 25th minute through Bogdan Yakimov, but Dinamo hit back with two goals late in the middle frame. Kristaps Sotnieks and Emils Gegeris struck just 23 seconds apart to give the host a slender lead to take into the third.

However, a penalty on Mikelis Redlihs offered a way back for Severstal and Yegor Yakovlev tied the scores in the 47th minute.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Barys (Nur-Sultan) Barys (Nur-Sultan)
Dynamo (Moscow) Dynamo (Moscow)
Dinamo (Riga) Dinamo (Riga)
Jokerit (Helsinki) Jokerit (Helsinki)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk) Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk)
Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)
Severstal (Cherepovets) Severstal (Cherepovets)
Spartak (Moscow) Spartak (Moscow)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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