Metallurg forward Sergei Mozyakin reached another milestone in a glittering career tonight as he became the first player to score 400 goals in the KHL. The visitor’s captain struck in the fourth minute of this game to open the scoring and claim his 12th of the current campaign.
This goal was typical of Mozyakin’s predatory instincts. Sloppy defense from Torpedo saw the puck bouncing around the home zone; Mozyakin was alert to the situation and got there first as it dropped to between the hash marks for him to slot it home.
The visitor, looking for a win to give it some breathing space in the tight battle for a playoff place in the East, extended its lead in the 13th minute thanks to Bogdan Potekhin. The forward emerged from the penalty box, collected the puck and beat Anders Lindbak in a one-on-one to double the advantage.
Torpedo hit back in the second period as Viktor Shakhvorostov potted only his second KHL goal. However, hopes of another fightback from the home team were hampered when Andrej Nestrasil made it 3-1 early in the final frame and Metallurg was able to close out the win.
Neftekhimik’s powerful first period performance brought Sibir’s winning streak to a crunching halt and boosted the home team’s hopes of forcing its way into the playoff picture.
Sibir came here on the back of six straight victories but lost all hope of extending that run when it allowed five goals without reply inside 17 minutes. Jacob Berglund started the rout, then we saw four goals in five minutes as Pavel Kulikov (2), Jonas Enlund and Zack Mitchell took the game away from the visitor.
Harri Sateri was pulled from the Sibir net after the second goal, but he was back in place at the start of the second period after Alexei Krasikov also struggled to stop the puck. There was some better news for Sibir as Mikhail Romayev scored either side of the first intermission, but even those two strikes – his first in the KHL – were sandwiched by a sixth goal for Neftekhimik as Marat Khairullin converted a 5-on-3 power play.
In the final frame, Sibir had the better of the game but simply had too much ground to make up. An early Juuso Puustinen goal raised some faint hopes for the visitor, but Neftekhimik closed out the win to keep its playoff hopes alive.