For the second time in two days, Amur defeated Salavat Yulaev. After yesterday’s 4-2 win, the Tigers edged a shoot-out verdict thanks to a fine display from goalie Evgeny Alikin.
Alikin recorded his fifth shut-out of the season, making 36 saves in the game and then winning every duel in the shoot-out to leave the Ufa offense frustrated. The visitor sought to take control of the game from the start and began the game on the front foot. However, Amur created the clearest chance when Kirill Rasskazov rounded Juha Metsola but could not squeeze a shot home from a tight angle.
The game continued without goals, although overtime saw Linus Omark twice bring fine saves from Alikin. And the home goalie continued in invincible vein during the shoot-out while Vladislav Ushenin potted the only goal to seal the win.
CSKA won its sixth game in a row after proving too strong for playoff chasing Admiral. The home team is trying to close the gap on the top eight in the Eastern Conference and got a lift from the return of goalie Juho Olkinuora after injury.
The Finn had a busy welcome back into action, facing 15 shots in the first period as the Army Men dominated the game but failed to find the breakthrough. However, early in the second the Finn was beaten by a Pavel Karnaukhov shot as CSKA took the lead. Then the visitor had a 5-on-3 power play and scored twice: Mikhail Grigorenko and Anton Slepyshev each had a goal and an assist.
That spelled the end of Olkinuora’s return as the goalie was replaced with Anton Krasotkin. Admiral pulled a goal back thanks to Alexander Mereskin late in the second period, but Mario Kempe restored a three-goal lead for the visitor. In the closing stages, the teams traded goals with Martin Bakos scoring on the power play before Kirill Kaprizov added a fifth for CSKA.
A fifth consecutive victory kept Ak Bars on course to finish top of the Eastern Conference. Dmitry Kvartalnov’s team restored its two-point advantage over Avangard and has played one game fewer than its rival.
Vityaz stunned the Eastern Conference leader with an early goal. Joonas Nattinen, who hit a hat-trick in Monday’s 4-1 win at Severstal, opened the scoring after 48 seconds. He reacted fastest after Timur Bilyalov blocked a shot from Pavel Varfolomeyev and the home team had the lead from its first attack of the game.
However, Ak Bars responded through Kirill Petrov in the 16th minute and went in front midway through the second period. Petrov was involved again, assisting on a short-handed goal for Justin Azevedo. It wasn’t long before Vityaz was back on the power play and this time the home team took its chance. Alexander Yevseyenkov tied the scores.
Parity was short-lived. Ak Bars went back in front barely a minute later through Stanislav Galiyev and when Alexander Semin was ejected from the game for high sticks early in the third, Patrice Cormier added a fourth goal to put the outcome beyond doubt.