Avtomobilist recorded the biggest victory of the season so far, while Red Star suffered a repeat of its heaviest ever margin of defeat in a one-sided game in the Urals.
After the home team killed an early penalty, this game was one-way traffic. Red Star’s defense was too passive behind the net, enabling a pair of quick goals for Georgy Belousov and Chay Genoway. Then, at the end of the first period, a wayward pass out of defense went straight to Pavel Datsyuk and the master made it 3-0 with his first of the season.
From that point, it was game over. Avtomobilist kept the scoreboard ticking over as Red Star struggled to create much in response. Dan Sexton finished with a goal and two assists, Vyacheslav Litovchenko scored a short-handed marker and, despite a late attempt from Sergei Gimayev, Red Star was unable to find even its traditional last second consolation goal.
An overtime goal from Kirill Petkov gave Sochi its first win of the season. Traktor was unable to build on Sunday’s success at home to Kunlun, despite taking a first-period lead against the Leopards.
Sergei Kalinin continued his bright start to the campaign when he put the home team in front in the 18th minute. The former CSKA man got his stick to a Roman Manukhov shot and steered it beyond Joel Lassinantti in the Sochi net.
But the visitor responded in the second period to turn the scoreline around. Dmitry Kolgotin tied the game after Daniil Miromanov stole the puck on the blue line, then Georgy Solyannikov scored a well-worked goal to put Sochi in front.
Lukas Sedlak, last season’s leading scoring for Traktor, made his first contribution of the current campaign to level it in the third, but Sochi would not be denied. Petkov broke away on an odd-man rush and grabbed the overtime winner.
Dinamo lost its first two games, prompting head coach Peteris Skudra to speak out about his concerns. Skudra also shuffled his roster, promoting Zack Mitchell to the first line in search of a winning formula.
The early signs were not promising. In the seventh minute, a harmless shot from Kaspars Daugavins bounced off the skate of Morgan Ellis and into the Riga net. However, it wasn’t long before Dinamo hit back. Austrian international Konstantin Komarek opened his account in the KHL with a power play goal before Mitchell repaid Skudra’s faith by making it 2-1.
The second period was no less engrossing. Vityaz hit back with two goals in barely a minute midway through the session. Alexander Semin converted a power play before Mikhail Smolin restored the visitor’s lead. Once again, though, the Dinamo power play delivered: Lauris Darzins tied the game in the 40th minute.
Darzins was the main man when the third period started, scoring his second goal and fourth point of the night. That one proved decisive, with Riga’s captain delivering a game-winning goal to cap a leader’s performance.
This was a roller-coaster of a game, with SKA having to hold off a big Torpedo fightback before it could claim the points.
The first period produced relatively few chances, but when SKA got a 5-on-3 power play it moved in front. Miro Aaltonen fed the puck back to the blue line, where Vasily Tokranov launched a shot that flew through traffic and beat Nikita Serebryakov in the home net.
Torpedo responded early in the second period when Mikhail Varnakov released Anton Shenfeld into the SKA zone. Shenfeld’s wrister was too good for Magnus Hellberg — but SKA soon restored its lead in emphatic style.
Three goals in three minutes put the Army Men in complete control of the game and ended Serebryakov’s evening. Andrei Kuzmenko got things started with a fine individual effort. He sped into the danger zone, slalomed between two opponents and deked his way past the goalie to make it 2-1. Then Tokranov got his second of the game before fellow defenseman Viktor Antipin fired home SKA’s fourth of the game.
Torpedo’s problems got worse at the start of the third when Vasily Podkolzin added a fifth SKA goal, but then the home team hit back to unnerve the visitor. First, Brady Austin’s shot was tipped past Hellberg by Andrei Belevich as the host quickly converted a power play. A couple of minutes later, Justin Kloos was first to react when the goalie padded away an Artyom Alyayev shot from the blue line.
SKA, rattled, called a time out and looked to regroup and preserve its lead. However, it wasn’t long before Torpedo had another power play and Damir Zhafyarov made it a one-goal game with five minutes left. It seemed that the stage was said for another famous Torpedo fightback, but on this occasion David Nemirovsky’s team came up just short. Anton Burdasov made it six for SKA to end home hopes.