Sibir got its first point of the season in its home opener against CSKA before losing out in the first shoot-out of the KHL season.
After a goalless first frame, CSKA went in front early in the second thanks to a power play goal from Anton Slepyshev. This was a nicely worked affair, Nikolai Goldobin and Yegor Rykov moving the puck smoothly around the zone for Slepyshev to bury a one-timer from the left-hand dot.
But the Army Men hit penalty trouble of their own and after one underwhelming Sibir power play, the home team cashed in on its second chance. Yegor Milovzorov fired in a shot from the boards and Dmitry Sayustov — once a CSKA player — won a battle on the crease to force home the tying goal.
Subsequently there were few chances at either end. CSKA looked to raise the tempo at the start of the third, helped by a power play when Vitaly Menshikov sat and the Army Men set up camp in the home zone. However, it wasn’t long before caution overtook both teams and the closing stages of the game proved to be cagey.
In overtime, Sibir had two chances to win it. First, Alexander Sharov grabbed the puck and surged down the left, only to be stoned by Alexander Sharychenkov. Then, with the final hooter close, Viktor Komarov got away from his man and fed a tantalizing diagonal to the far post but Nikita Shashkov could not force it into the net.
The shoot-out went to CSKA, with Sharychenkov stopping three of the four attempts from Sibir. Andrei Loktionov was credited with the winning goal as the Army Men make it three wins from three after that Opening Cup loss to Ak Bars.
Jakob Lilja got his first points in the KHL to help Barys to victory over Kunlun. The Dragons slumped to a fourth loss in fourth games but put in an improved performance after Tuesday’s heavy loss at Avtomobilist.
This game was played behind closed doors — regulations in Kazakhstan make it impossible to allow spectators into the arena at present. But, despite losing a big chunk of the traditional home advantage, Barys wasted little time in moving in front in its first home game of the season. After four minutes, Viktor Svedberg fired home a point shot to open the scoring.
But Red Star looked more competitive than in previous games. Alexei Kruchinin had a good chance to tie the scores, only to be denied by Joni Ortio’s glove save, and while the intermission score was 1-0 this game was very much alive.
Just 85 seconds into the middle frame, Red Star was level — its first goal from equal-strength play this season, and the first that was meaningful within the context of the game. German Shaporev was the scorer: the teenager fired home from between the hash marks to collect his first tally in the KHL. Shaporev is best known for his appearance as a junior prospect at the 2020 All-Star Game back in January.
Barys was not about to let this game get away, though. A power play goal from Lilja, not the most elegant after a big scrimmage on the crease, soon restored the home advantage. And, in the third period, Lilja turned provider as Nikita Mikhailis added a third goal and took the game away from Kunlun. Denis Osipov pulled one back, but Red Star was unable to find one of its trademark last-gasp goals and slipped to a fourth straight loss.