Struggling Kunlun Red Star is steadily adding to its roster. Luke Lockhart and Spencer Foo returned to the team, Foo’s brother Parker made his debut and former Russian U20 defenseman Mikhail Sidorov arrived on a try-out after leaving Lokomotiv in the summer. Despite the new faces, the Dragons were still limited to six defensemen, two of whom — Lockhart and Viktor Shakhvorostov — are usually deployed as forwards. Today, up against Salavat Yulaev, a weakened defense faced a serious test — but the Dragons responded well to get their first point of the season.
Red Star took the lead late in the first period thanks to one of those new faces. Spencer Foo, one of the bright spots for the Dragons last season, marked his return to the club with a fine solo goal. The Chinese Olympic prospect overpowered Dmitry Korobov, leaving the Belarusian international bewildered as he took a direct route to the net.
However, the first period stats suggested that Salavat had plenty to offer in this game and a double burst of goals early in the second proved the point. Vladimir Zharkov tied the scores before Markus Granlund kept up his scoring form to give Ufa the lead in the 29th minute. The Finn potted his sixth goal of the season, applying a close-range finish after Teemu Hartikainen made the play from behind the net.
After that, Dmitry Shikin was the key figure in the game. The home goalie finished overtime with 52 saves as he stood between Salavat Yulaev and a victory. His heroics in regulation ensured that Kunlun collected its first point of the season but even he had to yield in the shoot-out as Alexander Kadeikin and Dmitry Kugryshev ensured that the verdict went to Ufa.
CSKA missed the chance to move clear at the top of the table as Metallurg came from behind to make it six wins from seven and join early pacesetter Avangard on 12 points.
The Army Men, undefeated since the opening day, were under pressure throughout this game. In the first period, Metallurg topped the shot count 11-3, but went into the interval trailing to Brendan Leipsic’s first goal in the KHL. The Canadian whipped in a wrist shot from distance and Juho Olkinuora was unsighted, allowing the puck to slip past him.
The second period saw the home team enjoy more of the play, but neither side could add to the scoring until Metallurg got a power play early in the third. Then Grigory Dronov and Nikolai Prokhorkin carved out an opportunity for Andrej Nestrasil to tie the game. The response was immediate, with Pavel Karnaukhov restoring CSKA’s lead within a minute.
However, as the final frame reached its midway point, Magnitka hit a purple patch and took the game away from the home team. Prokhorkin tied the scores, then Igor Shvyryov notched his first since returning to Metallurg after two seasons in the AHL. The 22-year-old beat Alexander Sharychenkov from the blue line after Bogdan Potekhin’s solo rush turned defense into offense for the visitor. CSKA’s problems got worse when Taylor Beck added a power play goal a couple of minutes later.