Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Oleg Znarok won his 400th game as a head coach in the KHL — and it was a victory to remember. His Spartak team edged its local derby against Dynamo in a shoot-out following a pulsating 4-4 tie in Moscow. That wasn’t the only high-scoring encounter of the day. Earlier, in Novosibirsk, Sibir defeated Avtomobilist 6-4 despite Pavel Datsyuk extending his productive streak to eight games.

Motormen skid to third straight loss

Sibir Novosibirsk 6 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 4 (0-1, 3-2, 3-1)

Pavel Datsyuk was among the points yet again, and karma smiled on Anatoly Golyshev’s sportsmanship, but Avtomobilist could not claim victory in Siberia. The two teams came into the game at close to full strength. Sibir welcomed back Jyrki Jokipakka and Eric O’Dell while Dan Sexton returned for Avtomobilist.

The home team made a bright start, helped by a couple of early penalties for the visitor, but could not find the way past Vladimir Galkin, preferred to Jakub Kovar in the Avto net. And, midway through the frame, Avtomobilist made the most of that good fortune to open the scoring through Pavel Kulikov.

Jokipakka tied the scores early in the second, but Avto responded immediately to retake the lead thanks to Sergei Zborovsky. The home bench challenged the play, claiming interference on goalie Harri Sateri, but the video showed otherwise. Then came the Sibir power play, getting it right at last. First, Jokipakka had an assist as Mikael Ruohomaa tied the scores, then the Finns exchanged roles as Jokipakka got his second of the night to put Sibir in front for the first time.

A moment of sportsmanship from Anatoly Golyshev got its reward at the end of the frame. Avtomobilist was already on the power play when Vitaly Menshikov was accused of tripping the forward. Golyshev told the officials he had tripped over the puck, not his opponent, and Sibir was left just one man short. Golyshev had the last word on that incident, though, converting the power play moments later to make it 3-3 at the second intermission.

Avtomobilist’s previous three games had finished 4-3, so when Nikolai Timashov put Sibir in front by that scoreline at the start of the third, the home team could be forgiven for thinking the job was as good as done. Life is rarely that simple, though, and Pavel Datsyuk was quick to remind everyone that it takes 60 minutes to win a hockey game. Four minutes after Timashov’s goal, Datsyuk tied the scores again ... holding off the challenge of Timashov to do so. The extends the Magic Man’s productive streak to eight games — not bad for a 42-year-old.

It couldn’t save the Motormen from a third successive defeat, though. Galkin made a fantastic save to deny Oleg Li but was powerless to deny Danil Romantsev in the 56th minute. And, just to make sure, Nikita Shashkov’s empty net goal sealed the points.

Landmark win for Znarok arrives in memorable style

Spartak Moscow 5 Dynamo Moscow 4 SO (1-1, 2-0, 1-3, 0-0, 1-0)

Oleg Znarok recorded his 400th victory in the KHL and achieved the landmark in one of his most memorable games behind the bench. He saw his team blow a 4-1 lead as his former club, Dynamo, dragged the game into overtime on a night of high drama. But the Blue-and-Whites’ six-game winning streak was halted in a shoot-out — but only after Andrei Kuteikin converted Spartak’s fifth attempt to tie the sequence and save his team from defeat.

Photo: 29.09.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Spartak (Moscow) - Dynamo (Moscow)

Dynamo clawed back that three-goal deficit in the third period to tie the game and had chances to win it in overtime, with Daniil Tarasov and Dmitrij Jaskin both going close. But once Kuteikin tied up the shoot-out, Spartak quickly claimed the win in sudden death. Sergei Shirokov scored, Oscar Lindberg fired wide and Spartak had the win.

The host had a nightmare start to the game, taking two quick penalties and falling behind when Vadim Shipachyov converted that 5-on-3 power play. However, the roles were soon reversed with Dynamo getting into penalty trouble and Shirokov tying the game when Spartak had its own two-man advantage.

Spartak forged ahead early in the second period. First, Shirokov turned provider, feeding Kuteikin for a shot that enabled Lukas Radil to force the puck home from the slot. Then Spartak’s power play clicked once again. As before, Jori Lehtera and Robin Hanzl combined; this time Swedish defenseman Emil Djuse smashed home a point shot to beat Ivan Bocharov. Dynamo claimed the goalie was impeded, but the video review dismissed the complaint.

At the end of the period Dynamo was again reduced to three skaters when Andrei Mironov followed Michal Cajkovsky into the sin bin. Lehtera almost completed a hat-trick of assists when he set up Radil in a shooting position, but the Czech’s effort went just wide of the target. That merely delayed the celebrations, though: at the start of the third the pair combined successfully, Lehtera with the assist and Radil with Spartak’s fourth goal.

Incredibly, though, Spartak would not manage another shot on goal until the last two minutes of the game — and by then the scores were tied. Daniil Tarasov’s delicious no-look pass saw Dmitrij Jaskin get Dynamo back in contention, Andrei Mironov’s wrister through traffic made it a one-goal game, then Tarasov scored on the rebound after Juuso Hietanen’s shot.

The home team got the puck in the net once again, late in the game, but the officials correctly ruled that Radil sidefooted it home, soccer style and the game went to overtime. Here, Tarasov had a big chance in a one-on-one as the visitor pushed to complete its comeback in style. There was even one last power play chance for Dynamo when Spartak was caught with too many men on the ice, but those 27 seconds at the end of overtime weren’t enough to snatch a winner and the Red-and-Whites prevailed in the shoot-out. That makes Znarok only the second man to win 400 times as a coach in the KHL — Dmitry Kvartalnov (440) currently leads the way.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Related clubs

Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg) Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg)
Dynamo (Moscow) Dynamo (Moscow)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
Spartak (Moscow) Spartak (Moscow)
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