Torpedo got revenge for its shoot-out loss at home to Amur by defeating the Tigers in a similar manner in Sunday’s return game in Khabarovsk.
In both games, the home team scored first. This time it was Kirill Rasskazov putting Amur in front in the fifth minute. That was Rasskazov’s first goal of the season in only his second game after returning to fitness. Amur doubled that lead in the second period through Alexander Gorshkov, assisted by two Czechs, Hynek Zohorna and Michal Jordan.
But in both games the visitor hit back. Torpedo got on the scoreboard in the 46th minute, scoring his fourth of the season and his first since Sep. 11. Then there was late drama. The visitor went for an extra skater and, with 31 seconds left, Damir Zhafyarov tied it up. Jordan Szwarz assisted on both those goals as Torpedo saved itself. And David Nemirovsky’s team finished the job by winning the shoot-out thanks to Chris Wideman. It’s three wins out of four for Torpedo, Amur slipped to a third straight loss.
Barys emerged from quarantine to face a SKA team still feeling the after-effects of its own infections and the result was an absorbing encounter behind closed doors in the Kazakh capital.
The home team showed little sign of rustiness in the early exchanges, with goals from Darren Dietz and Anton Sagadeyev opening a 2-0 lead in the first period. However, SKA hit back. Young Ivan Morozov notched his third of the season midway through the game, finding space in the corner to receive a pass from Vladimir Tkachyov and skate along the goal line before lifting the puck to the top shelf.
Then, early in the third, SKA’s latest young prodigy, Dmitry Zavgorodny, stole the puck on his own blue line, surged up the ice and slipped a pass to the on-rushing Evgeny Timkin. As one of the more experienced players on the current SKA roster, Timkin showed the maturity required to beat Henrik Karlsson and claim his first goal since arriving from Metallurg. Zavgorodny moves to four assists in three games since he was loaned to Petersburg from the Flames.
However, the Army Men were unable to complete their fightback. The game went to a shoot-out before Roman Starchenko tipped the balance in favor of Barys.
Three goals on a major penalty early in the third period gave Dynamo a comfortable win over a hard-working Red Star team. Teemu Pulkkinen potted a hat-trick for the home team and Dmitrij Jaskin added two more.
The game turned into an unhappy return for 21-year-old Alexei Toropchenko, recently signed to a loan deal at Kunlun. The forward played junior hockey for Dynamo before he was drafted by St. Louis, but in the 45th minute of his KHL debut he was ejected from the game for kneeing Vladimir Bryukvin. As the youngster took an early shower, Dynamo rattled in three goals — Pulkkinen, Jaskin and Daniil Tarasov on target — to put the game beyond the Dragons.
Red Star hit back in the closing stages with goals from Jason Fram and Ethan Werek (the latter became the third KRS player to score with clock showing 59:59 this season). In truth, though, Dynamo was in control of this game throughout. Pulkkinen opened the scoring midway through the first period when a freakish bounce off the boards presented him with an empty net. Then Jaskin netted a short-handed effort early in the second — Dynamo’s third goal this season when playing a man short, the best return in the KHL — before the Finn made it 3-0 in the 34th minute. Gleb Zyryanov marked his 100th KHL appearance with a goal for Red Star eight seconds into the final stanza, but Toropchenko’s penalty took the game away from the visitor.
CSKA made it five straight wins, joining Avangard on 21 points at the top of the KHL table after defeating the Eastern Conference leader in Moscow. The game, the latest battle between the teams that contested the 2019 Gagarin Cup Final, started with plenty of action. CSKA killed an early penalty, took the lead through Konstantin Okulov in the fourth minute, then found itself back on the PK seconds later.
Later in the first period, the Army Men had to contend with a 3-on-5 situation as Bogdan Kiselevich and Mat Robinson sat out minors, but for all Avangard enjoyed the bulk of the play, the Hawks could not get past Alexander Sharychenkov in the home net. Oliwer Kaski came closest, shaving the crossbar in the dying seconds of the frame.
The middle stanza saw CSKA take a firm grip on the scoreline. Maxim Mamin did well to chase down a lost cause in the Avangard zone, bring the puck away from the boards and fire home a second goal in the 28th minute. Then, late the in the session, Avangard withstood the CSKA power play but was unable to clear its lines when back at full strength. Brendan Leipsic and Mat Robinson combined to set up Nikolai Goldobin for his first goal in the KHL.
For Avangard, hope came late in the game. Kaski got the visitor on the scoreboard via a deflected shot in the 48th minute. That was the Finnish defenseman’s fourth of the season. Soon afterwards, young Yegor Chinakhov made it five goals in five games and set up a barnstorming finish. However, Mamin found the empty net to secure the win for CSKA. Chinakhov’s continued success is good news for the Hawks, but Bob Hartley and his team will be concerned that the 19-year-old’s latest two goals came in losing causes.