Vitaly Kravtsov celebrated his return from injury with a goal as Traktor ended Amur’s winning streak. The Tigers had won their last three, including emphatic verdicts against Jokerit and Ak Bars, but ran out of steam as their home stand came to an end.
That said, there wasn’t much wrong with the first period for the home team. Despite going behind to a Dmitry Ogurtsov goal in the eighth minute, Amur hit back to lead at the interval. Two goals in 30 seconds from Kirill Rasskazov and Valery Vasilyev made it 2-1.
But that was as good as it got. Kravtsov tied it up at the start of the second period with a fine individual effort. The New York Rangers prospect galloped down the left, headed for goal and beat Evgeny Alikin at the second attempt. Then, in the third, two Traktor goals settled the outcome. First Igor Isayev made it 3-2 win 10 minutes left, firing home from the right channel after Jacob Berglund took play around the net. That was the fourth goal of the 25-year-old defenseman’s career after dividing the bulk of his time between the VHL and the first team. Tomas Hyka wrapped it up with a fourth goal 60 seconds from the hooter.
Ak Bars avenged last week’s narrow loss at home to Barys with a 3-1 victory in Nur-Sultan. In a game dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of the snow leopard, the beautiful yet endangered symbol of both clubs, the visitor recovered from a goal down to take the points. For Barys, it was the second loss in its current home stand, having blown a 4-0 lead against Jokerit on Wednesday.
The first period was goalless, but that was mostly down to home goalie Joni Ortio. The Finn pulled off a memorable save when Justin Azevedo got on the end of a cross-ice pass and fired at the open side of the net. The netminder showed superb reaction to get his stick to the puck and keep his goal intact.
Ak Bars had the better of the first session but fell behind straight after the restart. Jakob Lilja’s shot was too powerful for Amir Miftakhov and the rebound went straight to Nikita Mikhailis for the opening goal. But the visitor soon responded when Kirill Petrov won the puck in the center of the Barys zone, set himself in the right position and put a wrister in the top corner. Late in the frame Darren Dietz hauled down Stanislav Galiyev as the forward headed to the net. Galiyev picked himself up to take the penalty shot but could not get through Ortio’s pads.
That was soon forgotten at the start of the third when an extended spell of Ak Bars pressure paid off. Dmitry Yudin collected a pass at the blue line, stepped forward and drove in a shot that beat Ortio on the short side. Then, late in the game, Viktor Tikhonov completed the win when he converted the rebound after Alexander Burmistrov’s shot was saved.
Sergei Mozyakin scored his first goal of the season to kickstart a fightback as Metallurg recovered from 1-3 and 2-4 to snap its two-game losing streak. Two goals from Harri Pesonen helped steer Magnitka to victory despite Severstal’s rookie forward Yegor Chizhikov opening his account for the season with a double of his own.
This game was a classic slow-burner. The first period offered relatively little and the teams went to the first intermission with no goals. A minute after the restart, Metallurg took the lead through Nikita Khlystov, but that merely served to inspire the home team. Joonas Nattinen tied the scores and Igor Geraskin put Severstal in front before Chizhikov got to work.
The 19-year-old made his debut at the end of last season, and even potted his first goal in the big league in a heavy defeat at Neftekhimik. Today, though, the youngster struck twice, either side of the second intermission.
In between Chizhikov’s goals, Mozyakin struck to keep Metallurg in contention and barely 30 seconds after the teenager made it 4-2, Pesonen began to make his contribution. The Finn immediately reduced the deficit and went on to tie the scores in the 55th minute. That pushed the momentum firmly in the Metallurg’s favor and Taylor Beck delivered the killer blow with two minutes to play.
League leader CSKA shrugged off Wednesday’s defeat at home to Torpedo as it eased past Dinamo Minsk. The below-strength Belarusian team is still without its imports and rarely troubled the Army Men as they moved seven points ahead of SKA at the top of the Western Conference.
Sergei Andronov opened the scoring in this game after six minutes, getting his stick on Mikhail Naumenkov’s shot and steering the puck past Nikita Tolopilo. Shortly afterwards, Nikolai Goldobin dinged one off the piping.
Early in the second, Dinamo threatened an equalizer when Pavel Denisov’s effort bounced around between Alexander Sharychenkov’s pads but came to rest on the paint without crossing the line. Midway through the frame, Naumenkov unleashed another howitzer from the blue line and doubled the home lead, but Dinamo got on the scoresheet when Yegor Sharangovich grabbed a short-handed goal. That didn’t give Minsk much comfort, though, as Maxim Shalunov fired one in from the top of the right-hand circle to convert the power play and restore that two-goal advantage.
Goldobin, who went so close in the first period, collected an assist in the second and finally found the net by himself in the third. He was first to the rebound after Tolopilo padded away Anton Slepyshev’s shot and gave the goalie no chance on the follow-up. A Mario Kempe goal in the last second put the final scattering of glitter on the full-time result.
After six straight losses, Sochi travelled to a Vityaz team looking for a win that would return it to the playoff places. And two teams struggling for form produced a lively game that was settled by a double from Dmitry Kolgotin for the visitor.
The first period was goalless, but things perked up after the break. Sochi led twice, on goals from Nikita Tochitsky and Kolgotin, but Vityaz twice pegged the Leopards back with goals from Justin Danforth. The Canandian moves on to 19 (9+10) points for the season and made it four in two games, but his bright form isn’t enough to drive the team forward single-handed.
Sochi restored its lead on the power play early in the third when Kolgotin scored again. Now, recently-appointed head coach Evgeny Stavrovsky could start to contemplate his first win behind the bench in the KHL. Midway through the session, with Sochi on a 5-on-3 power play, David Rundblad fired home a fourth to take the game away from the home team. The last minute saw Sergei Shmelyov add to his pair of assists to make the final score 5-2.