Andy Potts Andy Potts
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A packed gameday in the KHL began with Salavat Yulaev moving to second in the East after an overtime win against Kunlun. Avtomobilist’s Alexei Makeyev got his first hat-trick and moved clear at the top of the scoring chart as his team thumped Dinamo Riga 7-2. There were memorable wins in Moscow, with Spartak beating Avangard in overtime and Dynamo defeating derby rival CSKA 4-3 in front of the watching Alexander Ovechkin. Jokerit slipped out of the playoff places after a 2-5 loss at Severstal. There were also victories for Sibir, Metallurg, Vityaz, Lokomotiv and Amur.

Larsen claims overtime winner

Salavat Yulaev Ufa 3 Kunlun Red Star 2 OT (1-1, 1-1, 0-0, 1-0)

For the third time this season, Kunlun Red Star got at least a point from a game against Salavat Yulaev. The Dragons came from behind twice to force overtime in Ufa before Philip Larsen got the decisive goal.

Salavat Yulaev grabbed an early lead in this game when Vyacheslav Solodukhin’s breakaway goal separated the teams in the fourth minute. The home team peppered Simon Hrubec’s net with shots — 23 in the first period — but could not build on that advantage. Instead, Red Star tied it up on the power play when Casey Wellman redirected a Ryan Sproul shot past Juha Metsola for his first goal in Red Star colors.

The teams traded power play goals in the second frame, with Teemu Hartikainen restoring the home lead only for Hunter Shinkaruk to level. Salavat Yulaev still had more of the play but gradually Kunlun managed to squeeze the venom from the home offense.

In overtime, though, Ufa found a winning goal. A Red Star raid ended with a shot that thudded into the boards and as play turned around, Larsen got the break. He went by himself, beat Hrubec and settled the outcome to move Salavat to second place in the Eastern Conference.

Makeyev hat-trick leads the way

Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 7 Dinamo Riga 2 (1-1, 4-0, 2-1)

A hat-trick for KHL top scorer Alexei Makeyev led Avtomobilist to a convincing win at home to Dinamo Riga. The Latvians suffered an eighth straight loss after falling apart in the second period here.

The Motormen made a good start, with Stanislav Bocharov opening the scoring after 82 seconds. However, Dinamo showed plenty of character to stay in the game and got its reward when Kristaps Zile fired home a tying goal.

The opening frame was fairly even, but the second was anything but. Avto rattled in four unanswered goals, three of them on the power play, as Riga lost its way. Makeyev was on the mark early on and Bocharov soon followed up with his second of the afternoon. Midway through, Makeyev got his second power play goal of the game and Dan Sexton converted another numerical advantage just before the intermission.

Young Eriks Vitols took over in goal for Dinamo in the third period and almost immediately found himself facing a home power play and a goal for Brooks Macek. Patriks Zabusovs pulled one back for the visitor with his first KHL goal, but the final word went to Makeyev. His 56th-minute strike completed his treble and moves him to 26 (15+11) points from 22 games.

While most of the KHL can look forward to a break due to the international action next weekend, Dinamo will continue. On Tuesday the team travels to Barys before slotting in an extra home game against Neftekhimik on Saturday.

Derby boost for Metallurg

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 4 Traktor Chelyabinsk 1 (2-0, 1-0, 1-1)

They say the form book goes out of the window on derby day and that was certainly the case in the South Urals. On paper, Traktor was a big favorite to beat its near neighbor in Magnitogorsk. The visitor arrived on the back of four successive wins, while Metallurg had just one victory in six outings.

Photo: 01.11.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) - Traktor (Chelyabinsk)

However, regardless of Metallurg’s form, there’s always the Mozyakin factor. The home captain opened the scoring on the power play with a trademark goal, firing home Taylor Beck diagonal feed. Another Traktor penalty brought another Magnitka goal when Semyon Koshelev doubled the lead late in the opening frame. In an even 20 minutes of play, Traktor’s penalties cost the visitor dear.

The second period saw few shots on goal, although the home defense blocked 12 attempts from Traktor before fit-again goalie Juho Olkinuora had to deal with them. Late in the session, Juho Lammikko potted a third, going short-side on Roman Will to get his first goal since returning to the team.

Traktor began the third period by killing 90 seconds of 3-on-5 play and celebrated by pulling a goal back through Vyacheslav Osnovin once the teams were at full strength. That encouraged the visitor to believe that it could get back into the game and Olkinuora was the busiest keeper in the closing stages of the game. However, Traktor could not score again and Yegor Martynov’s empty-netter wrapped up a home win.

Loko too strong for struggling Minsk

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 4 Dinamo Minsk 1 (0-0, 1-0, 3-1)

Lokomotiv and Dinamo Minsk are teams on contrasting runs of form. The Railwaymen have just one loss in 11 games, while the Belarusians have one win in seven. Dinamo, though, is seeing its roster recover after coronavirus reduced the options available to head coach Craig Woodcroft and his team.

Lokomotiv opened the scoring in this one midway through the second period thanks to Maxim Osipov. He took a pass from Vladimir Tkachyov and fired home a goal that was awarded after a video review established there was no interference on Danny Taylor in the visitor’s net.

Early in the third a penalty on Rob Klinkhammer gave Loko the chance to extend its lead. Magnus Paajarvi Svensson duly obliged to claim his first goal since Sep. 5. But Dinamo pulled one back 41 seconds later when Ryan Spooner won a face off, fired in an immediate shot and saw Brandon Kozun touch the puck beyond Eddie Pasquale. Midway through the third, with the teams playing 4-on-4, Lokomotiv earned some valuable breathing space when Nikolai Kovalenko potted a third.

For Dinamo, it was one of those days. Taylor left his goal with three minutes left but the planned surge stalled immediately. Lokomotiv intercepted the puck in center ice and Denis Alexeyev scored in the empty net to complete the win.

Neftekhimik slips to the basement

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 1 Sibir Novosibirsk 3 (0-0, 0-1, 1-2)

Neftekhimik went down to a sixth straight loss and drops to the foot of the Eastern Conference table behind Kunlun Red Star. Sunday’s 1-3 reverse against Sibir left the home team on 12 points, while the Dragons’ overtime loss in Ufa enabled Alexei Kovalev’s team to move off the foot of the table.

It took some time for Sibir to grind down the home defense. The first period was fairly even and the second began with a four-minute power play for the visitor after Alexander Osipov earned 2+2 for high sticks. Neftekhimik killed off that penalty but fell behind to a Dmitry Sayustov goal midway through the game.

After struggling in the second period, Neftekhimik looked to raise the tempo in the third. An early power play helped the home team, and Vladimir Galuzin converted the chance to tie the scores in the 45th minute.

However, Sibir is a team high on confidence after its recent winning run and the visitor got back in front in the 54th minute. Oleg Li, whose foul gave Neftekhimik its earlier power play, atoned for that lapse with his seventh goal of the season. Alexander Sharov than added an empty-net goal to secure the win.

Jokerit falls from top eight

Severstal Cherepovets 5 Jokerit Helsinki 2 (1-1, 1-1, 3-0)

After losing 2-5 at home to Jokerit early in the season, Severstal produced a mirror of that scoreline to bounce back from Friday’s loss to Vityaz. The host climbs to fourth, but results elsewhere pushed Jokerit down to ninth, two points adrift of the playoff places.

Photo: 01.11.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Severstal (Cherepovets) - Jokerit (Helsinki)

Severstal got the jump start in this one, opening the scoring in the fifth minute thanks to a power play goal from Daniil Vovchenko. But it wasn’t long before Veli-Matti Savinainen tied things up, shooting home from between the hash marks after a Viktor Loov shot was charged down. Jokerit dictated much of the play, outshooting Severstal 12-6 but failing to find a lead before the intermission.

That pattern changed in the second period. A couple of Jokerit penalties handed the initiative to Severstal and the visitor did not muster a shot on goal until midway through the frame. However, Brian O’Neill’s effort was good enough to make it 2-1 to the Finns. Severstal continued to press and had a power play goal ruled out by a video review. Late in the frame, though, a short-ended tally from Vladislav Kara tied the game once again.

In the third period, Vovchenko got his second power play goal of the game to restore Severstal’s lead and that opened the floodgates. Jokerit’s offense could not gain any traction and the decision to withdraw goalie Janis Kalnins backfired alarmingly. Severstal added two empty net goals with David Dumbadze and Igor Geraskin completing the win.

Sergiyenko’s double takes Amur past Torpedo

Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 3 Amur Khabarovsk 4 OT (2-1, 0-1, 1-1, 0-1)

Amur battled back to win in overtime at Torpedo, finishing its road trip with back-to-back victories and moving to within one point of the playoff places.

Torpedo jumped to a 2-0 lead with markers either side of the 10-minute mark. Ziyat Paigin opened the scoring before Damir Zhafyarov struck on the power play. However, Amur responded late in the first period thanks to a Yury Sergiyenko goal that kept the visitor in closer contention than the play in the opening 20 might have suggested.

A missed penalty shot in the 26th minute proved costly for the home team. Amur goalie Marek Langhamer got the better of Chris Wideman and the visitor responded by tying the scores in the 35th minute. Valentin Pyanov was the scorer with 18-year-old Ignat Korotkikh getting his first point in the KHL.

Amur began the third period with a 4-on-3 power play and briefly had a two-man advantage. It needed just 10 seconds of 5-on-3 action to put the Tigers in front, with Sergiyenko getting his second of the game. Torpedo dug deep in adversity, tying the game on a late short-handed goal from Andy Miele, but Tomas Zohorna potted the winner for Amur in overtime.

Overtime joy for Spartak, Omsk’s struggles continue

Spartak Moscow 2 Avangard Omsk 1 OT (0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 1-0)

Oleg Znarok overcame Bob Hartley in Sunday’s big showdown — and his Spartak team moved back into the playoff places on the back of this hard-fought overtime win. Yakov Rylov’s winner snapped a two-game skid for the home team, but Avangard is now on a worrying run of just one win in six games.

Photo: 01.11.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Spartak (Moscow) - Avangard (Omsk)

Spartak had to endure an early storm from Avangard before coming into the game more strongly as the opening session wore on. But the first period ended goalless and it was the visitor that went in front early in the second. Yegor Chinakhov was the scorer, pouncing on the rebound from a Alexander Khokhlachyov effort and firing home from close range.

Spartak drew level in the 37th minute when Jori Lehtera fed Artyom Fyodorov’s wrister. Lehtera moves to 22 (5+17) for the season and takes his productive run to four games.

Avangard looked to hit back immediately and had the puck in the home net right away. Reid Boucher claimed the goal, following up a Nail Yakupov effort. However, a video review determined that Julius Hudacek was impeded in the Spartak net and the goal was ruled out.

The visitor came close early in the third when an error on the Spartak defense enabled Sergei Tolchinsky to set up Oliwer Kaski. The Finnish defenseman duly let fly but was denied by the post. However, Spartak had the better of the play in the third, outshooting Avangard 15-6. Sergei Shirokov converted a feed from Lukas Radil, but the whistle had already gone and the goal was ruled out. Then, late in the game, it took a big save from Emil Garipov to deny Fyodorov a second.

However, Garipov was all out of answers in overtime when Lehtera spread the play out left for Rylov. The defenseman advanced to the net and beat the goalie from close range to secure the home win.

Moiseyev secures revenge win for Vityaz

HC Sochi 3 Vityaz Moscow Region 4 OT (1-2, 1-0, 1-1, 0-1)

Vityaz made it four wins from five games and avenged its 2-5 loss at home to Sochi just over a week ago. That game was the only recent blemish for Mikhail Kravets and his team as they look to tighten their grip on a playoff place and — for a time — it looked like the improving Leopards might repeat that win.

Sochi was the first to show in this game, taking the lead in the seventh minute through Igor Rudenkov. However, it wasn’t long before Vityaz tied it up when Yegor Voronkov scored 90 seconds later. That was Voronkov’s first goal since the opening game of the season at Ak Bars. The first power play of the game also went to Vityaz when Rafael Batyrshin took a 2+10 for a high hit. The visitor cashed in, with Linus Hultstrom getting the go-ahead goal in the 15th minute.

In recent games, though, Sochi has shown signs of improvement and the second period here was a big step up. Out-shooting Vityaz 18-10, the Leopards got back on level terms through Rudenkov’s second of the night. He scored on a power play, and there was an assist for German Rubtsov, a 22-year-old forward who began his career with Vityaz but opted for Sochi when the Flyers decided to loan him back to Russia this season.

Vityaz began the third period looking stronger and midway through the session the visitor regained the lead. Mikhail Smolin did the hard work for this one, beating a defenseman and going around the back before setting up Fyodor Malykhin to finish from the slot. It was a goal worthy of winning any game, but Sochi had other ideas and a late strike from Dmitry Kolgotin forced overtime. However, Vityaz took the verdict in the extras thanks to Danila Moiseyev’s goal.

Jaskin’s double, Ovechkin watching on

Dynamo Moscow 4 CSKA Moscow 3 (1-0, 2-1, 1-2)

Alexander Ovechkin came to watch the Moscow derby — and saw plenty to enjoy from his boyhood Dynamo in a thrilling clash against CSKA.

Photo: 01.11.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Dynamo (Moscow) - CSKA (Moscow)

Dynamo opened the scoring in this Moscow derby in the seventh minute thanks to Dmitrij Jaskin. The Czech international, who was called up to his country’s Karjala Cup roster this week, celebrated by putting away the rebound after Vadim Shipachyov’s shot rebounded off the post.

CSKA tied it up early in the second through Ivan Telegin, forcing the goal after a flurry of shots on the home net. But Dynamo responded quickly to regain the lead. Sergei Boikov dinged the crossbar and Dmitry Kagarlitsky quickly slipped the puck to Shipachyov in a wide position. He looked to feed Jaskin at the back door, but the puck got tangled up in Lars Johansson’s pads and finished up in the net. And it got even better for the home team when Teemu Pulkkinen launched a piledriver from the center of the zone; Johansson could only watch as it ripped into the net.

When Jaskin got his second, profiting on the slot after Kagarlitsky went behind the net, it felt like game over. But CSKA is not the KHL leader for nothing. The Army Men threw everything into saving this game and steadily got back into contention. Nikita Korostelyov made it 2-4, then Dynamo faced penalty trouble and Maxim Shalunov converted a 5-on-3 power play to make it a one-goal game.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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