Spartak’s five-game winning streak came to an end after a shoot-out loss against Salavat Yulaev. The Red-and-Whites got ahead early in the second period of a tight battle in Ufa, but Markus Granlund came up with the goods for the home team.
Granlund was in the thick of the action from the very start. After just 19 seconds he conjured up the first threat on Julius Hudacek’s net but the opening frame was destined to finish goalless.
The opening goal came after a bad misjudgement from Ufa goalie Juha Metsola. The Finn went to retrieve the puck from behind his net but was in danger of playing it outside the trapezoid zone and taking a penalty. The delay was fatal; once the puck was safely in the zone, Metsola was rushed into an ill-timed pass that enabled Anatoly Nikontsev to intercept and score into an empty net.
Metsola’s embarrassment was eased late in the second period when Ufa tied the game. The team’s Finnish forwards combined and a superb pass from Granlund was met with an equally impressive shot from Sakari Manninen to make it 1-1. That extended Manninen’s scoring streak to four games.
And the goalie also backstopped his team through a shoot-out after the game finished 1-1. Metsola denied Lukas Radil what would have been the winner before Granlund produced a second successful attempt of the night to give Ufa the verdict.
Before that, Salavat Yulaev had the puck in the net during overtime. However, Philip Larsen’s effort was whistled off for use of the foot when he converted the rebound from a Nikita Soshnikov shot and Spartak stayed in the game until the end. After taking one point from Friday’s action, the visitor joins Dynamo Moscow and Dinamo Minsk on 32 points but remains sixth in the West. Ufa moves one point clear of Metallurg in fifth in the East.
For the third time this season, Vityaz defeated Severstal. Friday’s 4-1 verdict puts the Podolsk team back into the top eight, ahead of Jokerit.
Vityaz went ahead after 33 minutes through Justin Danforth. The forward had already made an impact on the game, taking two penalties in the first period, before scoring an impressive goal. Kaspars Daugavins was the architect, firing the puck into the back boards from inside his own zone — the hybrid icing rule applying to prevent any break in play. Danforth picked up the rebound and out-thought Severstal goalie Dmitry Shugayev, holding the puck and waiting for his opponent to commit himself before converting the chance.
That sparked a flurry of scoring. First, a power play for Severstal presented Vladislav Kodola with a chance and his one-timer off Daniil Vovchenko’s pass gave Ilya Ezhov no chance. However, parity did not last long. Vityaz got on the power play itself and Fyodor Malykhin’s sixth goal of the season restored the home lead after a great feed from Danila Moiseyev. The next 65 seconds brought another Severstal penalty and another Vityaz goal, with Danforth getting his second of the night 10 seconds before the intermission.
Severstal was unable to respond and late in the game Daniil Pylenkov wrapped up the win with an empty net goal.