Barys slipped to a fourth successive loss and remains outside the playoff places in the East after failing to build on a promising start in Ufa.
The visitor, looking to put a disappointing home stand behind it, switched up all four lines ahead of the trip to Ufa. Yury Mikhailis recalled forwards Pavel Akolzin and Kirill Panyukov, as well as defenseman Leonid Metalnikov. For a time, the new line-up seemed to have the right blend. Barys looked lively from the start and got in front thanks to a Roman Starchenko goal in the ninth minute.
However, it wasn’t long before Salavat Yulaev tied the scores — and it was a familiar combination that got the result. Philip Larsen banged in a shot and Teemu Hartikainen was well-placed to steer the puck past Joni Ortio. That was the first of three power play goals for the home team.
In the second period, Ufa took control of the game. Although the opening exchanges were evenly contested, good work from Alexander Kadeikin enabled Dmitry Kugryshev to make it 2-1. Barys continued to create chances, but Salavat added a third on another power play when Hartikainen’s shot rebounded for Kadeikin to score.
And discipline let down the visitor in the third period, with Mikhail Vorobyov scoring on the power play midway through the final stanza to wrap up the verdict. Salavat Yulaev closes on the top four in the East while Barys is still trying to force its way into the top eight.
The clash of the Steelmen saw Metallurg melt on home ice, despite taking an early lead against Severstal. The visitor snapped a three-game losing streak and won a little breathing space in the battle for the Western playoffs, while the home team continues to struggle for form. Magnitka has not won back-to-back games since Oct. 14 when it completed a five-game streak.
Metallurg was able to bring back several players returning from the injured list, including Czech forward Andrej Nestrasil. The home team began the game at a good tempo, helped by an early power play, and dominated the first period. However, not for the first time, goals were at a premium: despite controlling the play, only Bogdan Potekhin’s goal separated the teams at the intermission.
Early in the second, Severstal got two power plays in quick succession and that shifted the balance of play. Metallurg killed the first penalty but the second saw Alexander Petunin tie the game. Things got worse for Magnitka when defenseman Maksim Matushkin put Severstal in front: the defenseman scored his first goal for his new club into the net of his previous KHL team.
When the teams last met, Severstal blew a 3-1 lead to lose 4-5 at home. This time, though, Andrei Razin’s players made no mistake. Two more power play goals in the third period — Artyom Gareyev and Vladislav Kodola on target — settled the outcome.
Traktor’s five-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of Dynamo, with Dmitrij Jaskin scoring twice for the Blue-and-Whites. The home team had hopes of moving to within two points of Eastern Conference leader Ak Bars, but was unable to get the better of the Muscovites as Dynamo recorded a third straight victory.
Dynamo got an early chance to take the lead when Ilya Karpukhin fouled the goal-bound Dmitry Kagarlitsky. However, Roman Will won his duel and denied Kagarlitsky’s penalty shot. The initial breakaway was set up by Jaskin and Vadim Shipachyov, and that pair combined again late in the opening frame when Shipachyov’s masterful passing created the Czech’s first goal of the game.
The second period began with a bang as the teams traded goals within 90 seconds. Vyacheslav Osnovin tied it up for Traktor, but Daniil Tarasov quickly reinstated the visitor’s advantage. Midway through the session, two more quick goals saw Dynamo build that lead. Michal Cajkovsky and Oscar Lindberg found the net just 39 seconds apart; Will’s evening was over and the visitor was in control with a 4-1 lead.
Traktor got one back through Artyom Shvaryov before the intermission, but there would be no fightback. Jaskin’s second of the game arrived 29 seconds into the final session and put the seal on an impressive Dynamo display.
Neftekhimik snapped a four-game losing streak as it looks to get into the playoff race in the East, while Spartak’s second successive defeat denied Oleg Znarok’s team the chance to improve on sixth place in the West.
The first period here was goalless, although Neftekhimik led the shot count 17-6 without finding a way past Alexander Trushkov as the 24-year-old made only his third start of the season. Early in the second, Andrei Kostitsyn was sent back to the locker room for slashing, giving Spartak’s offense a chance to make an impression on Evgeny Ivannikov’s net, but the home PK withstood the pressure even after Alexei Volgin’s minor left the host with a 3-on-5 situation to defend.
Midway through the game, the scoring started. Neftekhimik potted three goals in seven minutes thanks to Pavel Poryadin, Alexander Bryntsev and Andrei Chivilev, and took control of the game. Trushkov was replaced by Julius Hudacek, but Spartak had too much ground to make up. A Mikhail Byakin goal — with an assist from Hudacek’s brother, Libor — extended the home lead early in the third.
Spartak belatedly threatened to make a game of it with a quickfire double strike from Roman Lyubimov and Ilya Zubov. Neftekhimik settled down, though, and regained the initiative. Poryadin got his second assist of the night, taking him to three points in total, as Alexander Kucheryavenko made it 5-2.
SKA got the win most people expected at home to Amur, but the Eastern Conference playoff chaser gave the high-flyer from the West a tough battle before yielding in the third.
In the first period, the Tigers did a good job of stifling the home offense and, on a rare foray forward, grabbed the lead. Vladimir Mikhasyonok, who started the season with Torpedo, got his first KHL goal in the ninth minute. The 22-year-old broke the deadlock when he shot home a pass from the left channel and subsequently SKA found its attacking opportunities swallowed up by a well-drilled visiting defense.
The second period was closer to the pattern suggested by the teams’ relative positions in the table, with SKA finally getting its offense to fire. Even so, Marek Langhamer proved tough to beat in the Amur net, stopping 13 of the shots that came his way in the middle session. Almost 36 minutes had elapsed before he was beaten, Kirill Marchenko scoring on the power play to tie the game.
Late in the frame, Mikhasyonok took a minor and the third period began with Marchenko setting up a power play goal for Ivan Morozov to put SKA up for the first time in the game. However, within 90 seconds Amur tied the scores once more as Alexander Gorshkov potted his first of the evening. Penalty trouble would be Amur’s undoing, though. The visitor just about killed a 3-on-5 but seconds after Nikita Kamalov returned to the game, Vladislav Kamenev made it 3-2 to SKA. Another power play saw the home team get the puck in the net again through Andrei Kuzmenko, but that effort was whistled off. However, as Amur returned to full strength, Kamenev redirected Igor Ozhiganov’s shot to make it 4-2.
Amur was still game, and Gorshkov got his second of the night to keep the game alive. But the penalties kept coming and when Daniil Faizullin sat for hooking, Joonas Kemppainen added a fifth for SKA and killed the game at last.