Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Table-topping CSKA suffered a surprise loss at home to Sibir, going down 1-5 in Moscow. Eastern Conference leader Ak Bars fared little better, suffering a 0-3 loss at Avangard with Jaromir Jagr in the crowd. At the foot of the table, Kunlun and Dinamo Riga went to overtime before Denis Parshin gave the Latvians the verdict.

Indrasis, Shinkaruk trade doubles

Kunlun Red Star 4 Dinamo Riga 5 OT (1-2, 0-1, 3-1, 0-1)

The KHL’s basement duo battled it out in Mytishchi, serving up a more entertaining game than their league positions might suggest. Red Star handed a debut to Vyacheslav Leshchenko, who began his career in this arena with Atlant, but recently arrived goalie Jeremy Smith had to be content as understudy to Dmitry Shikin.

The home team, out to avenge last week’s loss in Latvia, came out hard, but fell behind against the run of play when Ondrej Vitasek exchanged passes with Miks Indrasis and scored on his former club. Jake Chelios tied it up, but Indrasis quickly restored Dinamo’s lead.

In the second period, the Dragons were dominant, doing everything but score. Riga, at times ragged, punished that profligacy: Pavel Chernov made it 3-1 and the Latvians were anticipating a victory that would leave the two teams level on points.

But Red Star was not to be subdued so easily. As Dinamo ran into penalty trouble, Hunter Shinkaruk scored twice to tie the game. Indrasis grabbed his third of the season to restore the visitor’s lead on the PP — all three of those goals came against Kunlun — but right away the host got a power play of its own and Tyler Wong took us to overtime.

In the extras, the home team first had to kill the remainder of a penalty for Chelios late in regulation. That was successfully done, but just as a shoot-out seemed certain, Denis Parshin delivered the game-winner and sent Red Star spinning to an eighth successive loss.

Sibir stuns CSKA

CSKA Moscow 1 Sibir Novosibirsk 5 (1-2, 0-2, 0-1)

CSKA’s five-game winning streak came to a juddering halt as it suffered a heavy loss at home to Sibir. On the face of it, this was a home banker: despite a couple of decent results recently, the visitor was a lowly eighth in the East, locked in a desperate battle for a play-off place while the Army Men sought to move 11 points clear of Lokomotiv at the top of its division. However, the teams’ previous meeting — a 2-1 shoot-out win for the Muscovites in Siberia — hinted at a tougher task for the leader.

Photo: 23.11.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. CSKA (Moscow) - Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)

Within five minutes, CSKA realized how tough this could be. Oleg Li put Sibir in front, and survived a video review looking at a possible offside. True, Maxim Mamin tied it up midway through the opening frame, but that was only a short relief. Within a couple of minutes, Mat Robinson’s stumble as he looked to join the offense proved costly: Nikita Shashkov snaffled away the puck and set up the second goal, scored by Dmitry Sayustov.

CSKA’s problems were not helped when Klas Dahlbeck was ejected from the game for kneeing Evgeny Chesalin in the last major incident of an action-packed first period. The Army Men almost saw off the penalty without further harm, but as the clock ticked down early in the second, Mikael Ruohomaa added a third. Another power play chance enabled Danil Romantsev to extend the lead to 4-1 and Sibir was well-placed for a big win.

The Army Men had more of the possession throughout the game, but struggled to get good looks at Harri Sateri in the visitor’s net. And a lack of discipline cost Ilya Nikitin’s men dear. Midway through the third period, yet another Sibir power play produced a goal for Andrei Yermakov, completing a rout that lifts Sibir up to seventh with a two-point lead over ninth-placed Barys.

Jagr watches on as Hawks blank Kazan

Avangard Omsk 3 Ak Bars Kazan 0 (2-0, 0-0, 1-0)

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the creation of Avangard — and despite the current restrictions, the Hawks were able to invite an old friend to the party. Jaromir Jagr, Czech hockey legend and Avangard ace in the first years of the KHL was the guest of honor and he saw the current generation produce an assured victory over the Eastern Conference leader.

Photo: 23.11.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Avangard (Omsk) - Ak Bars (Kazan)

This game was played in Moscow, at Dynamo’s VTB Arena, helping the party to go with more of a swing. In Balashikha, Omsk’s usual home this season, local regulations mean games must be played behind closed doors but in the capital different rules meant Jagr was one of 2,372 interested spectators.

They saw the home team get in front midway through the first period, scoring on a delayed penalty just as an Ak Bars power play was coming to an end. Denis Zernov looked to go coast-to-coast before setting up Andrei Stas for a shot that was deflected into the path of Oliwer Kaski for the opening goal. Stas then got into a fight with Dmitry Voronkov and that displayed clearly energized Alexei Emelin. The defenseman went on a surging rush of his own, powering deep into Ak Bars territory and serving up a dish for Corban Knight to score from the edge of the paintwork.

In the middle frame, Avangard maintained its superiority on the stats without adding any further goals. In the third, though, Knight got his second of the game. Kaski’s point shot dropped for the forward to snatch another from close range, this time on the power play.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Avangard (Omsk) Avangard (Omsk)
Ak Bars (Kazan) Ak Bars (Kazan)
Dinamo (Riga) Dinamo (Riga)
Kunlun Red Star (Beijing) Kunlun Red Star (Beijing)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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