Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Tuesday brought plenty of goals — and Jokerit topped the scoring with a 6-1 thrashing of Dynamo behind closed doors in Helsinki. Torpedo was the next biggest winner, beating Avtomobilist 5-1 despite Pavel Datsyuk’s first goal in over a month. SKA held on to beat Barys 4-3, Spartak and Sochi shared five goals in three minutes as the Red-and-Whites won beside the Black Sea, and there were wins for Amur, Severstal and Dinamo Minsk.

Datsyuk’s goal can’t stop Torpedo

Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 5 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 1 (3-1, 2-0, 0-0)

Pavel Datsyuk scored his first goal since Oct. 11 but could not prevent Avtomobilist from going down to a heavy defeat in Nizhny Novogorod. Torpedo, meanwhile, gave itself a valuable lift away from the chasing pack in its race for a playoff place.

Photo: 24.11.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod) - Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg)

The home got off to a good start, opening a 2-0 lead on goals from Damir Zhafyarov and Andy Miele. But seconds after Miele struck, Datsyuk pulled a goal back. A neat combination between Anatoly Golyshev and Alexei Makeyev found the Magic Man between the hash marks; there was a flash of stick handling wizardry and a shot that gave Alexei Melnichuk no chance.

However, that was the only highlight for Bill Peters’ team on its way to a third straight loss. Zhafyarov got his second of the game to restore a two-goal advantage, then the second period brought further markers from Ziyat Paigin and Ivan Chekhovich.

That took the game firmly away from the visitor and ensured that Torpedo would make it back-to-back wins against the Motormen after claiming a shoot-out win in Yekaterinburg on Saturday. It was also the first of four meetings this season to be decided in regulation, and the only one to bring a home win.

Nine consecutive defeats for Red Star

Kunlun Red Star 2 Amur Khabarovsk 4 (0-1, 2-1, 0-2)

Red Star slipped to a ninth successive loss despite the return of American goalie Jeremy Smith. He found himself on the wrong side of an Amur team eager to close the gap to the playoff places and could do little as the Dragons ran out of steam in the closing stages of an entertaining game.

Photo: 24.11.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Kunlun Red Star (Beijing) - Amur (Khabarovsk)

The only goal in the opening session came in the ninth minute when Pavel Turbin beat Smith with a point shot after Nikita Kamalov screened the netminder. The Dragons responded at the start of the second when Vyacheslav Leshchenko came out of the penalty box to get on the end of Luke Lockhart’s pass and wire home a wrister.

That provoked a storm of offense from the visitor, with Smith kept busy by shots from all angles until Turbin thumped in another piledriver and Dmitry Lugin stuffed the puck home on the rebound. But there was a similar story at the other end when Andrei Bakanov tied it up again with his second of the season.

In the final stanza Red Star came out at a high tempo and, for a time, looked the more likely team to break the deadlock. However, when Alexei Toropchenko took a penalty, the Tigers took advantage. Alexander Gorshkov restored the lead and in the closing minutes Dominik Masin completed the win with his first KHL goal.

Valuable victory for the Steelmen

Severstal Cherepovets 2 Vityaz Moscow Region 1 (0-0, 1-1, 1-0)

A late goal from Vladislav Provolnev gave Severstal a hard-fought victory here, consolidating Sunday’s big win at Metallurg and moving the Steelmen a step further away from ninth-placed Vityaz in the race for the Western playoffs.

This was a big game among those teams jockeying for position in the top eight. If we assume that Jokerit is likely to jump up the table as it completes those games in hand, Vityaz was up against possibly its closest rival for the playoff places. A win for the visitor would put it just one point behind Andrei Razin’s team and, after a goalless first period, Kaspars Daugavins set up a short-handed goal for Alexander Dergachyov to give Vityaz the lead.

That prompted the home team to up the pace and dominate the second period. However, there was a sizeable slice of good fortune about the tying goal. Provolnev’s shot cannoned off the helmet of a defenseman and could have gone anywhere; luckily for Severstal it dropped for Yegor Morozov to tie the game.

In the third, both teams were more cautious and Severstal could not replicate its control from the middle stanza. However, when the game looked destined for overtime, Pavel Vorobei sat for interference and Provolnev took advantage to smash home a point shot and win the game.

Sharangovich strike settles it

Dinamo Minsk 2 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 1 OT (0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0)

Dinamo defeated Loko for the first time this season, avenging two earlier losses and consolidating its position alongside Spartak and Dynamo Moscow in the Western Conference table.

The Belarusians edged this one on an overtime goal from Yegor Sharangovich after a tight encounter in Minsk, despite finding things tough early on. The first period finished goalless, but Lokomotiv had a clear advantage on the balance of play and will feel it could have gone ahead after 20 minutes in which both teams had some big chances.

At the start of the second, though, the home side opened the scoring. Brandon Kozun, once a Railwayman himself, made the breakthrough after 42 seconds. And whatever Craig Woodcroft discussed in the locker room clearly had the desired effect. Suddenly Minsk was controlling the game and looking far more fluent. It was Lokomotiv’s turn to feel the pressure.

However, the visitor managed to get out of that crisis late in the third period. Dinamo was unable to extend its lead and Loko forced overtime when Yegor Korshkov scored with three minutes left. That’s the 10th goal of Korshkov’s loan spell, but its significance was diminished a little when Sharangovich secured the win for Dinamo after two minutes of the extras.

Jokerit joy, Dynamo demolished

Jokerit Helsinki 6 Dynamo Moscow 1 (1-0, 3-0, 2-1)

Forced to play behind closed due to new COVID rules in Helsinki, Jokerit produced one of its most impressive performances of the season to hammer Dynamo. From the moment the home team opened the scoring after 16 seconds, there was only one winner here — and fans following the action at home had something to celebrate even if they had to do it remotely.

Dynamo arrived in decent form, buoyed by three straight wins, but was caught cold right at the start when Brian O’Neill set up Jesse Joensuu for a goal from the first attack of the game. However, the floodgates did not open until the second period; much of the opening session was cagey.

Jakub Krejcik doubled the home lead in the 28th minute, but the killer moment came when Michal Cajkovsky and Vadim Shipachyov followed one another into the penalty box. A long two-man advantage for Jokerit beckoned, and two goals were the prize. O’Neill scored the first, then set up Iiro Pakarinen for the second; the Finns led 4-0. Georgy Kuznetsov was soon brought off the bench in place of veteran Dynamo goalie Alexander Yeryomenko.

The visitor’s evening did not get any better. Joensuu got his second of the night on yet another power play at the start of the third period, then Pakarinen doubled up to make it 6-0. Vyacheslav Kulyomin pulled one back for Dynamo, but it was scant consolation in a heavy defeat.

SKA edging struggling Barys

SKA St. Petersburg 4 Barys Nur-Sultan 3 (2-2, 1-0, 1-1)

Barys suffered a fifth successive loss, but produced a much-improved performance at high-flying SKA. Despite giving the Bobrov Division leader a tough evening, though, Yury Mikhailis and his team remains out of the playoff places — and the games in hand they once had are starting to run out.

In the early stages, it looked like this might be a straightforward engagement for the Army Men. Midway through the first period, the young guns picked their way through the Barys defense, Vasily Podkolzin and Kirill Marchenko combining for Ivan Morozov to open the scoring. The visitor had the puck in the net at the other end, but Anton Sagadeyev’s effort was whistled off for an infringement on home goalie Alexander Samonov.

Next came an incident-packed Barys power play, which brought a short-handed goal for Evgeny Ketov followed by Viktor Svedberg getting the visitor on the scoreboard. And late in the frame, Linus Videll opened up the SKA defense to give Jakob Lilja the tying goal.

After playing a big role in SKA’s opening goal, Marchenko potted one of his own late in the second period to put his team back in front. The youngster fired in a one-timer off Joonas Kemppainen’s feed, separating the teams after a middle frame short on clear scoring chances. However, the third began with a Barys power play and Videll took advantage to tie it up again.

The winner came in the 46th minute. Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi sent Vladimir Tkachyov into the danger zone and the home forward produced a finish with some flair. But there was still work to do. Barys ended the game strongly, helped by regular penalties on the host. Samonov held firm, though, and the Kazakhs’ wait for a win goes on.

Spartak wins an eight-goal thriller

HC Sochi 3 Spartak Moscow 5 (1-0, 2-3, 0-2)

Like Barys, Sochi is also in need of a win to kickstart its playoff push. And, like Barys, it put everything into Tuesday’s game, only to come up short. Spartak snapped a two-game losing streak thanks to two third-period goals, but this game could have gone either way.

Sochi David Rundblad opened the scoring in the fourth minute and that proved to be the only score of the first period. But the second produced a crazy sequence of five goals in less than three minutes and, when the dust settled, the teams were deadlocked at 3-3.

First, Spartak struck twice in 10 seconds. Ilya Talaluyev and Lukas Radil hit the net to turn the game round. The lead lasted 75 seconds before Sergei Shmelyov made it 2-2, but Nikita Sokolov soon had the visitor back in front. Then came Rundblad’s second of the game on 28:00, chasing Julius Hudacek to the bench in favor of Alexander Trushkov.

The rest of the middle frame passed at a less frenetic pace, but the third began with a bang. Martin Bakos scored on 40:43 and that advantage endured throughout the remainder of the game. Sochi battled hard but could not find a way past Trushkov, and home hopes were ended when Artyom Fyodorov scored into an empty net to seal the win.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Barys (Nur-Sultan) Barys (Nur-Sultan)
Vityaz (Moscow Region) Vityaz (Moscow Region)
Dinamo (Minsk) Dinamo (Minsk)
Dynamo (Moscow) Dynamo (Moscow)
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Kunlun Red Star (Beijing) Kunlun Red Star (Beijing)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
Severstal (Cherepovets) Severstal (Cherepovets)
SKA (Saint Petersburg) SKA (Saint Petersburg)
HC Sochi (Sochi) HC Sochi (Sochi)
Spartak (Moscow) Spartak (Moscow)
Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod) Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod)
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