Former Barys coach Andrei Skabelka had an unhappy return to Kazakhstan with his new charges. Lokomotiv slipped to a 3-1 defeat in a hard-fought game in Nur-Sultan. The result was a big turnaround from the teams’ previous meeting this season, which ended in a 7-2 home win for Loko last month.
Yury Mikhailis also had to contend with something of an injury crisis that robbed him of several key players on offense and defense. The roster included the likes of young defenseman Samat Daniyar and forward Dmitry Gurkov, both of whom have limited KHL experience.
In the first period, neither team could create much. However, Barys was the more ambitious in its intent, and got a reward when Anton Sagadeyev opened the scoring in the ninth minute. He was helped by an error from Ilya Lyubushkin; the Lokomotiv defenseman, back at his hometown team on loan from the Coyotes, is still apparently struggle to readjust to hockey in Russia after two seasons in the NHL.
Early in the second, Barys ran into penalty trouble and had to kill a 3-on-5 situation. The home team made it safely back to full strength, but the effort took its toll: within seconds of Dillon Heatherington returning to the game, Georgy Ivanov tied the scores. However, late in the middle frame a power play goal from Matthew Frattin restored the home lead when he put away the rebound from a Nikita Mikhailis shot. That made the difference between the teams, with Loko unable to find a way back in the third. Linus Videll wrapped up the win with an empty net goal.
Severstal snapped a three-game losing streak with an overtime win in Riga. The home team led twice in regulation but was unable to finish the job and suffered a fifth straight defeat as it remains adrift at the foot of the KHL standings.
The opening goal came late in the first period, and it went to Severstal. The visitor had not been able to assert itself in the early stages of the game, but when Dinamo took a couple of penalties late in the frame, the Steelmen struck on the power play. Joonas Nattinen made it 1-0 four seconds before the hooter.
Riga’s reply came early in the second. Janis Svanenbergs, a 19-year-old forward who made his debut for the club last season, tied the scores with his first ever KHL goal. Unusually in a game full of power play goals, this one came at full strength. Shortly after, Mathew Maione scored on the power play, a third goal of the season for the defenseman. But Dinamo’s lead did not last long: Tony Sund sat for holding the stick and Yegor Morozov tied the scores. However, Morozov found his way to the box later in the frame and Denis Parshin restored the home lead, only for Severstal to get a 5-on-3 power play and tie the game through Daniil Vovchenko just before the second intermission.
After an incident-packed 40 minutes, both teams calmed the game down in the third. There was just one penalty, killed by Dinamo after Kristaps Zile was called early in the stanza. Shots on goal were fewer as well, with Dinamo managing just three in the session. Cautiously, the teams moved into overtime.
Once there, it wasn’t long before Severstal settled the outcome. Morozov’s second of the night was enough to end the action and snap his team’s three-game skid. The win moves the Steelmen two points clear of ninth-placed Vityaz, and into a three-way tie with Jokerit and Spartak on 34 points.