Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Moscow welcomed two Baltic opponents, with contrasting results for Dynamo and CSKA. The Army Men suffered a 1-3 loss at home to Jokerit, but the Blue-and-Whites scored five on Dinamo Riga. Lokomotiv also hit five in a big win at Sochi, while Vityaz moved into the playoff places despite an overtime loss at home to Barys.

Hannikainen stars in Jokerit win

CSKA Moscow 1 Jokerit Helsinki 3 (0-0, 1-1, 0-2)

This game was originally scheduled for Sep. 21, but had to be rescheduled when Jokerit went into quarantine. At that time, the Finns were unbeaten on the ice and this performance reflected some of that early season potential.

Photo: 23.01.21. KHL Championship 2020-2021. CSKA (Moscow) - Jokerit (Helsinki)

There were no goals in the first period, but Jokerit moved in front in the second when it enjoyed its first power play of the game. Jordan Schroeder was the scorer, while Markus Hannikainen’s assist earned him a first point in the KHL. Falling behind spurred the Army Men into greater efforts, though, and Ivan Telegin tied the scores before the intermission.

However, Hannikainen’s work was only just starting. The former Blue Jackets forward added to his first point in the league when he redirected Alex Grant’s shot past Alexander Sharychenkov to make it 2-1. The goal came on the power play, not from Bogdan Kiselevich’s game penalty but from a separate indiscretion by Klas Dahlbeck moments after the host killed that major. Midway through the third, Marko Anttila completed the scoring by leaping high to redirect a Sami Lepisto point shot. Jokerit climbs to fifth in the West after securing its second victory over CSKA this season. The Army Men squandered the chance to move to the top of the KHL standings with leader Ak Bars out of action today.

Vityaz into playoff place despite loss

Vityaz Moscow Region 4 Barys Nur-Sultan 5 OT (2-1, 1-2, 1-1, 0-1)

Vityaz edged back into the playoff places in the West despite losing out to Barys in overtime. The visitor, meanwhile, climbs one place to seventh in the East thanks to Jesse Blacker’s winner in the extras.

An entertaining game got off to a lively start with the teams trading early goals. Alexander Semin put Vityaz in front in the seventh minute, only for Linus Videll to tie the scores a couple of minutes later. A Justin Danforth power play goal gave the home team the lead at the intermission.

In the middle frame, Barys hit back. Valery Orekhov and Darren Dietz scored a quickfire double to lead the game, but a second PP goal for Danforth midway through the period made it 3-3.

Then came the late drama. Zakhar Bardakov thought he had won it for the home team with a goal after 57 minutes, but Barys found a response to tie it up 30 seconds later when Nikita Mikhailis scored. Then Blacker settled it in overtime.

Shipachyov scores twice on return

Dynamo Moscow 5 Dinamo Riga 2 (0-1, 1-0, 4-1)

Vadim Shipachyov made an impressive return to action, scoring twice as Dynamo Moscow won against Riga. The forward missed Thursday’s 0-3 loss against Sibir but immediately added a new dimension to the home offense as he came back to the team.

Photo: 23.01.21. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Dynamo (Moscow) - Dinamo (Riga)

Shipachyov’s return was not the only boost for the home team. Vladimir Krikunov was able to reshuffle his roster after the Sibir loss: Juuso Hietanen, Sergei Boikov and Oscar Lindberg all returned after long layoffs, while Alexander Kucheryavenko made his long-awaited debut following a deadline day move from Neftekhimik.

However, Riga got the verdict when the teams last met and the visitor made it hard work for the new-look Moscow line-up. Late in the first period, JC Lipon opened the scoring and it wasn’t until the end of the second that Shipachyov tied the scores with his 200th regular season goal.

Even then, Riga wasn’t done. Denis Parshin restored the Latvian lead in the 45th minute, only for the Blue-and-Whites to seize control. Barely 30 seconds later, Shipachyov set up Andrei Mironov to make it 2-2. Then the leading scorer added a power play goal of his own before Vyacheslav Kulyomin made it 4-2. Three goals in just over three minutes took the game away from the visitor, and Ivan Muranov’s penalty shot wrapped up the home win.

Shmelyov’s hot streak can’t save Sochi

HC Sochi 1 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 5 (1-2, 0-0, 0-3)

Sochi hoped that it was turning a corner after recording its first win of 2021 on Thursday, but Lokomotiv had other ideas. The Railwaymen steamrollered the opposition beside the Black Sea and left with a comfortable victory.

Lokomotiv started on time and won an early power play. However, the teams were back at full strength before Andre Petersson opened the scoring with a goal on his former team. Sochi replied quickly, with Sergei Shmelyov continuing his personal hot streak when he converted the Leopards’ first power play of the game. Shmelyov stretched his productive streak to six, setting a new club record ahead of Petersson.

However, Lokomotiv was not going to be disrupted. Rushan Rafikov restored the lead midway through the opening stanza and Sochi was unable to find a way back. There were few chances for either team in the second period, and Anton Lander took the game away in the third. He scored twice before a Mikhail Belyayev penalty shot finished the job.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Dinamo (Riga) Dinamo (Riga)
Jokerit (Helsinki) Jokerit (Helsinki)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
HC Sochi (Sochi) HC Sochi (Sochi)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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