Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Jokerit’s 4-1 win at home to Torpedo was the first time the Finns won back-to-back in 2021 and boosts the team’s playoff prospects. Severstal got a similar lift with a 3-2 win at Dinamo Riga, while Dinamo Minsk lost ground after going down 2-4 at home to CSKA. Michal Cajkovsky produced the individual performance of the day, with the Slovak defenseman scoring a hat-trick in Dynamo Moscow’s 4-0 win over Sochi. Lokomotiv rallied from 0-2 down to beat Avangard in overtime.

Railwaymen recover after Avangard’s fast start

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 3 Avangard Omsk 2 OT (0-2, 1-0, 1-0, 1-0)

Avangard blew a 2-0 lead in Yaroslavl and went down to an overtime goal from Atte Ohtamaa as Lokomotiv recorded a fourth successive victory.

Photo: 29.01.21. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) - Avangard (Omsk)

In the early stages, though, everything went right for the visitor. Avangard got the first power play of the game and took advantage thanks to a fourth-minute goal from Reid Boucher off Sergei Tolchinsky’s cross-ice feed. Tolchinsky then added the second himself, redirecting an Alexei Emelin thunderbolt to make it 2-0 in the eighth minute. Although Lokomotiv improved as the game went on, it still took a big save from Eddie Pasquale just before the hooter to deny Corban Knight a third goal that would surely have ended the contest.

Instead, though, Loko got on the board at the start of the second period and never looked back. It took just 13 seconds for Yegor Korshkov to reduce the deficit after a flurry of shots at Igor Bobkov’s net. The Railwaymen went on to dominate the second period, leading the shot count 15-6, but could not find a tying goal.

That came in the third period, with the home team on the power play. Avangard struggled to clear its lines and after Artur Kayumov collected the loose puck, he found Teemu Pulkkinen in space on the slot to make it 2-2.

It stayed that way until the end of the third, but overtime quickly settled the outcome. Korshkov was the architect this time, setting up Ohtamaa for a shot to the far corner that gave Bobkov no chance. Loko tightens its grip on third place in the West.

Army Men march on Minsk

Dinamo Minsk 2 CSKA Moscow 4 (1-0, 0-1, 1-3)

CSKA came from behind to win in Minsk and halt a two-game losing streak. Dinamo, though, went down to a second loss in its current home stand and remains in the thick of a race to confirm a playoff place.

The home team got in front in the 14th minute. Much of the first period was a stop-start affair, and the visitor looked to be shading the play, but Alexei Protas earned his reward for his hard work on the slot to put Dinamo 1-0 up. However, midway through the second period, Konstantin Okulov tied the scores.

CSKA took control of the game in the third period. Within two minutes, Okulov potted his second of the game to put the Army Men ahead for the first time. 48 seconds later, Maxim Sorkin made it 3-1 to take the game away from Minsk. Late in the evening, Andrei Svetlakov marked his return after three weeks out with a fourth goal. Alexander Popov’s assist took him to 400 points in the KHL.

Dinamo had the final word, with Artyom Demkov’s power play goal bringing some late consolation, but CSKA had the game wrapped up by then.

Cajkovsky stars in Dynamo win

Dynamo Moscow 4 HC Sochi 0 (0-0, 4-0, 0-0)

Defenseman Michal Cajkovsky blasted a hat-trick as Dynamo enjoyed a comfortable victory over struggling Sochi. The Slovak international scored three goals in 10 minutes in the second period to steer the Blue-and-Whites to the win.

Photo: 29.01.21. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Dynamo (Moscow) - HC Sochi (Sochi)

Dynamo had the better of the first period but was unable to find a way past Maxim Tretyak in the visitor’s net. However, Cajkovsky changed all that at the start of the second. With 19 seconds played, Dmitry Kagarlitsky and Vadim Shipachyov fashioned a shooting chance for the D-man from the deep slot and he opened the scoring. Four minutes later, he made it 2-0, firing home from wide on the left after Ivan Muranov emerged from behind the net. Then, midway through the frame, Cajkovsky met Alexander Kucheryavenko’s pass just inside the right-hand circle and smashed home number three. That also brought up 100 points in the KHL for the former Avtomobilist player and prompted some extravagant celebrations from his team-mates.

Daniil Tarasov added a fourth Dynamo goal in the 34th minute, chasing Tretyak from the net. The final frame was something of a non-event after all that excitement. Sochi never looked likely to find a way back into the game and Dynamo had little need to exert itself in search of more.

Jukuri claims first KHL win

Jokerit Helsinki 4 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 1 (1-0, 2-1, 1-0)

Jokerit celebrated back-to-back wins for the first time this year after overpowering Torpedo in Helsinki. Antti Pihlstrom, who scored twice in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Sochi, was on the scoresheet once again here.

The home team made the better start to the game but, in truth, there were few incidents of note before Andy Miele and Viktor Loov dropped the gloves in the ninth minute. It wasn’t until late in the frame that we saw the first goal, with Jakub Krejcik firing in from the blue line off a Pihlstrom feed.

Pihlstrom’s improved form continued, and he scored the second of the game himself midway through the second period with a well-executed one-timer from between the hash marks. Henri Ikonen soon followed up with a third goal from almost exactly the same spot, and Jokerit was cruising.

Jordan Szwarz pulled a goal back for Torpedo before the second intermission, but this game was always going one way. Marko Anttila confirmed his team’s dominance with a short-handed goal in the third to complete the scoring. Rookie goalie Samuel Jukuri, playing only his second KHL game, stopped 27 shots to get his first win in the league. The best of his saves came in the second period, denying Szwarz.

Adamchuk’s first goals lead Severstal to victory

Dinamo Riga 2 Severstal Cherepovets 3 (0-2, 1-0, 1-1)

Severstal won for the first time in three games to give itself a bit of breathing space in the race for a playoff place in the Western Conference. The Steelmen remain in seventh place, but now have a four-point gap over Vityaz and Spartak below and move to within a point of sixth-placed Dinamo Minsk.

Severstal took control of the game in the first period with two unanswered goals. Both came on the power play, and both were scored by Kirill Adamchuk. The 26-year-old defenseman had not scored in 59 previous KHL games dating back to his debut for Ugra in Jan. 2015.

However, Dinamo’s recent performances have been better than their results might suggest. The Latvians have been competitive in most games since losing 7-1 at home to CSKA on Jan. 12 and today, once again, they showed their fighting qualities. Miks Indrasis pulled a goal back midway through the second period with JC Lipon among the assists and the two reversed those roles in the third as Lipon tied the game at 2-2 with six minutes to play. Lipon moves to nine points from his last seven games.

Once again, though, Dinamo’s courage went unrewarded. With less than two minutes left, Joonas Nattinen potted a third goal for Severstal. That power play effort, scored with Indrasis in the box, was enough to give the visitor a vital win in its push for a playoff place.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Avangard (Omsk) Avangard (Omsk)
Dinamo (Minsk) Dinamo (Minsk)
Dynamo (Moscow) Dynamo (Moscow)
Dinamo (Riga) Dinamo (Riga)
Jokerit (Helsinki) Jokerit (Helsinki)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
Severstal (Cherepovets) Severstal (Cherepovets)
HC Sochi (Sochi) HC Sochi (Sochi)
Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod) Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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