Salavat Yulaev was one of the teams of the month in September, suffering just one loss as it moved to the top of the Eastern Conference. However, the start of October brought a change in fortune with a home defeat at the hands of a Sibir outfit that had lost its previous four.
Despite that unhappy run, Andrei Martemyanov did not make big changes for the visitor, opting only to start with Anton Krasotkin in goal ahead of Harri Sateri. Salavat Yulaev made three changes: Alexander Sharychenkov took over between the piping, Vladislav Kartayev joined the fourth line and Igor Myasishchev replaced Evgeny Lisovets in defense.
Tactically, the visitor looked to choke the game, depriving the home offense of space to cause problems. At the other end, things went very differently with effective counters enabling Nick Shore and Alexander Sharov to shoot Sibir into a 2-0 lead. It wasn’t until the end of the first period that Sergei Shmelyov reduced the deficit for the home team.
The same tactics applied in the middle session, with a similar outcome. Sibir killed an early penalty, then extended its lead thanks to Valentin Pyanov’s power play goal. At the other end, Salavat Yulaev lacked the guile to break down a well-drilled defense and could find no way to salvage the game.
Metallurg moves clear at the top of the Eastern Conference after recording a ninth successive victory. Today’s victim, Avtomobilist, suffered a fourth straight loss and lies fifth in the conference standings.
The home team welcomed back Bogdan Potekhin after injury and started with Vasily Koshechkin in goal after he replaced Juho Olkinuora and secured the win last time out. And Metallurg clearly learned from its slow start in that win over Barys, taking control of this one from the opening seconds. Anatoly Nikontsev opened the scoring in the first minute, staying alert to the end and snaffling a loose puck that unexpectedly bounced away from Vladimir Galkin. The pressure continued and was rewarded late in the frame when Nikolai Goldobin fired home a second. However, in the last minute Avtomobilist got on the board when Philippe Maillet inadvertently steered an innocuous-looking Brooks Macek pass into his own net. That was the first goal Koshechkin had allowed for 130 minutes.
However, that was not the cue for a comeback. The second period saw Metallurg remain on top, with only some find goaltending from young Galkin keeping the game alive as the home team dominated the play. It was only late in the session that Avtomobilist got back into the game, helped by a couple of penalties that saw the host briefly reduced to three skaters at the start of the final stanza.
That penalty was safely killed off and shortly afterwards Maxim Karpov restored Magnitka’s two-goal lead. Avtomobilist kept battling, and got back into contention thanks to Jesse Blacker’s 53rd-minute marker. But that was as close as Avto would get: an empty net goal from Semyon Koshelev settled the outcome here and continued Metallurg’s winning run.
Dmitry Kagarlitsky scored twice as Ak Bars avenged its early-season loss at home to CSKA with an impressive display in Moscow. On day when goaltenders were often on top, the former Dynamo forward found the answer to ex-Ak Bars goalie Adam Reideborn and secured the win for Dmitry Kvartalnov’s team.
The first period was absolutely even, with both goalies pushed into seven saves as the two teams matched each other all over the ice. However, as the game progressed, the visiting offense began to generate more menace — and that eventually told.
The deadlock was finally broken late in the second period. CSKA took a too many men penalty and then struggled to clear its lines. Steven Kampfer, who spoke before the game about his childhood memories of watching CSKA head coach Sergei Fedorov in Detroit, kept the puck in the zone and found Nikolai Kovalenko. His cross-ice pass picked out Dmitry Kagarlitsky, who had plenty to do before getting a low shot off to beat former Ak Bars goalie Adam Reideborn.
In the third, CSKA’s hopes of generating momentum took a knock when Lucas Wallmark was penalized for violating face-off procedure — a rarely-seen call that handed the initiative back to the visitor midway through the session. And when the Army Men got a power play chance of their own, they struggled to make an impression on a resolute PK. Once back at even strength, Ak Bars effectively closed down the play and ran down the clock.
Late in the game, Kagarlitsky potted his second — again with an assist from Kampfer — to punish Nikita Nesterov for an unnecessary foul and open up an uncatchable two-goal lead for the visitor. CSKA kept battling until the end, and Anton Slepyshev pulled a goal back 11 seconds before the hooter, but Ak Bars held on to secure the win.
Two games in two days proved to be little problem for Dynamo, with the Blue-and-Whites following up victory at Kunlun Red Star with a home success against Barys.
The KHL’s top-scoring team needed just six minutes to get off the mark here, with Vladislav Yefremov redirecting a Yegor Zaitsev shot to give the home team an early lead. Early in the second period, we saw the latest scoring contribution from Vadim Shipachyov when he collected Slava Voynov’s long pass and set up Stanislav Galiyev to make it 2-0. Shipachyov has now scored in each of Dynamo’s first 12 games of the season; Voynov in six of the last seven. Galiyev has four goals and seven points in his last three. With that kind of scoring power, it’s not surprising that the Blue-and-Whites remain ahead of the rest for goals scored this season; today’s second goal put the Muscovites back in front of Metallurg.
Barys threatened to make a game of it in the third, and with five minutes left Darren Dietz scored on the power play to set up an intriguing finale. However, Mikhail Fisenko scored his second empty net goal in the space of 24 hours to secure the home win.
Jake Virtanen got his second goal in the KHL as Spartak produced an assured display to end a two-game losing streak and move back into the top eight in the West. Neftekhimik, meanwhile, slips to a fourth loss in five games.
The home team went ahead after eight minutes. Sergei Shirokov’s hard work behind the net got its reward when he moved the puck to the slot for Andrei Loktionov to fire past Evgeny Ivannikov in the visitor’s net.
Then came Virtanen’s second goal in successive appearances. Jori Lehtera picked out his team-mate on the right-hand dot and Virtanen had time to take a touch and set himself for a wrister that ripped past the visiting goalie.
Midway through the second period, Spartak was close to a third goal when the puck got caught up beneath Ivannikov’s pads. However, a video review could not confirm that the disc had crossed the line and it remained 2-0. But not for long. Emil Pettersson added a third just a couple of minutes later, shooting home from a similar position to Virtanen.
Early in the third Shirokov was involved again as a well-worked power play move saw Alexander Khokhlachyov make it 4-0. Oleg Yevenko’s first for his new club completed a convincing Spartak win, despite a late consolation from Ansel Galimov.