Lokomotiv shrugged off some uneven recent form to defeat top of the table Metallurg. Both teams came into the game without high-profile forwards. For Lokomotiv, Maxim Shalunov was missing, while Metallurg continued without Nikolai Goldobin.
The visitor was in excellent form, with eight consecutive wins building a commanding lead at the top of the table. Loko, meanwhile, was not at its best: just one victory in five previous games meant that Igor Nikitin’s team was in the thick of the battle to stay in the top eight in the West.
But the home team had the better of the game in the first half hour. The opening exchanges were even, but when Brendan Leipsic took a penalty late in the first period, Lokomotiv went in front on a goal from Artyom Anisimov. He fired home an Alexei Marchenko pass to record his first goal on home ice since returning to Yaroslavl.
In the second stanza, things got even better for the host. Reid Boucher and Alexander Polunin stretched the lead to 3-0 on 26 minutes. That spelled the end of the evening for Juho Olkinuora and Artyom Zagidulin took his place. A re-energized Metallurg then piled on the pressure during its first power play and pulled a goal back shortly after the teams returned to full strength. A well-worked move finished with Semyon Koshelev finding the open corner of Eddie Pasquale’s net. The goal offered the visitor a path back into the game, but Zagidulin had to be alert to deny Yegor Korshkov’s one-on-one break in the final seconds of the frame.
Early in the third it was 3-2. Denis Zernov was credited with the goal after he pounced on a big rebound. The visiting forward was forced wide of the goal but as he fired the puck back to the slot it took a deflection off a home defenseman to beat Pasquale. Then a double minor for Anisimov put more pressure on the Lokomotiv defense as it had to kill four penalty minutes. The pressure was intense — the Railwaymen were restricted to just two shots on goal in the third period — but Magnitka could not find a way through and saw its winning streak come to an end.
SKA slipped to a second successive defeat as Spartak rallied for an overtime win in the Northern capital. The visitor snapped a three-game skid thanks to Alexander Khokhlachyov’s goal in the extras.
The home team had the better of the first period, and should possibly have scored more than Mikhail Vorobyov’s opening goal in the 18th minute. The 24-year-old led an odd-man rush and exchanged passes with Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi before shooting past Oscar Dansk in the Spartak net.
However, the Army Men could not build on that advantage. The second period against saw the home team dominate the play, but chances went begging. Dansk denied Vladislav Tsitsyura’s solo attempt, then stopped a Kirill Marchenko effort. Vorobyov, too, had a good look but could not find a second goal.
Eventually, Spartak punished SKA’s inability to score more. In a third period that had more scoring chances at both ends, the visitor tied it up in the 52nd minute through Andrei Loktionov. Then, in overtime, Khokhlachyov got the winner when he stripped Danila Moiseyev of the puck and exchanged passes with Loktionov to move Lars Johansson out of position and create a simple finish to the move and the game.
Severstal was looking to set a new club record winning streak here after coming out on top in its previous seven games. Avtomobilist, meanwhile, was hoping to see more of the offensive power that swamped Kunlun Red Star, and less of the indecision in front of goal that saw it shut-out by CSKA last time.
The visitor found an answer to its goalscoring worries. Shane Prince was on target twice in this game, opening the scoring in the ninth minute and getting the final marker of the day in the 42nd. Those goals, both on the power play, were Prince’s first since September; the naturalized Belarusian forward missed most of October’s action due to injury.
However, in between the home team scored three to achieve that record-breaking win. In the 17th minute, Igor Geraskin tied the scores with a breakaway goal that had an assist from Vladislav Podyapolsky. The Severstal goalie was making his first appearance of the season after recovering from injury and marked the occasion with his fifth point in KHL play.
In the second period, Kirill Pilipenko’s angled shot from the right-hand boards beat Dmitry Shikin to put the home team in front. Then Avtomobilist ran into penalty trouble and went further behind when Nikita Guslistov won his face-off battle and Vladislav Kodolascored from close range. That was Guslistov’s second assist in the game.
Prince pulled one back for Avto early in the third and the visitor dominated the rest of the game. But Podyapolsky performed strongly on his return to action, finishing the game with 37 saves as Severstal took the verdict.
Ivan Chekhovich scored a hat-trick of power play goals as Torpedo eased past a Minsk team hampered by illness. Two days earlier, Dinamo faced Dynamo Moscow with just 14 skaters; today the Bison could name only four recognized defensemen — Dmitry Deryabin, Dmitry Korobov, Adam Almquist and Vladislav Yeryomenko. In addition, head coach Craig Woodcroft was unable to travel with the team, leaving Pavel Perepikhin in temporary charge behind the bench.
Already under pressure, Dinamo did not help itself. After seven minutes, the visitor was caught on the change and took a bench minor for too many men. Torpedo took full advantage, with Chekhovich opening the scoring. Defensively, Dinamo was overworked — nine blocked shots in that first period indicated how much the visitor was having to absorb as it looked to stay in the game.
In the second period, the pattern was similar. Torpedo controlled much of the play and was able to extend its lead midway through when Damir Zhafyarov took an incisive pass from Andy Miele and beat Patrik Rybar at the second attempt.
At the start of the third period, Chekhovich got another play goal. And, when the visitor was left with just three players, it was no surprise who converted that opportunity: Chekhovich completed his first hat-trick of the season in the 55th minute as Torpedo enjoyed a comfortable victory.
Harri Sateri posted his 20th KHL shut-out to backstop Sibir to a surprise win in Kazan. The visitor is in the midst of a battle to secure a place in the top eight and was not expected to have much joy against an Ak Bars team looking to consolidate in the top four in the East. However, the Finnish goalie came up with all the answers to lead his team to an encouraging win.
The home team made the surprise decision to drop forward Dmitry Kagarlitsky for this game. Dmitry Voronkov returned from suspension and another young forward, Artur Brovkin, went to the first line as Dmitry Kvartalnov shuffled his pack a little.
From the start, Sibir worked hard to ensure that Ak Bars could not gain the upper hand. Even a somewhat unnecessary too many men penalty couldn’t help the home team get on top of the game, with Sateri stopping everything that was thrown at him. Voronkov was the most eye-catching forward, testing the goalie four times in that opening frame including one impressive solo rush, but the intermission came with the scoreboard still blank.
In the second period, Ak Bars ran into penalty trouble and after losing two players, the home team fell behind. Sibir took advantage of that two-man advantage and Michal Cajkovsky scored the opening goal, his first since joining Sibir from Dynamo Moscow. Once in front, Sibir focussed on protecting its lead. There was plenty of attacking intent from Ak Bars, which fired in 19 shots in the third period, but there was no goal. Instead, a late counter attack saw Oleg Li seal the win for the visitor.