Sibir battled back to post an overtime win against Lokomotiv — and the Railwaymen ran out of steam after their international adventures last week. The visitor included five players who took part in the Channel 1 Cup — Canadian goalie Eddie Pasquale and Russians forwards Yegor Korshkov, Artur Kayumov and Artyom Anisimov, plus D-man Alexander Yelesin. Two days and a four-hour flight later, they joined their team in Siberia for the resumption of the KHL schedule.
Initially, that worked out fine. Pasquale kept Sibir at bay in the opening two periods, helped by a solid defensive performance that allowed just 13 shots on his goal in 40 minutes. At the other end, Korshkov opened the scoring with a power play tally midway through the second period.
However, in the third period the balance of play began to shift. Sibir provided a far greater offensive threat, outshooting Loko 11-6. Valentin Pyanov tied the game in the 55th minute and, with the home team dominating overtime, he added an assist as Vadim Kudako potted the winner.
Both teams were busy with trades during the previous week, with both managements anxious at the prospect of missing out on a playoff place. Avtomobilist handed a debut to new goalie Johan Matsson, signed from Dinamo Riga, and welcomed back forward Anatoly Golyshev, who left for the Islanders in the summer after setting a club scoring record in the KHL. For Barys, meanwhile, this was the first game following the departure of popular defenseman Darren Dietz, a key player in recent years.
However, despite losing a prominent defenseman, the visitor kept Golyshev quiet and blanked Avto to claim the victory. The home team looked good in the first period but was unable to turn its advantage into goals. Subsequently, Barys stepped up its offense and newly-appointed captain Roman Starchenko opened the scoring in the second period, firing home as Cody Kunyk screened Mattsson’s view.
The third period saw Avtomobilist raise the tempo in a bid to retrieve the situation. However, there was no way past Joni Ortio, who finished the day with 32 saves. And when Linden Vey found the empty net late on, it sealed a victory that moves Barys ahead of today’s host and into seventh place in the East.
This latest clash of the Steelmen saw the home team forced to cope without Philipe Maillet. The Canadian forward suffered an injury while representing his country at the Channel 1 Cup and missed this game, as did Anatoly Nikontsev and Vasily Koshechkin.
That did not seem to pose an immediate problem, with Magnitka producing perhaps its best first-period performance of the season in a dominant 20 minutes. From the opening shift, Metallurg had Severstal pegged back in its zone and the rewards soon followed. Nikita Korostelyov opened the scoring after five minutes and a couple of minutes later Yegor Korobkin released Pavel Akolzin, who easily outwitted Dmitry Shugayev to double the lead.
That was the end of Shugayev’s evening, and incoming goalie Vladislav Podyapolsky steadied the ship, but the visitor was unable to change the course of the game even on the power play.
In the second period, though, the visitor looked a very different proposition. Now the danger was almost entirely in front of Juho Olkinuora’s net and Severstal was creating chance after chance. However, midway through the frame, Metallurg extended its lead on the power play, with Denis Zernov redirecting Yegor Yakovlev’s shot beyond Podyapolsky.
Now came the fightback. Kirill Pipilenko scored twice in the second period to put Severstal back in the game. Metallurg saw a goal ruled out when Arkhip Nekolenko had the puck in the net, only for the officials to whistle it off for goalie interference. The home bench requested a second opinion, but gained only a bench minor when the on-ice decision was upheld. However, the game’s momentum was getting away from Severstal and it looked as though Magnitka would hold on for the win until Ilya Khokhlov grabbed a dramatic tying goal in the 59th minute.
After taking a point, though, the visitor was unable to leave with the win. A helter-skelter 99 seconds of extras culminated in Maxim Karpov jumping onto Artyom Minulin’s long pass and skating clear to score the winner.
Ak Bars enjoyed a convincing victory at home to Traktor, moving level on points with Salavat Yulaev in third place in the Eastern Conference. Traktor lost ground on conference leader Metallurg, and now trails the top dog by four points.
The home team could hardly have enjoyed a better start. In the third minute, Maxim Shabanov took a minor for high sticking and Traktor then violated face-off rules as the game restarted. That meant a full two minutes of 5-on-3, and Steven Kampfer needed just five seconds to take advantage. Traktor’s problems in the draw continued and a clean win for the host enabled Dmitry Kagarlitsky to send the puck left for Kampfer to unleash a thunderous shot past Emil Garipov.
Ak Bars then killed a penalty of its own before veteran Danis Zaripov doubled the lead. The 40-year-old steered home Ilya Safonov’s feed at the back door after the young forward got on the counter attack. And there was more to come, with Kirill Petrov getting a second power play goal of the frame for the host.
Traktor, in danger of being blown away after allowing three goals in 15 minutes, replied with one of its own from Vitaly Abramov before the intermission, but that would prove to have little impact on the game.
Instead, midway through the third period Kampfer struck again, this time getting a short-handed goal when he followed up Artyom Galimov’s breakaway and put away the rebound. On a day when Traktor was causing many of its own problems, it was little surprise that this adventure all started with a defensive error. That goal rather deflated the visitor after it showed some fight earlier in the middle frame. In the third period there was relatively little offensive intent on display at either, and Kirill Panyukov’s goal merely underlined what we already knew when he extended Ak Bars’ lead to 5-1.
Avangard recovered from 0-2 to take an overtime verdict against Torpedo thanks to Arseny Gritsyuk’s goal. The youngster, who was on target for Russia during last week’s internationals, brought his scoring form back to his club to settle an entertaining clash with just 33 seconds of the extras played.
However, Bob Hartley’s team faced a battle before overcoming David Nemirovsky’s playoff-cashing Torpedo. The visitor’s point moves it to within touching distance of eighth placed Dinamo Minsk, while victory keeps Avangard in sixth in the East.
Torpedo opened a 2-0 lead in this one, taking the lead in the ninth minute with another breakaway goal. Debutant Svedberg was caught somewhat out of position as he learns his new team’s systems and that created the space for Andy Miele to collect Kenny Agostino’s pass and lift a backhand past Simon Hrubec. That opening goal came after Avangard had killed a penalty and set up Torpedo for a session of offensive threat. Hrubec stopped 12 shots in the opening frame to keep the score at 0-1.
The Czech could do little, however, when Ivan Chekhovich doubled the lead on the power play early in the second. Miele’s one-timer was beaten away but Chekhovich was on hand to pocket the rebound.
At this stage, Torpedo looked well placed to take control of the game — but the Hawks had other ideas. Two goals in three minutes tied the scores, and Nail Yakupov was involved in both. First, he won a puck battle on the blue line and released Peter Cehlarik into the danger zone to set up Nikolai Prokhorkin. Then Prokhorkin returned the favor, playing the puck to Yakupov between the hash marks where he spun and lifted a backhand past Pyotr Kochetkov.
Dmitry Zavgorodny got his first point since returning to Russia as Sochi snaffled an overtime verdict in Moscow. The 21-year-old forward had a helper on Artyom Nikolayev’s game winner as the Leopards continue to battle for a place in the top eight.
Sochi was without head coach Andrei Nazarov this evening due to suspension. In his place, Andrei Zyuzin took over the top job. He was immediately handed a problem when Bogdan Yakimov opened the scoring after 94 seconds. The opening goalscorer may have been somewhat predictable: Yakimov began the season with Sochi and moved to Dynamo in November after making 10 appearances for the Black Sea club.
Even in that short spell, though, Yakimov must have been alert to Sergei Tolchinsky’s skills as a finisher. In case he’d forgotten, Tolchinsky offered an instant refresher. On 3:11, he forced a turnover on his own blue line and raced away to tie the scores. Then, on 5:54, he got his second of game. At this point, the teams had produced three shots on goal and neither Ivan Bocharov nor Magnus Hellberg had been able to make a save.
At last, there was a period of relative calm, but Dynamo was still able to tie the scores before the first intermission when Dmitry Rashevsky made it 2-2 went around the back and slammed the puck to net, enjoying a helpful deflection to beat Hellberg.
Surprisingly, that was the end of the scoring. Dynamo, in particular, was frustrated not to win it in regulation after dominating the third frame, but the action moved into overtime — and Zavgorodny made his mark. He started by neutralizing an odd-man rush from the home team, then kickstarted a counter attack in response before setting up Nikolayev for the winner. Dynamo fluffed its chance to join SKA at the top of the Western Conference, Sochi continue to pull away from the basement.