The second of these back-to-back match-ups brought another tight game. Yesterday, Nikita Setdikov’s goal and Harri Sateri’s shut-out earned Sibir a 1-0 victory. Today there was no Sateri and, perhaps not a coincidence, more scoring.
Amur was looking to move to within a point of eighth-placed Bary if it could win here, but the home team made a poor start. JC Lipon and Valentin Pyanov both spurned good chances for Sibir in the early stages, but Alexander Sharov showed no mercy when he converted a 5-on-3 power play to send the visitor into the intermission with a lead. Oleg Li increased that advantage in the second session, scoring on his former club to double Sibir’s lead. The Tigers were toothless on offense and hamstrung by defensive errors and, increasingly, penalties.
However, the third period changed everything. After more than 100 minutes of failing to score on Sibir, Amur finally made a breakthrough thanks to Ruslan Pedan in the 45th minute of this game. The visitor was pushed back, although Sharov had a great breakaway chance that could have settled the outcome. Instead, though, Patrick Bartosak kept the home team in the game and Amur got its reward in the final minute when Radan Lenc grabbed a dramatic equalizer.
Overtime could not separate the teams, and the shoot-out saw Sibir claim the second point. Nick Shore scored at the first attempt and subsequently no other player could match him as the visitor celebrated two wins in two days.
Kunlun and Traktor were also playing back-to-back games, although there was a rest day following the visitor’s 4-0 victory on Saturday. Red Star goalie Jeremy Smith, who currently has more saves per game than any other netminder in the league, got a well-earned additional rest as Paris O’Brien started this one, and there was a further boost as Zach Yuen made a welcome return from injury to bolster the KHL’s leakiest defense.
However, the form guide was firmly in Traktor’s favor. The visitor posted its sixth straight win on Saturday, condemning the Dragons to a club record 13th successive loss.
Traktor made a fast start here. With little over a minute played, Alexei Byvaltsev opened the scoring. Soon after, Yegor Fateyev celebrated his 100th KHL appearance with only his second goal of a season divided between Traktor and the Chelyabinsk farm club Chelmet.
However, this was not the same one-sided game that we saw on Saturday. Red Star, helped by three power plays in the first period, showed greater offensive potential than in recent games. The home team outshot Traktor 15-10 and Emil Garipov had to be alert to deny Parker Foo early in the frame and Tyler Wong towards the end.
The middle frame was also evenly contested. Sergei Telegin extended Traktor’s lead midway through the session and, at the time, it wasn’t clear how important that third goal would be. The visitor’s indiscipline continued to let it down, and Brandon Yip pulled a goal back on a 5-on-3 power play to give Red Star hope.
That hope was more tangible early in the third when Jake Chelios made it a one-goal game seconds after Tomas Hyka returned from the penalty box. But the home team ran out of steam in the third period. Traktor began to assume greater control of the game at both ends of the ice and created the more dangerous chances. A penalty on Nick Bailen late on failed to bring the Dragons an equalizer and Maxim Shabanov found the empty net to record his first KHL goal. That sealed the deal and sent Traktor two points clear at the top of the KHL standings.