Goal shy Traktor failed to score for the third game in a row as its difficult tour of the Far East continued. Following 0-3 and 0-1 losses in Vladivostok, Anvar Gatiyatulin moved Sergei Shumakov to the first line and sent Teemu Pulkkinen to the third. However, the new formula proved no more successful.
Amur welcomed back Evgeny Oksentyuk after injury, and the Tigers got an early lift when Slovenian forward Jan Drozg potted his first goal in the KHL. That came in the third minute when he intercepted the puck in center ice and advanced on Ilya Proskuryakov’s net before finding the top corner.
Traktor could have done with a similarly clinical finish when Pyotr Khokhryakov got clean through on Evgeny Alikin’s net but could not beat the home goalie. And it was a similar story at the start of the second period when the visitor created several presentable chances but could not find a way to tie the game.
Then came a second goal for Amur. Proskuryakov’s misjudgement behind his own net was immediately punished by Artur Gizdatullin.
In the third, Traktor tried to raise the tempo. The visitor moved the puck better than before, and as the pace increased, so did the penalty count. At one point, Traktor even enjoyed a 5-on-3 power play but still could not solve Alikin. The home netminder finished with 28 saves as Amur beat Traktor here for the first time since 2018.
In form Torpedo forward Sergei Goncharuk scored twice for the second game in a row to help his team to a convincing victory over Kunlun. The 23-year-old extended his goal streak to four games and has 7 (6+1) points in that sequence. Torpedo, meanwhile, put together a four-game winning streak that consolidates its grip on fourth place in the Western Conference.
For KRS, meanwhile, this was a big disappointment after an exciting 7-4 win over Neftekhimik last time out. The home team welcomed back long-serving forward Luke Lockhart, whose progress this season has been affected by injuries, and also saw Cory Kane back in action. That enabled Jason Fram to resume his more accustomed role on defense, but it did not bring success on the ice.
The first period was played at a fast tempo, but with little finesse. The home team, in particular, was guilty of wild and wayward shooting: of 14 attempts, only five required the intervention of visiting goalie Adam Huska. Torpedo’s play was more considered, and Goncharuk opened the scoring late in the first.
In the middle frame, Torpedo took complete control of the game. The visitor spent more than eight minutes on the attack, and outshot KRS 16-4. That pressure told in the closing minutes as quick goals from Mark Marin, Alexei Kruchinin and Vladislav Firstov took the game away from the Dragons.
On Saturday, Red Star scored five unanswered goals in the third period. However, there was no sign of a repeat tonight. Goncharuk added a fifth on the power play midway through the final stanza, and Greg Ireland sent Chinese goalie Sun Zehao into action for the last few minutes. The 26-year-old spent the last two seasons out of action and made his first pro hockey appearance since Feb. 2019 He did not allow any more goals, but it was too late for the Dragons to salvage anything from the game.
Severstal’s recent struggles prompted the club to move into the transfer market. Goaltender Vladislav Podyapolsky went to SKA, with Alexander Samonov and Daniil Pylenkov coming the other way. The trade was not finalized in time for either newcomer to feature in Monday night’s game in Yaroslavl, so Dmitry Shugayev started in net with young Timofei Korolyov as understudy for the first time this season.
The Railwaymen, meanwhile, were looking to bounce back after two losses. Previously, Igor Nikitin’s team hit a run of form that lifted it to second in the West, but Loko was unable to sustain that. Against struggling Severstal, the home team made a solid start. Lokomotiv had slightly the better of a goalless first period, then went in front early in the second thanks to Maxim Shalunov.
At the other end, Severstal was struggling to get meaningful looks at Daniil Isayev in the home net. When Ivan Chekhovich doubled Loko’s lead at the start of the third period, it looked as though a two-goal advantage would secure a home win.
However, Andrei Razin is a coach who will always take a chance if he thinks he can give his team an edge. When Andrei Sergeyev took a tripping penalty, Razin responded by calling Shugayev to the bench and playing six-on-four. The gamble paid off: Robin Press fired in a point shot and Alexander Petunin applied the finishing touch.
A couple of minutes later, Sergei Andronov went to the box. This time, Razin was content with a 5-on-4 power play, and Lokomotiv killed the penalty. However, shortly after the home team returned to full strength, Ruslan Abrosimov fed Daniil Vovchenko on the slot and his finish gave Isayev no chance.
That sent the game to overtime and, once again, Razin was keen to remove Shugayev whenever possible. After a penalty on Alexander Polunin, Severstal engineered a 5-on-3 situation and Yegor Morozov took advantage to grab the winning goal.
It was the second time in three days that Neftekhimik played a high-scoring game, and the second time it allowed an opposing player to score three times. Unlike Saturday’s 4-7 reverse at KRS, though, Oleg Leontyev’s team emerged victorious here, coming from behind four times before Poryadin potted the winner in the last minute.
Initially, though, it looked like Rasskazov would be the story of the evening. He opened the scoring in the third minute and struck again on 16:38, responding almost immediately to a tying goal from Ilya Fedotov. Poryadin got his first midway through the second period, but it wasn’t long before Rasskazov completed his hatty to restore the home lead. Then the teams traded markers either side of the second intermission to keep Vityaz in front.
Alexei Volgin was the man who made it 4-3 to the home team, but he was also the player whose tripping offense left Vityaz down to three skaters midway through the third. Poryadin converted that power play, making it 4-4 with 10 to play. The game seemed destined for overtime, but with 13 seconds left Neftekhimik snatched a winner – and it was that man Poryadin who scored it. There seemed to be little open for him when he collected the puck behind the Vityaz net, but the visiting forward gambled on finding a gap inside Maxim Dorozhko’s near post and managed to squeeze the puck home to grab the points.
After 20 minutes of his first game as a KHL head coach, Igor Grishin had every cause for satisfaction. His new charges were up 2-0 in a Moscow derby and Spartak’s fans had every hope that their new leader would continue the winning form he had shown in the VHL with Khimik.
However, hockey is a fast-changing world. Dynamo rallied to tie the game in the second period and Grishin’s debut was settled in the lottery of a shoot-out. Happily for the newcomer, his team held its nerve to secure a second successive derby win and extend Dynamo’s losing streak to four games.
Spartak responded to the dismissal of Boris Mironov by winning 2-1 at CSKA. That snapped a six-game losing streak and set the team up nicely for another Moscow derby tonight. The opening exchanges were full of action: by the time Phil Varone opened the scoring on 1:48, we already had three players in the box. Both teams took ‘too many men’ calls in the opening minutes, then Dynamo’s Vladislav Kodola sat for slashing. Varone converted that power play with a wrister that gave Ilya Konovalov no chance.
A perfect start for the new head coach, then, and things got even better late in the opening stanza. Another Dynamo penalty led to a second power play goal, with Joey Keane doubling the lead when he fired a point shot over Konovalov’s glove.
After impressing on the power play in the first period, Spartak needed to rely on its PK in the second. A rush of early infringements gave Dynamo a 5-on-3 advantage and Andrei Mironov stepped up from the blue line to rifle home the Blue-and-Whites’ first of the evening. Dynamo spent much of the early part of the second period on the power play, and was up 11-0 on the shot count after seven minutes’ play.
However, the tying goal did not come until late in the frame. It was also the first – and only – equal strength goal of the game. Anton Malyshev floated a wrister to the slot, where Eric O’Dell was on hand to steer the puck past Patrik Rybar.
After all that went before, the third period was relatively calm. There were no further goals, and just one more penalty, called on Dynamo’s Andrei Nikonov midway through the session. Overtime also failed to produce a winner, although Grishin showed his awareness of contemporary tactics in the extras and pulled Rybar for the final seconds to try to force a winner with an extra skater.
It ended in a shoot-out. Impressively, the teams converted seven of their first eight attempts. Dynamo’s Jakob Lilja was the player to miss out, and that cost his team the game. Roman Starchenko delivered the decisive blow to give Grishin a winning – if anxious – start in his new role.