Avangard moved to within a point of the Eastern Conference summit after thumping Neftekhimik to record a fifth win in six games. For Neftekhimik, meanwhile, this was a fifth loss in six games, and the fourth time the Wolves had allowed five goals.
The visitor made a decent start, but once Avangard took the initiative there was only one winner here. Reid Boucher got the opening goal in the seventh minute, converting a great feed from Artyom Murylyov.
In the second period, the Hawks looked to establish a more convincing advantage. Visiting goalie Emil Garipov found himself busier than ever as Avangard attacked with pace and verve. Vladimir Tkachyov and Ivan Nikolishin both saw chances go begging, while Neftekhimik was limited to a couple of dangerous moments on the power play. Late in the period, Tkachyov got the second goal for Avangard.
The sole bump in the road for the home team came at the start of the third when Rafael Bikmullin’s pass from behind the net found Andrei Belozyorov on the slot. He beat Andrei Mishurov to make it 2-1. Immediately, Boucher went to the other end and dinged the piping, then Avangard converted its first power play of the game. Ryan Spooner put away the rebound from Damir Sharipzyanov’s effort to restore the two-goal lead.
In the closing stages, a five-on-three power play saw Boucher get his second of the night before Nikita Kholodilin finished it off with an empty netter.
The wait is over. At the sixth time of asking, Barys got its first win of the season. Now every team in the KHL has tasted victory at least once. Admiral, meanwhile, was unable to snap a three-game losing streak as its long early-season road trip nears its end.
Penalties shaped the first period. Both teams had a spell of five-on-three play, and both opportunities led to goals.Joey LaBate put Barys ahead, potting his first for the club after some great play from Pontus Aberg. However, Maxim Chudinov responded for Admiral. Like LaBate, the 33-year-old claimed his first for his new team.
The penalties kept coming. The middle frame began with a clash between Alikhan Asetov and Admiral’s Tyler Graovac. The visiting forward was ejected from the game for a check to the head plus a fighting call; Asetov got 2+5+10 for initiating the fight, plus a misconduct verdict. Now Chudinov turned provider as Pavel Shen put Admiral in front during the subsequent passage of four-on-four play. However, when Barys got on the power play, the home team quickly tied the scores through Jeremy Bracco’s first of the season.
The tempo did not drop at the start of the third. Twenty seconds into the frame, Giovanni Fiore put Admiral back in front. That was the first goal scored with both teams at full strength. However, Barys veteran Roman Starchenko replied two minutes later to tie the game. Then Starchenko made it 4-3 in the 54th minute, and that was how it finished.
It’s not been an easy start to the season for Alexander Zavyalov, the rookie head coach at Vityaz. His team has just one win to date, and after losing to Spartak, Zavyalov urged his team to show more fighting spirit.
However, whatever plans Vityaz had for the visit of Severstal were shattered in the first minute. The visitor’s second line surged onto the attack and Danil Aimurzin’s feed set up Timur Mukhanov for the opening goal. The home team went on to squander an early power play chance and fell further behind midway through the session when Dmitry Moiseyev found the net.
In the second period, Severstal still looked comfortable. It took some time for Vityaz to conjure a real chance, and when it came late in the frame Derek Barach was unable to finish off a three-on-one rush.
That at least gave a lift to the home offense, and the third period brought opportunities for Ivan Savchik and Igor Rudenkov. However, Konstantin Shostak was in good form in the Steelmen’s net and not even a five-on-three power play could save Vityaz. Late in the game, Pavel Denisov added an empty-net goal to seal Severstal’s win.
The season’s first edition of this Urals derby ended in a narrow victory for Traktor, a result that leaves the teams level on nine points, two behind the early-season pacesetter Metallurg.
It didn’t take long for this game to get started: after 27 seconds, Maxim Shabanov put Traktor in front with a well-placed shot to Vladimir Galkin’s top corner. That bright start saw the home team take the initiative through the early stages, but a second goal did not follow immediately. Avtomobilist began to create a few chances of its own, albeit without seriously stretching Zach Fucale, and the opening frame finished 1-0.
In the second stanza, the Motormen stepped up the pace and looked the more likely to score. Indeed, the visitor got the puck behind Fucale, only for a long video review to wipe out the play. Then, in the 36th minute, Traktor delivered the sucker punch: Sergei Kalinin’s visionary pass released Anton Burdasov on Galkin and the veteran forward made no mistake. The Chelyabinsk native moves to 3+3 for the season and leads his team in scoring.
Avto wasn’t done, and a strong start to the final frame saw Vladimir Kuznetsov reduce the deficit in the 47th minute. Soon afterwards, Vladislav Leontyev hit the crossbar with a long-range effort. Traktor heeded the warning and switched its focus to defense, holding off the visitor to claim a 2-1 verdict.
These teams met on Thursday in Metallurg’s home opener, but an overtime win was not enough to persuade head coach Andrei Razin to stick with the same line-up. First-choice goalie Artyom Zagidulin was rested in favor of young Ilya Nabokov, while Maxim Karpov, Pavel Akolzin, Danil Gololobov and Artyom Minulin were rotated out of the team.
The previous game saw Magnitka score early, and the same happened again. Pavel Koltygin took an early penalty and Luke Johnson converted the power play in the fourth minute. Today, though, Lada responded well and moved play down the ice in search of a quick equalizer. In the 15th minute, Gleb Bulychyov provided it, with Nabokov screened and unable to react to what seemed a routine shot.
In the second period, Metallurg was lifted by its young players and created several good chances. However, there was no way through and late in the session Troy Josephs cemented his status as Lada’s leading goalscorer struck on the counter. That stretched Josephs’ goal streak to five games and keeps him hard on the heels of Spartak’s Nikolai Goldobin in the scoring race.
Lada’s two goals came from just 13 shots, and it was no surprise that the visitor continued to play deep in the third. The tactic had the desired effect, with Metallurg often bogged down in center ice and unable to generate the kind of penetrating offense it needed. Even a home power play offered little threat, and when Nabokov was pulled from his net in the closing stages, Ostap Safin scored a third into the empty net.
Lokomotiv defeated Kunlun for the second time in successive games, following up a 2-1 home victory with a 4-0 success on the road. The Dragons came to the end of a busy sequence of eight games on alternate days. After a bright start to that sequence, fatigue began to take a toll and Red Star suffered a third successive loss here.
The game was effectively settled in the opening minutes. Sergei Andronov put Lokomotiv ahead after 26 seconds, and Yaroslav Likhachyov doubled that advantage in the fourth minute. After that, Red Star worked hard defensively to stay in the game, but rarely managed to trouble Daniil Isayev in the visitor’s net. A short-handed chance for Jack Rodewald was as good as it got for the home team; debutant Daniil Tarasov, who replaced the injured Spencer Foo, was unable to make much impact.
The Railwaymen wrapped up the win with goals either side of the second intermission from Georgy Ivanov. In the closing stages, the visitor was able to shut down the play and protect Isayev’s shut-out, improving its recent form to four wins from five games.
Early-season pacesetter Torpedo suffered its first loss of the season, blowing a 2-0 lead to fall 3-4 in Kazan. Igor Larionov’s team missed the chance to move a point clear at the top of the overall standings, but retains its share of the lead in the West.
Ak Bars, meanwhile, moves to second in the East, a point behind Metallurg. In front of a capacity crowd at the Tatneft Arena, the home team bounced back from a Green Derby loss and reversed the fightback that cost it against Salavat Yulaev.
After a goalless first period, Torpedo jumped to a 2-0 lead at the start of the second. Maxim Letunov, who scored a hat-trick on Kunlun last time out, opened the scoring. Then he added an assist as Andrei Belevich doubled the lead with a short-handed goal in the 26th minute.
Early in the third, Kirill Semyonov put Ak Bars in front for the first time, but this game was not yet done. A power play midway through the final stanza saw Anton Silayev tie the scores – the KHL’s youngest player potted his first career goal at a vital moment in the game.
Parity did not last long. Stanislav Galiyev scored 90 seconds later to make it 4-3, and this time Ak Bars held onto its lead until the end.
This Moscow derby saw CSKA dig deep to defeat Spartak. The home team was down 0-2 early on, but recovered to win in overtime and snap a two-game losing streak.
The second of those losses came against another capital city rival, Dynamo, and there was more capital punishment in store for CSKA in the first period. Spartak, looking promising under Alexei Zhamnov this season, grabbed a first-minute goal through Pavel Poryadin and kept going. Midway through the first period, Maxim Tsyplakov’s long shot was too hot for Ivan Fedotov to handle, and Tsyplakov himself converted the rebound to make it 2-0.
It looked a long way back for CSKA, but the home team began the second period strongly. It took some time to wear down a hard-working Spartak defense, but midway through the session Maxim Sorkin deservedly pulled one back. Late in the frame, Sorkin struck again to tie the scores, and almost immediately Pavel Karnaukhov was denied by the post as the balance of play changed completely.
In the third, Spartak tried to get back on the front foot but after a bright start the visitor found itself under pressure from CSKA. Patrik Rybar stopped 18 shots in the session to drag the game into overtime with the Red-and-Whites relieved to hold on. Rybar almost managed to take the game to a shoot-out, making five more saves in overtime. However, he was beaten in the last minute by Sergei Plotnikov to give Sergei Fedorov’s team the verdict.