Ak Bars humbles defending champ. September 5 round-up
The big game of the day produced a big scoreline. Ak Bars thrashed defending champion CSKA 5-1 in Moscow to underline its status as one of the hot favorites for this season’s honors. Across town, Dynamo Moscow enjoyed the biggest win of the day, defeated Neftekhimik 6-1. Dinamo Minsk scored six on Avangard, Dmitrij Jaskin inspired SKA to victory over Barys and Vityaz edged Salavat Yulaev 3-2.
Radulov opens his account, Ak Bars thrashes CSKA
Alexander Radulov scored his first goal since returning to the KHL – and it helped Ak Bars to defeat one of his former clubs.
Radulov, now 36, represented CSKA from 2012-2016 before returning to the NHL. Today, in only his second competitive game back in Russia, he potted the third goal for Ak Bars in this convincing win.
Victory over the defending champion by such an emphatic margin – albeit boosted by two goals in the last minute – adds weight to claims that Ak Bars will be the team to beat this season. After a surprise defeat to Dynamo on Saturday, Oleg Znarok’s team bounced back in fine style on the other side of Moscow.
Radulov’s goal midway through the third period was pivotal, opening a two-goal lead for the first time in the game. Radulov tracked back to help his defense then streaked up the ice at speed to get on the end of Dmitry Kagarlitsky’s pass and shoot past Alexander Sharychenkov in the home net.
Earlier, Ak Bars recovered from going behind in the first period. Vitaly Abramov pinged a wrister over Timur Bilyalov’s blocker to give CSKA the lead with a power play goal in the 16th minute, but late in the opening frame Ak Bars tied it up when Dmitry Voronkov battled for the puck on the boards and Ilya Safonov potted his team’s first goal of the season.
After the intermission, Ak Bars went in front when Stanislav Galimov found himself in space in the CSKA zone and whipped in a shot that Kirill Panyukov redirected past Sharychenkov. After taking the lead, the visitor continued to create chances but had to wait until Radulov’s 49th-minute tally to extend its advantage.
In the final minute, Ak Bars turned the score into something of a rout. Kagarlitsky’s second assist of the game provided an empty net goal for Daniil Tarasov and there was more to come when Nikita Dynyak added a fifth 21 seconds from time.
Vityaz wins again, Ufa loses again
Vityaz picked up its second win of the season and sent Salavat Yulaev to another loss as both teams repeated the 3-2 scoreline from their opening games.
However, this did not have much in common with the home team’s success over Avangard on Saturday. That game was decided by a goal 10 seconds from time; here all the scoring was done in the first half hour.
Vityaz struck first, with Vyacheslav Sarayev opening the scoring midway through the first period. Late in the frame, the teams traded goals with Alexei Pustozyorov putting Ufa level before Mikhail Smolin restored the home lead on 19:15.
Vladislav Kara converted the first Vityaz power play of the evening to extend that advantage early in the second, but Alexander Kadeikin kept Salavat Yulaev in contention when he made it 2-3 midway through that middle frame. However, after the early excitement there was no further scoring. Vityaz continues its good start in its new Balashikha home.
Hawks shot down by homegrown talent
The highest-scoring game of the day came in Minsk, where Avangard was shot down by a player developed in its own academy. Dmitry Sokolov is on loan from the Hawks to Dinamo this season and the 24-year-old sent a message to his parent club with the game-winning goal in this one.
The teams set the tone in the early exchanges, with Avangard’s Vladimir Bryukvin converting the first power play of the game. Almost immediately, though, Dinamo got a man advantage and tied the game through Cedric Paquette’s first KHL marker. Ryan Spooner than potted another goal on the PP to make it 2-1 with barely 10 minutes played. Joe Duszak assisted on both Dinamo goals.
Both teams played clinical stuff on the power play and when Dinamo was called for too many men, Avangard quickly tied it up through Corban Knight’s first of the evening. Midway through the second, though, another home PP produced a second goal for Spooner and a third helper for Duszak as Minsk regained the lead.
It wasn’t until the 35th minute that we saw an equal strength goal. Knight claimed his second of the day, again assisted by Vladimir Tkachyov, to tie the game.
Early in the third, though, the Belarusians proved that they, too, could score against full-strength opposition. Sokolov added to his debut goal against Barys on Saturday. His effort proved decisive, ironically sinking the club that loaned him to Dinamo to give him additional game time this season.
And there was further frustration for the Hawks as they allowed two empty net goals in the closing stages. Nick Merkley got his second of the season before veteran Denis Mosalyov wrapped up a 6-3 win. Avangard’s Dmitry Ryabykin is still awaiting his first KHL win as head coach.
Jakob Lilja scored twice and two exciting youngsters opened their accounts as Dynamo delivered its second victory of the season. The Swede, signed from Barys in the summer, got the Blue-and-Whites on the way to a comfortable win over Neftekhimik before Dmitry Rashevsky and Nikita Novikov completed an emphatic victory.
He opened the scoring in the third minute and doubled the lead at the start of the second period as the visitor twice paid the price for starting slowly. The middle frame got even worse for Neftekhimik when Eric O’Dell scored on Alexei Murygin just 29 seconds after Lilja’s second goal.
At the other end, Ilya Konovalov was looking to extend the shut-out streak he began in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Ak Bars. The Dynamo goalie made it past the 100-minute mark before he was beaten for the first time this season. Pavel Poryadin found the answer, scoring a power play goal in the 47th minute. Undaunted, Dynamo added a fourth almost immediately with Ivan Igumnov scoring his second goal in as many games. Young prospect Dmitry Rashevsky’s assist was his first point of the season.
Rashevsky soon followed that with his first goal, and teenage defenseman Nikita Novikov – rated by some as an even more exciting prospect than Rashevsky – finished the rout with only the second goal of his brief KHL career to date.
Dmitrij Jaskin was SKA’s marquee signing this summer and today the Czech international produced a game-winning performance to see off Barys.
The 29-year-old, who plundered 137 points in 134 games for Dynamo, got his first goal for his new club to break the deadlock in St. Petersburg. It wasn’t a bad way to get off the mark, either. Jaskin took possession on the left-hand boards as SKA snuffed out a Barys attack. Then the Omsk-born forward used his strength to hold off the challenge of Vladislav Syomin before finding the angle to squeeze in a shot off goalie Andrei Shutov’s pads at the near post.
Jaskin also had a hand in SKA’s second goal, battling on the slot as Alexander Volkov picked up a loose puck and slotted home a power play tally. Barys got one back late in the second period through Linden Vey, who scored against his former club, but there was no way back for the visitor. Volkov’s second of the game, into an empty net, sealed SKA’s second victory of the season.
While SKA was able to improve on Saturday’s overtime win against Salavat Yulaev, the Kazakh team is still awaiting its first win of the new campaign. The opener for Barys ended in an overtime loss in Minsk.