Salavat Yulaev blanks red-hot offense, Dynamo wins again.
A 4-0 win at Avtomobilist saw one of the KHL’s top scoring teams fail to score as Salavat Yulaev pulled off a big result on the road. Dynamo Moscow posted a fifth straight win after edging Severstal 4-3. There were plenty of goals in Kazakhstan, where Barys got an overtime verdict after a 4-4 tie with Sochi. Vityaz also hit five at Spartak and Neftekhimik got a third straight win as Traktor continues to stumble.
Vey settles thriller in Kazakhstan
Barys Nur-Sultan 5 HC Sochi 4 OT (0-2, 3-2, 1-0, 1-0)
Sochi snapped its long losing streak with a 3-1 win over Dinamo Minsk last time out, but the Leopards were unable to build on that in Kazakhstan. The visitor blew a 2-0 lead and fell in overtime.
The Black Sea team made a good start, with Nikita Zorkin opening the scoring just as the game’s first power play came to an end. Nikita Pivtsakin doubled that lead in the 16th minute and Sochi looked to be in control after a competitive opening stanza.
However, discipline let Andrei Nazarov’s team down in the second period. Unnecessary penalties early in the session helped Anton Sagadeyev and Jeremy Bracco tie the scores. Midway through the game, another power play helped Anthony Louis make it 3-2 for the home team.
Behind for the first time, Sochi hit back immediately. Nikita Popugayev tied the game, then restored the Leopard’s lead on 38:09.
That double turned the game around, but it was upstaged by Linden Vey. He did the same thing, tying the scores in the third before grabbing a winner in overtime to leave Sochi at the foot of the standings while Barys consolidates its position in the playoff places.
Kareyev blanks KHL’s top offense
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 0 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 4 (0-0, 0-1, 0-3)
Avtomobilist came into this game as the KHL’s joint leading scorer with 47 goals. However, Andrei Kareyev blanked that potent offense as Salavat Yulaev recorded an impressive victory.
The home team was hit by news of an injury to center Stephane Da Costa. He was replaced by Danil Romantsev on the first line. Ufa welcomed back Ryan Murphy after suspension.
In the early stages, Curtis Valk’s line was the most threatening for the home team, although in truth scoring chances were hard to come by. The visitor did not manage a shot on goal until the 11th minute but neither team could break the deadlock in the first period.
Late in the frame, a double minor for Alexander Kadeikin invited Avtomobilist to step up the tempo. However, Kareyev repelled a flurry of shots on his net and at the other end Ivan Drozdov came close to stealing a short-handed goal.
After the intermission, Salavat emerged with renewed purpose. That extra energy won a power play and despite spending 90 seconds making little impression on the home defense, the first meaningful shot of the PP saw Mikhail Naumenkov open the scoring.
For the first time this season, Avtomobilist found itself needing to turn around a home game in the third period. However, instead of pressuring the visitor, the Motormen found themselves reduced to three skaters. Salavat Yulaev could not take advantage, and Kadeikin carelessly found himself back in the box to dilute that two-man PP. It wasn’t until everyone was back at full strength that Stanislav Bocharov, rested during the PK, returned to the game and got away from the defense to score on his former team.
Within a minute, a difficult situation for Avto became almost impossible when Ufa’s line of rising stars created a chance for Alexei Pustozyorov to make it 3-0. Bocharov put his second into an empty net to seal the win, Kareyev’s 31 saves left the home team frustrated.
Neftekhimik continues to rise
Traktor Chelyabinsk 1 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 2 (0-0, 0-2, 1-0)
Neftekhimik’s improvement continues with a third successive victory, but Traktor’s stuttering start to the season is becoming a cause for increasing concern. Today’s loss was all the more painful considering that the visiting goalie, Emil Garipov, recently swapped Chelyabinsk for Nizhnekamsk.
This was the third meeting between the teams. The first two went decisively to Traktor, but that was during Neftekhimik’s painful start to the campaign. Now the visitor is showing signs of recovery and Traktor contributed to its problems with a lackluster start. For seven minutes, the home team was unable to muster a shot at goal and throughout the first period chances were at a premium.
In the middle frame, Neftekhimik got in front. However, the opening goal had to wait until the 37th minute before Pavel Poryadin finished off a well-worked play. That extended his goal streak to four games. Before the intermission, the visitor doubled the lead through Andrei Chivilyov.
Only in the third did Traktor manage to seriously pressure Garipov. Vladimir Tkachyov set up Ilya Karpukhin for a 48th-minute goal that gave his team hope of saving the game, but Garipov stood firm with some solid defense in front of him.
Rashevsky’s double gives Dynamo the edge
Dynamo Moscow 4 Severstal Cherepovets 3 (1-0, 2-2, 1-1)
In recent seasons, these two teams have been playoff opponents. The last series went to game seven and today’s regular season encounter also ended 4-3. Two goals from Dmitry Rashevsky, and a first of the season for Brennan Menell helped the Blue-and-White to a narrow victory.
In an even first period, the only goal came in the 13th minute. Maxim Dzhioshvili was the scorer, producing a replica of his marker in Cherepovets earlier in the season. Dynamo held that lead until the intermission, and Rashevsky’s snipe extended the advantage in the second.
Then Severstal began its fightback. Daniil Vovchenko pulled a goal back before the middle frame finished a rush of action. Severstal took a bench minor on 37:14, and it took just four seconds for Menell to convert the power play. On 37:30, though, Dynamo was left short-handed and, 13 seconds later Alexander Suvorov made it 3-2.
Early in the third period, the Steelmen tied the game when Ruslan Abrosimov scored a power play goal. However, Rashevsky’s second of the afternoon decided the outcome of an entertaining encounter.
Dorozhko denies Spartak
Spartak Moscow 1 Vityaz Moscow Region 5 (0-1, 0-2, 1-2)
This was a day to remember for Vityaz, and definitely one for Spartak to forget. The visitor arrived on the back of two straight wins and produced a performance that banished memories of its recent six-game losing streak.
Unusually, given the lopsided final score, it was goalie Maxim Dorozhko who earned plenty of plaudits. He made 40 saves to frustrate the home team. At the other end, Vityaz was clinical with its chances, scoring regularly throughout the game.
Vityaz killed two penalties before taking the lead in the first period through Ivan Zinchenko. That pattern played out again in the second, with the Red-and-Whites again failing to convert a power play before Yegor Voronkov doubled the lead. When Scott Wilson deftly redirected an airborne puck into the net for 3-0, it was clear that this would not be Spartak’s day.
The home team got on the scoresheet at last in the 47th minute thanks to Matvei Zaseda. At last, the Spartak power play delivered, but it was too late to save the game. Instead, Vityaz added two more goals through Stepan Starkov and Stanislav Yarovoi, the latter scoring his first goal in the KHL after getting a shoot-out winner against Admiral in his previous game.