KHL Game Day Round-Up | October 2, 2022

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.


KHL Game Day Round-Up | September 30, 2022

Lowly Neftekhimik stuns in-form Magnitka.

There were goals galore in Magnitogorsk as Neftekhimik shocked Metallurg with a 6-5 win. Lokomotiv and Severstal also played out an entertaining game, with the Railwaymen getting a 5-3 verdict. Spartak rallied from 0-3 to beat Torpedo, Salavat Yulaev blanked Traktor and there was a shoot-out win for Vityaz at home to Admiral.

Traktor fires blanks

Traktor Chelyabinsk 0 Salavat Yulaev 3 (0-1, 0-1, 0-1)

Salavat Yulaev defeated Traktor for the second time this season as the home team continues its inconsistent form. The visitor, meanwhile, improves to four wins from five and moves to fifth in the East. Ufa also spoiled Anvar Gatiyatulin’s big day: the Traktor head coach marked his 300th game behind the bench in the KHL, but could not even find a goal to celebrate from his team.

Traktor handed a debut to Canadian goalie Andrew Hammond, while Salavat Yulaev was missing the suspended Ryan Murphy on defense. Young D-man Alexander Komarov came into the team for the first time this season, while Sergei Shmelyov returned from illness.

Hammond was in for a busy debut. He faced 18 shots in the first period, and was beaten once. Shakir Mukhamadullin was the scoring, firing home from the blue line on the second power play of the game.

In the middle frame, Traktor improved – as it needed to, if it was to get anything from the game. However, it was Ufa who scored again, and once again it was a defenseman on the scoresheet at Mikhail Naumenkov scored through traffic in front of Hammond.

Two power plays came and went, but there was no breakthrough for the home team. At the other end, Salavat Yulaev continued to create opportunities, twice hitting the piping before Pavel Koledov joined the attack to complete the scoring. Andrei Kareyev, back in the team after four games, made 25 saves for his shut-out.

Neftekhimik edges a thriller at Magnitka

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 5 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 6 (1-1, 1-2, 3-3)

This game had it all. 11 goals, three of them in the last 91 seconds, and a shock win as struggling Neftekhimik halted Metallurg’s winning streak.

The home team made several changes ahead of this game. Arkhip Nekolenko returned, just in time to replace fellow center Josh Currie who is still feeling the after effects of Alexei Emelin’s hit. Vladislav Yeryomenko and Valery Orekhov took the places of Pavel Akolzin and Ilya Khokhlov, with young Nikita Grebyonkin named as 13th forward. By contrast, Neftekhimik head coach Oleg Leontyev rewarded the players who secured the teams first win of the season and named an unchanged team.

There was little indication of what was to come in the early stages. Metallurg, as expected, took the early initiative and opened the scoring through Semyon Koshelev midway through the first period. Anthony Camara tied it up in the 17th minute and the game was level at the first intermission.

Cody Curran was one of the best players on the ice for Metallurg in the first period. In the second, though, his penalty helped Neftekhimik get in front when Vyacheslav Leshchenko converted the power play chance. Almost immediately, another penalty saw the visitor extend its advantage as Yohann Auvitu shrugged off the attentions of two opponents to fire in a wrist shot.

Ilya Vorobyov responded immediately, replacing Vasily Koshechkin with Eddie Pasquale and exchanging angry words with his team in a bid to fire up a response. It worked. Yegor Yakovlev set up Yegor Korobkin and it was 2-3 at the second intermission.

The third period turned into a scramble. Three times, Neftekhimik extended its lead, and three times Metallurg got back to within a single goal. However, the home team could not bridge that final gap. In the closing moments, with Pasquale benched in favor of an extra skater, Curran got it back to 4-5. Then came an empty net goal from Pavel Poryadin on 59:06, which seemed to be the final word. Magnitka wasn’t quite done, though, and Nekolenko’s second of the game made it 5-6 with 12 seconds left. Neftekhimik held on until the final hooter to record its second win of the season in memorable fashion.

Railwaymen rally to sink Severstal

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 5 Severstal Cherepovets 3 (1-3, 1-0, 3-0)

Lokomotiv snapped a two-game losing streak, but had to work hard to overcome Severstal. It took three unanswered goals in the third period to settle this game, with the visitor blowing a 3-1 lead.

Severstal started fast and got ahead in the second minute through Alexander Suvorov. Loko enjoyed the better of the subsequent play and deservedly tied the game when a 5-on-3 power play helped Pavel Kraskovsky get a shooting chance from the faceoff circle.

However, penalty trouble soon struck the home team. Within a minute Yegor Korshkov was watching from the box as Robin Press restored Severstal’s lead. Then Stepan Nikulin’s interference call led to a second goal for Suvorov. The Steelmen had struggled to generate much offense, but scored from three of their six shots on goal in the first period. Loko’s starter Ivan Bocharov was replaced by Daniil Isayev.

Isayev went on to deny Severstal for the rest of the game. At the other end, Lokomotiv continued to press and Nikulin started the long journey back with a goal on the half-hour mark. Going into the third, there was still work to do. However, Georgy Ivanov’s tally early in the frame tied the scores, and from then on it felt like Loko was in charge of the game.

In keeping with what came before, penalties shaped the conclusion. Just five seconds separated offenses by Severstal’s Semyon Lugovyak and Maxim Kazakov. The double power play produced two goals for Lokomotiv, with Andrei Sergeyev and Rushan Rafikov taking the game away from Severstal at last. The visitor tried to rally in the closing stages, but Isayev kept the door closed.

Starchenko completes Spartak’s fightback

Spartak Moscow 4 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 3 (0-3, 2-0, 2-0)

Friday’s action in Moscow also saw a fightback. Spartak trailed by three against Torpedo, but managed to tie the game in the third period before Roman Starchenko won it with his first goal since leaving Barys.

The opening 20 minutes belonged to the visitor, despite Spartak making a lively start. Torpedo gradually assumed control of the play and after Maxim Fedotov opened the scoring the visitor steadily took charge. Kenny Agostino’s power play tally doubled the lead, and young Vasily Atanasov added a third just before the hooter.

At the start of the second period, Patrik Rybar took over from starting goalie Alexei Krasikov to make the remainder of the game a Slovak netminding battle against Adam Huska. Rybar had that better of that duel, blanking Torpedo in the second period while his team-mates set about reducing the deficit.

Two penalties early in the session put the visitor under pressure, and this time Spartak was able to build on its promising start. Oddly, though, the Red-and-Whites’ first goal was a short-handed effort after two Torpedo players collided in center ice and Maxim Tsyplakov stole the puck and skated away to score. Then the home team’s pressing brought its reward when Ilya Talaluyev made it 2-3 in the 37th minute.

Spartak continued to press in the third, and drew level in the 48th minute when Danila Kvartalnov followed up his own shot and buried the rebound. By now, it was almost one-way traffic and Roman Starchenko put the home team in front for the first time midway through the final frame. That was Starchenko’s first of the season after his first weeks at Spartak were disrupted by injury.

Yarovoi gives Vityaz a shoot-out win

Vityaz Moscow Region 3 Admiral Vladivostok 2 SO (0-0, 1-2, 1-0, 0-0, 1-0)

Vityaz made a spirited recovery from 0-2 to force overtime before taking a shoot-out verdict thanks to youngster Stanislav Yarovoi.

The 19-year-old was playing only his second game in the KHL after making his debut in this week’s win over Amur. But the forward was entrusted with a penalty shot to win it in sudden death for Vityaz and complete a battling fightback.

After a goalless first period, Admiral got on top with a couple of goals at the start of the second. Rudolf Cerveny struck on the power play to open the scoring, then Alexander Gorshkov doubled the lead four minutes later.

On its recent losing streak, Vityaz might have crumbled at that point. However, Vyacheslav Butsayev’s team enjoyed a morale-boosting victory in its previous game and was psychologically ready to renew the battle here. Stepan Starkov pulled a goal back late in the second period, then Tayler Graovac tied the scores midway through the third.

That was enough to take the game to overtime.