Medvescak Zagreb 5 SKA St. Petersburg 4 (OT)
Evgeny Dadonov hit a hat-trick for SKA but still finished up on the losing side as Medvescak ended the Army Men’s five-game winning streak in overtime. Goran Bezina grabbed the winner in the second minute of the extra period, securing a third successive win for the home team despite SKA’s third-period blitz that clawed back a 2-4 deficit.
Bezina took advantage of a power play that carried over from the last seconds of regulation time to get the winner on 61:19, as Medvescak took the game to its opponent from the start of the added period.
While Dadonov led the SKA scoring, it was Alexander Barabanov who grabbed the clutch goal with three minutes left to tie the game at 4-4. The youngster added to his burgeoning reputation with a fine goal, collecting Ilya Kovalchuk’s diagonal pass and producing a backhand finish over the glove to force the extras.
The game started with a flurry of activity as Bobby Butler traded goals with Dadonov in the fifth minute but Medvescak edged in front at the first intermission thanks to Gilbert Brule’s ninth-minute strike.
Penalty trouble early in the second period saw the host lose the services of Blake Parlett, who was ejected from the game for checking from behind. That left SKA with a 5-on-3 advantage and Dadonov was quick to cash in for his second of the night. But despite a further four-and-a-half minutes on the power play, SKA could not add to its tally as the home defense performed superbly to limit the Petersburg team’s opportunities.
Medvescak got back in front on 39:51 with a power play goal from Tomas Mertl. He forced the puck home from a crowded slot after Alexandre Giroux intercepted Ilya Kovalchuk’s attempted clearance and fired in a shot that Mikko Koskinen could not hold on to.
Shaone Morrisonn added a fourth for the Croatian team early in the third, opening up a two-goal lead for the first time in the game, but Dadonov completed his treble to keep SKA in contention with 10 minutes left to play.
Slovan Bratislava 1 CSKA Moscow 2 (OT)
In last season’s playoffs, CSKA swept Slovan – but often had to rely on late goals or overtime winners to keep Milos Riha’s team at bay.
This season, in the teams’ first meeting since March, it was a similar story in Bratislava as the game finished 1-1 in regulation before the visitor stole it in overtime. Mikhail Naumenkov got the decisive goal on 62:52, tipping in Bogdan Kiselevich’s shot.
Kirill Petrov put CSKA ahead in the 11th minute but the Muscovites were never able to assume full control of a hard-fought game. Grigory Panin was ejected in the 27th minute after skating in from the point to provoke a melee in front of Barry Brust’s net after the goalie had claimed the puck and the disruption did little to help his team. Vaclav Nederost tied the scores shortly afterwards, and CSKA could not find a way back in front in regulation.
Jokerit Helsinki 4 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 3
A powerful second-period display saw Jokerit overcome Lokomotiv as the Finnish team made a long-awaited return home.
Jokerit had lost its last three road games and found itself outside the top eight after a testing start to the season, and its problems seemed set to continue when Denis Osipov gave Lokomotiv a first-period lead.
But things were different in the middle session. Jesse Joensuu scored his fifth goal in five appearances to tie the scores and even after Yegor Korshkov reinstated Loko’s lead with a shorthanded goal after Jokerit hit the post, the home team came back strongly. Goals from Mika Niemi and Topi Jaakola gave the Finns the lead at the second intermission.
In the third period Ryan Zapolski was left cursing his luck once again after Charles Genoway unwittingly deflected a Daniil Apalkov shot into his own net to tie it up at 3-3 but some strong checking from Joensuu set a counter-attack in play and enabled Sakari Salminen to grab the game winner with 10 minutes left to play.