Нижний Новгород (17:00)
Dynamo Moscow 3 Barys Astana 0
November 1946 was a crucial month in the history of Russian hockey – it marked the foundation of Dynamo Moscow, the first hockey club in the Soviet Union, and saw the birth of a new powerhouse in the sport.
The Blue-and-Whites were on the road for the club’s 70th birthday on November 22, but after returning to Moscow for Wednesday’s game they were eager to mark the occasion in style.
The class of 1946-47 went on to win the inaugural Soviet Championship, but Sergei Oreshkin’s current roster is in a less impressive condition. Dynamo’s proud record of reaching every playoff in the KHL era is under serious threat as the team rattles around in mid-table in the West. Recent form has been poor; going into the game against Barys, Dynamo had not won in regulation for over a month since a 3-0 victory against Jokerit. The team picked up just nine points in nine games over that period.
But the feel-good factor came back to the VTB Arena as the club belatedly celebrated its anniversary. It took time: Barys resisted stubbornly for two periods, and it took a stellar goaltending display from Alexander Yeryomenko to turn away 31 shots for the 43rd shut-out of his KHL career.
Finally, a 49th-minute goal from Martins Karsums gave the home team the lead, although there was controversy about it. Barys forward Brandon Bochenski was lying injured on the ice, but the officials allowed play to continue and Dynamo took advantage. A flurry of penalties came and went before Juuso Hietanen made it 2-0 with an unassisted effort in the 55th minute before Artyom Fyodorov put the matter beyond doubt.
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 1 Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk 0
Lokomotiv’s early-season form has deserted it of late, with the Railwaymen running out of steam and running the risk of getting hauled into the dogfight for a top-eight finish in the Western Conference. The visit of struggling Ugra looked like the perfect opportunity to get things back on track.
But Alexei Kudashov’s team had a hard time breaking down the outsider. The first period was tight, with neither offense generating much. The second period was better from the host, outshooting Ugra 16-5, but Alexander Sharychenkov in the away goal had the answer to those efforts.
It wasn’t until the final stanza that Loko finally snapped its three-game losing streak, grabbing the only goal of the game in the 52nd minute. Petri Kontiola’s backhander settled the issue after Max Talbot cut a swathe through the Ugra defense. Lokomotiv failed to take advantage of a five-minute power play late in the game after Oleg Pogorishny kneed Yegor Korshkov. The home team produced little with its advantage, and needed Alexei Murygin’s shut-out to clinch the win.
Slovan Bratislava 2 Sibir Novosibirsk 5
Konstantin Okulov scored three to lead Sibir to its second straight victory and lift the Siberian team level on points with Kunlun as a small gap emerges in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Sibir and Red Star are now four points ahead of ninth placed Barys, although today’s victor has played five games more than its immediate rivals.
The win in Slovakia was fairly routine: Okulov scored twice in the first period to put Sibir in control and added a third on the power play in the 38th minute after Jonathan Cheechoo got one back for the host. Zach Boychuk, who scored at Medvescak on Monday, made it 4-1 before the second intermission and the third stanza saw Radek Smolenak and Fyodor Belyakov trade goals.
Around the league
Salavat Yulaev encountered little difficulty in overcoming Dinamo Riga. It took just 64 seconds for Denis Kulyash to open the scoring and the Latvians, rooted to the foot of the Western Conference, could find no reply. Kirill Kaprizov doubled the lead in the 29th minute and Anton Lazarev completed a 3-0 victory in the 52nd. Andrei Gavrilov made 25 saves to become the third goalie of the day to post a shut-out.
Jakub Jerabek had a hand in all three goals as Vityaz edged Avtomobilist. The Czech D-man assisted on Roman Horak’s 12th minute opener, only to see Nikolai Timashov tie the scores almost immediately. But Jerabek went on to contribute helpers to power play goals for Miro Aaltonen and Mario Kempe as the host went 3-1 in front. Dmitry Megalinsky pulled one back in the 28th minute and that was the end of the scoring.
Metallurg Novokuznetsk pulled off a rare win at Medvescak. The Eastern Conference’s bottom team struck after 49 seconds through promising young D-man Timur Fatikullin. Andrei Taratukhin extended that lead in the second period before Goran Bezina got one back for the Croatians. Alexander Komaristy soon made it 3-1 to Kuznya and the visitor held on for the win despite a late penalty shot from Edwin Hedberg.