Spartak Moscow 5 Dinamo Riga 2 (1-1, 3-1, 1-0)

Spartak took a big step towards securing its playoff place thanks to a comfortable victory over the KHL’s back marker. Wednesday’s success lifts the Red-and-Whites to seventh place on 82 points, two ahead of Dynamo Moscow and three better off than ninth-placed Severstal.

The game was decided late in the second period, when the host scored two quick goals to snap a 2-2 tie. Igor Mirnov restored Spartak’s advantage barely two minutes after Dinamo’s second equalizer of the night, then, 59 seconds later, Alexander Khokhlachyov made it 4-2. Khokhlachyov got a hat-trick in Monday’s loss to Severstal; tonight’s goal helped provide a happier outcome for his team. Kirill Koltsov added a fifth early in the third period to wrap up a valuable and convincing Spartak victory.

Although well beaten on the night, there was some good news for Dinamo as well. Both its goals came from 18-year-old prospect Emils Gegeris, who recorded his first ever KHL markers. The youngster has divided his rookie senior season between Dinamo and HC Riga of the MHL, and celebrated his 30th appearance in the big league with two efforts to cancel out goals from Ville Lajunen and Artyom Voronin as the visitor made a game of it early on.

Photo: 24.01.18. KHL Championship 2017/18. Spartak (Moscow) - Dinamo (Riga)

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