Saturday’s big game saw Metallurg Magnitogorsk record a 2-1 victory over Dynamo Moscow. The result means the Blue-and-Whites have lost their last eight games in Magnitogorsk. Elsewhere, Neftekhimik’s 4-1 win over Traktor lifts Andrei Nazarov’s team back into the playoff places in the Eastern Conference.
For Dynamo Moscow, few venues in the KHL are as unwelcoming as Magnitogorsk. The Blue-and-Whites flew into town for Saturday’s game nursing the wounds from seven successive defeats on the road at Metallurg. The last time the Muscovites won here in the Southern Urals was back in October 2011 – and today’s game extended that unhappy sequence.
For Metallurg, this game was all about reclaiming fourth place in the Eastern Conference after back-to-back losses at Lokomotiv and Avtomobilist. Lifted by its home crowd, Magnitka eventually obliged, but only after an early scare.
Dynamo snatched an early lead when Patrik Zackrisson opened the scoring after 99 seconds of play. The Swede found himself in acres of space after Andrei Mironov’s deep diagonal pass bisected the home defense and presented the forward with a gilt-edged chance. But Metallurg hit back in the first period when Denis Rasmussen put the visiting defense in a spin before feeding Iiro Pakarinen to slot into the open corner of Ivan Bocharov’s net.
Rasmussen produced the winner early in the second period; subsequently the goalies held sway and Metallurg maintained its hoodoo over Dynamo.
Neftekhimik moved back into the playoff places with a comfortable win at home to Traktor. The result lifts the host above Kunlun Red Star, while the visitor remains 10th place, now fourth points adrift of the top eight.
This was a good day for Neftekhimik’s Finnish contingent: Juuso Puustinen opened the scoring in the third minute before Joonas Nattinen made it 2-0 with a power play goal in the 16th. Ilya Arkalov got the only goal of the middle session to extend Neftekhimik’s lead before Ryan Stoa put Traktor on the scoreboard early in the third.
It was not to be the start of the fight back. Mikael Ruohomaa, who assisted on Nattinen’s goal, completed the scoring with an empty net effort. Neftekhimik halted a two-game losing run, Traktor now has just one win five.