The big games on Monday’s card produced home victories, with Ak Bars producing a good performance to defeat Avtomobilist 3-1 while Dynamo had another high-scoring 6-3 success, this time against Metallurg. Admiral continued its impressive form, achieving a fifth successive triumph and setting a club record in the process. Dinamo Riga made it two wins from three at Traktor, Neftekhimik snapped a six-game losing streak with an overtime verdict over Sibir.

45 saves for Olkinuora, club record for Admiral

Barys Nur-Sultan 0 Admiral Vladivostok 1 OT (0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-1)

Admiral recorded its fifth successive victory and set a new club record. Never since its formation in 2013 has the Far East team gone so long without losing a game.

However, the win in Kazakhstan owed much to efforts of goalie Juho Olkinuora. The Finn made 45 saves in total as Barys dominated much of the play but was unable to put the puck in the net. After a reasonably even first period, the home team enjoyed a significant advantage subsequently: the second session saw Barys outshoot Admiral 17-2, with a further 10 efforts blocked.

The visitor created few opportunities to score, but crucially it took the one that mattered. In overtime Markus Ljungh got the only goal of the game to give the Sailors the points.

Dinamo survives Traktor fightback

Traktor Chelyabinsk 3 Dinamo Riga 4 (0-1, 1-3, 2-0)

Two power play goals from Lauris Darzins gave Dinamo Riga the edge in an entertaining game at Traktor. The visitor now has two wins from three games, showing signs that the club’s recent crisis might be easing.

However, the Latvians did things the hard way here. After jumping to a 4-1 lead, Dinamo had to withstand a big fightback from Traktor. Czech forward Tomas Hyka scored two third-period goals to complete his hat-trick and haul the score back to 3-4 with 12 minutes to play. However, Riga and goalie Andrei Makarov had enough to close out the game and take the points.

Earlier, Dinamo got the only goal of the first period when Brandon McMillan put away the rebound from a Ben Marshall shot. Hyka’s first of the game tied it up, but Vitalijs Pavlovs restored the visitor’s lead before Darzins got his two tallies. Home goalie Vasily Demchenko, who was making his 200th KHL appearance, was hooked after the visitor’s third goal.

Ak Bars impresses with victory over Avtomobilist

Ak Bars Kazan 3 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 1 (0-1, 2-0, 1-0)

Ak Bars bounced back from Friday’s loss at home to CSKA and delivered an encouraging victory over Avtomobilist to maintain its position on top of the Eastern Conference. The visitor, meanwhile, drops to fifth in the table after a third straight loss and has just two wins in 10 games since the end of its eight-game winning streak at the start of the season.

Photo: 14.10.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Ak Bars (Kazan) - Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg)

Monday’s game started well enough for Avto. A fifth-minute counter attack saw Georgy Belousov release Dan Sexton in center ice and the American forward raced to the net to beat Adam Reideborn. However, the home team quickly took control of the play after that. Over the first two periods, Avtomobilist managed just eight shots at the Swede and the pressure at the other end took its toll in the second period.

The tying goal arrived midway through the game when Kamil Fazylzyanov broke down the right and whipped the puck into the danger zone. Vyacheslav Osnovin was waiting on the slot and even though the puck deflected off his leg rather than his stick, there was no evidence that he deliberately steered it with his skate and the goal was awarded. Late in the frame, Matthew Frattin put Ak Bars ahead with a slap shot off Mikael Wikstrand’s feed and that goal proved to be decisive.

In the third period, Avtomobilist still struggled to generate much offense and Kazan made the points safe in the 50th minute when Emil Galimov saw Jakub Kovar allow his shot into the net under pressure from Vladimir Tkachyov.

White snaps Neftekhimik’s losing streak

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 2 Sibir Novosibirsk 1 OT (0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-1)

Neftekhimik snapped a six-game losing streak thanks to Matt White’s overtime winner at home to Sibir. White struck 79 seconds into the extras to break a 1-1 tie and avenge his team’s 2-4 loss in Novosibirsk earlier this month.

The win also put a couple of points between Neftekhimik and bottom-of-the-table Amur, although the team from Tatarstan has played a couple of games more than many of those around it in the Eastern Conference.

It took some time to get the opening goal in this fixture, but Marat Khairullin put Neftekhimik ahead in the 35th minute. However, Sibir tied it up early in the third through Alexander Sharov and that took the game to the extras.

Hietanen the catalyst for Dynamo’s win

Dynamo Moscow 6 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 3 (1-2, 2-0, 3-1)

Two goals apiece from Juuso Hietanen and Miks Indrasis, plus a goaltending howler from Vasily Koshechkin helped Dynamo to victory over Metallurg. The Blue-and-Whites repeated Saturday’s 6-3 scoreline against Avtomobilist as they move to fourth in the Western Conference. Metallurg, meanwhile, drops back to 11th in the East as the problems in Magnitogorsk fail to disperse.

Photo: 14.10.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Dynamo (Moscow) - Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)

Dynamo came into the game boosted by Saturday’s high-scoring win over Avtomobilist and made the brighter start here. That early pressure paid off when Indrasis opened the scoring in the eighth minute. But the host fell into penalty trouble. Metallurg found itself with five seconds of 5-on-3 and Sergei Mozyakin needed just four of them to tie the scores. That meant the visitor continued on the power play and Mozyakin delivered once again to send Magnitka into the intermission with a 2-1 lead.

The second period saw the home team turn the game around. First, Hietanen’s blast from the blue line went through Koshechkin and inched its way towards the goalline. Ivan Vereshchagin got back to hook the puck away from the net but, after an extensive video review, his efforts were deemed a fraction too late. The puck had – just – crossed the line and the goal stood.

Hietanen was involved again as the host went in front. On the power play, he advanced into the danger zone and found Dmitrij Jaskin in front of the net. The Czech diverted the puck past Koshechkin and there was no doubt about that finish.

It was by no means the end of the story, though. Roman Lyubimov scored a fantastic solo effort, stick-handling his way through the home defense to tie the scores at 3-3 early in the third period. Then came an uncharacteristic blunder from Koshechkin. The veteran goalie came haring out of his goal to cut out a hopeful pass from Dmitry Moiseyev but missed the puck somewhere near the face-off spot. Vyacheslav Kulyomin took it away from the goalie and fired into an empty net from a tight angle and restored Dynamo’s lead.

Kulyomin then took a penalty in the closing moments and left Dynamo to face a 6-on-4 Metallurg surge. However, Hietanen and Indrasis both took advantage to shoot into the empty net and secure another high-scoring win for Vladimir Krikunov’s team.

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