Nikolai Kulemin scored twice for Metallurg but still finished on the losing side in the Far East. The Steelmen were looking to recover from Sunday’s defeat at Kunlun, but instead ran into a goalie in fine form and a home team determined to climb the table.
The game began with a series of power play opportunities for the visitor, but Marek Langhamer rose to the challenge at the start of an evening that saw the Czech make 37 saves. However, Kulemin beat him in the 14th minute to give Magnitka the lead. Then a first penalty of the night for Amur enabled Denis Golubev to tie the scores going into the first intermission.
Earlier in the second period another home power play brought another goal, this time for Igor Rudenkov. Kulemin cancelled out that goal, but the home team restored its advantage in the last minute of the frame through Michal Jordan. Metallurg threw everything at Langhamer in search of another tying goal, but the closest the visitor came was a last-minute effort from Sergei Mozyakin which dinged off the piping and bounced to safety.
Nigel Dawes returned to Kazakhstan and set a new club record for Avtombilist, but still finished up on the losing side at Barys. The forward scored a goal for the fifth consecutive game, achieving a new mark for his team, but while the previous four contributions helped the Motormen build a four-game winning streak, today’s tally was topped by an overtime winner from Darren Dietz.
Dawes found the net at the start of the third period, giving Avto the lead for the second time in the game. Earlier, Peter Holland got the only goal of the first session midway through the frame, before Dmitry Shevchenko tied the scores in the second. Dawes kept up his hot streak against his former club; since moving to Yekaterinburg he has four goals and five assists on Barys, and today’s effort established that new club record.
However, it took just three minutes for Linus Videll to tie the scores and take the game into overtime. There, Dietz grabbed the winner within seconds of the restart.
Not much is going right for Traktor at the moment. The Ural club brought in a new head coach, Vladimir Yurzinov, at the start of the month and has begun reshaping its roster in response to a disappointing start to the season. However, Yurzinov has presided over four successive defeats since the start of his tenure and his team is rooted to the foot of the Eastern Conference.
This latest loss began with a goal from Petri Kontiola in the fourth minute, a blow made doubly painful given the Finn’s long association with Traktor. A couple of minutes later, Ahti Oksanen increased the lead and it already looked like a long way back for the host.
Vasily Demchenko continued in the Traktor net despite that slow start and he pulled off a great save at the start of the second period. But such is Chelyabinsk’s luck at the moment, the puck went straight to Veli-Matti Savinainen to make it 3-0. Nick Bailen finally got the home team on the scoreboard midway through the frame, but Savinainen got his second of the night and Jesse Joensuu made it 5-1 by the second intermission.
Tomas Hyka managed to pull one goal back in the third, but the outcome was already clear. Indeed, the Czech opted not to indulge in the usual bench celebration after his goal, illustrating the depth of frustration on the team at the moment.
Dinamo’s mini revival, which began with a 6-5 shoot-out win over Torpedo on the teams’ return from the international break, is in danger of stalling after a second successive loss. For Torpedo, meanwhile, the result makes it four wins from five and lifts David Nemirovsky’s team to fourth in the Western Conference. It also completed a third win from four games against Dinamo this season.
The home team made a great start thanks to a third-minute goal from Mikhail Varnakov. Torpedo held that advantage at the first intermission, but only thanks to some strong goaltending from Anders Lindbak when the visitor got a 5-on-3 advantage late in the frame.
In the second period, penalty trouble for the Belarusians put Dinamo on the back foot in the early stages, but once out of the box the Bison tied the game through Oleg Yevenko as the second intermission came into view. Torpedo challenged the goal, citing goalie interference, but the video review overruled that protest and robbed the host of its time-out.
At the start of the third, Ty Rattie scored a power play goal to restore the home lead and when Quinton Howden, once a Dinamo player, scored into the empty net it seemed that the action was done. Not quite, though. Teemu Pulkkinen got a goal back late on for the visitor but was unable to spark an improbable recovery.