The unstoppable bunch of youngsters
Game Recap: CSKA - Sibir, RSL Roundup
FEB.28 (MOSCOW, RHI) -- Viktor Tikhonov's bunch of young guns continued its run for the play-off spot with its fifth consecutive win on Friday, a 2-0 blanking of Sibir Novosibirsk.
Second period goals by Alexander Drozdetsky and Alexei Shkotov were enough to back up another solid outing for CSKA's Czech netminder Dusan Salficky, who registered 16 saves for his league leading seventh shut-out of the season - fourth over his last five starts.
The visitors had a slight edge during the scoreless opening period. However the best scoring chance, prior to intermission, fell to Shkotov. 18-year old sparkplug had a clean break-away, but failed to solve Christian Bronsard.
Early in the second period Drozdetsky put CSKA ahead while Sibir had Lev Berdichevsky and Roman Popov in the penalty box. The home side took almost the full two minutes to capitalize on two men advantage. Veteran Sergei Zolotov made a perfect cross-crease pass and the son of legendary Nikolai Drozdetsky tallied for the 12th time this season.
Following the game Sibir's head coach Vladimir Golubovich justly pointed out that his men lacked discipline. Following Drozdetsky goal, the visitors took two more minors and had a lot of trouble killing them off. Fortunately for them Bronsard was on top of his game, with 12 saves in the period.
However Canadian netminder was helpless against Shkotov late in the period. Alexei never stopped working throughout the night and his efforts were rewarded with another highlightreel goal. He picked the puck in his own zone, skated up the ice, blew by (arguably Sibir's best rearguard this season) Sergei Voronov, deked Bronsard and slipped the puck into an open net.
It seemed things couldn't get worse for Sibir, but with 9 seconds left to play in the period Artyom Ternavsky was called for hooking.
Vladimir Golubovich players didn't give up and came out strong for the final engagement. After killing Ternavsky's penalty they created several great scoring chances, but were clearly out of luck that night. Salficky was beaten at least twice in the third, but CSKA defenders preserved his shut-out cleaning the puck off the line in ensuing moments.
Dynamo 0, Severstal 0
Dynamo's netminder Vitaly Eremeev regained his starter job and registered second consecutive shut-out stopping 31 shots against Severstal... Despite a scoring drought, the game was anything but eventless. Both teams had several great scoring opportunities, including a couple of shots off the iron by the home side players. Severstal's Canadian goalie Marcel Cousineau registered his fifth shut-out of the season making 26 saves.
Neftekhimik 1, Mechel 1
Neftekhimik needed a victory in order to get into the top eight. However following an encouraging opening period (outshot Mechel 11-5) Vladimir Krikunov's side fell asleep. Struggling visitors went ahead on Maxim Yakutsenya's short-handed tally halfway trough the second period. Than Sergei Paramonov's side sat back allowing netminder Mikhail Emelyanov, who finished the night with 31 saves, to steal the show. The home side managed to equalize with less than five minutes left to play in regulation, as Aleksey Vakhrushev grabbed his 12th goal of the season.
Amur 3, SKA 2 OT
Another key point for Boris Mikhailov's side which continues its vigorous battle for survival in the Superleague... Maxim Spiridonov was on fire once again - scoring twice on nine shoots he took for the home side. This diminutive speedster, former draftee of the Edmonton Oilers, has tallied six times over the last three games. Spiridonov now has a total of 18 goals for the season and is tied for the league lead in the department with Lada's Igor Grigorenko and Severstal's Yuri Dobryshkin ... Rearguard Andrei Yasakov scored the winner with just 42 seconds played in overtime.
Metallurg Nk 3, Spartak 2 OT
The home side wasted a two-goal lead in the third period "thanks" to netminder Vadim Tarasov who fell asleep on Leonid Kanareikin's and Maxim Rybin's simple shots. The struggling visitors were able to snatch a much needed point by taking the game into overtime, despite being outshot 34 to 20. However 1:06 into ensuing period Sergei Reshetnikov, one of a few former Spartak players wearing red-black-and white this season, gave Metallurg its six overtime victory of the season... It appears Andrei Medvedev finally became Spartak's starting netminder. Medvedev had the job for the fourth straight game and provided his teammates with much needed confidence (a notion they rarely enjoyed throughout the season when Canadian Steve Plouffe handled the task) at the back making 31 saves.
Avangard 2, Molot-Prikamie 1
Ivan Hlinka's Avangard continues to struggle. A win over hopeless Perm was achieved by Omsk's star packed line-up with a lot of struggle. Game winning goal by Pavel Patera was scored while Molot had two of its players in the penalty box... On the bright side Montreal Canadians draftee Alexander Perezhogin scored in the third straight game. He has a total of 14 goals this season, which is second best on the team.
Metallurg Mg 4, Krylia Sovetov 2
With a win Metallurg almost insured its play-off spot, while the Wings lost their last chance to remain in battle for survival. The game was marked by debut of '86 born forward Mikhail Voloshenko, an estimated high pick at the 2004 NHL entry draft, for the Moscow side. Voloshenko played alongside another highly touted '86 born Mikhail Yunkov. The duo fared relatively well and combined for a goal late in the third period.
Lada 1, Ak Bars 1
Ever since Vladimir Plyuschev took over as Kazan's bench boss, his team stopped gathering points with usual regularity. That allowed Pyotr Vorobiev's Lada to close the gap between teams significantly. Prior to the game ranked 5th Togliatti trailed 4th placed Ak Bars by narrow three points. And with as few as 6 games left to play in regular season the contest became key in determining the home-ice advantage for a pair that will likely to face-off in post season's opening round. Lada outshot Kazan 30 to 14. However a power-play goal by Alex Korolyuk, his first since January 14, put the visitors ahead late in the second period. The home side was able to equalize with less than five minutes left to play in regulation, thanks to Alex Boikov's effort. In the overtime Lada had a two-men advantage, but couldn't buy a goal against Kazan's in form netminder Andrei Tsarev.
Salavat Yulaev 2, Lokomotiv 2
A confrontation of other possible first-round pair ended in a tie at Ufa. Sergei Nikolaev's squad fought hard all night long, but the difference in class between opponents was apparent. Salavat was able to snatch a point largely due to the excellent performance on the part of their goalie Konstantin Simchuk, who made 38 saves, including 5 in the overtime.