Dynamo Minsk eked out a narrow 5-4 victory over Donbass Donetsk despite being four-goals ahead on the half-hour mark in the KHL.
The nervy win saw the Belarusians snap their four-game losing streak and climb to 12th in the Western Conference, while Donbass, a newcomer to the KHL this season, remains bottom team in the same conference.
Donbass was all but defeated when 4-1 down with 30 minutes gone, but gave itself a chance with three goals in the third period.
“After we conceded the second goal there was some panic,” said Dynamo coach Kari Heikkila. “Then we conceded two more goals, and it was very hard at the end,” he added.
“The most important thing is that we took three points today.”
Former Winnipeg Jets forward Tim Stapleton was the architect of Dynamo’s victory, providing three assists.
Elsewhere, visiting Slovan Bratislava beat Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk on penalty shots 5-4 after a game where the Slovakian team leveled the score four times, the last one being just a minute before the horn.
After the overtime ended without a goal, it was left wing Michel Miklik who scored the decider, some two and a half hours after he leveled the score for the first time in the opening period. He also provided an assist for the final goal in regulation, scored by Milan Bartovic.
Slovan is just outside the playoff zone on ninth in the West, while Neftekhimik is sixth in the East with two consecutive defeats.