Nashville Predators forward Andrei Kostitsyn scored in a 4-2 victory Saturday for his KHL team Traktor Chelyabinsk over Atlant Moscow Region, to take his team to the top of the Eastern Conference.
The Belarusian left wing opened the scoring at the end of the first period for his sixth goal since signing his lockout contract last month.
Nikolay Lemtyugov and another Belarusian ex-NHLer Konstantin Koltsov put the visitors 2-1 up in the second, but Traktor surged back in the decider with Petri Kontiola hitting a last-second goal.
The victory puts last year's regular-season champion Traktor top in the East, while Atlant descends to sixth in the West after suffering its fifth defeat in six games.
Alex Ovechkin’s Dynamo Moscow is still top of the Western Conference after gaining its seventh consecutive win with a 3-2 home victory over Metallurg Novokuznetsk.
Dynamo dominated early on to go 3-0 up after two periods, and held its nerve despite conceding twice late in the third.
Metallurg sank to the seventh place in the East.
Elsewhere, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl remains second in the West after beating Evgeni Malkin’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk 3-2 on penalty shots.
Lokomotiv’s Egor Averin hit a late double to cancel out goals from Metallurg forwards Justin Hodgman and Denis Platonov, sending the game into overtime.
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov saved all four penalty shots for Lokomotiv before Daniil Apalkov brought victory with a high shot into the roof of the net.
Metallurg dropped to fourth in the East.
A high-scoring thriller in Yekaterinburg saw local team Avtomobilist edged out 6-5 by Ilya Kovalchuk’s SKA St. Petersburg.
Avtomobilist took a 2-0 lead at the start of the game, but the visitors flipped it instantly, scoring four goals in 11 minutes with Kovalchuk and Vladimir Tarasenko getting on the scoresheet along Viktor Tikhonov Jr., who hit two.
Tikhonov is the grandson of the legendary coach of the same name, who took the Soviet Union to two Olympic golds and eight World Championships.
Swedish center Tony Martensson hit the winner on 48 minutes with a beautiful wrist shot.
SKA is still third in the West, while Avtomobilist remain glued to the bottom in the East.
Meanwhile, Avangard Omsk gained its sixth win in seven by beating Dinamo Riga 4-2 at home.
The game was decided at the end of the third period an empty-net goal from Sergei Kostitsyn, the brother and fellow Nashville Predator of Traktor Chelyabink's Andrei Kostitsyn.
Avangard, last year’s beaten finalist, creep up to eighth in the East, while the Latvian team languishes 14th in the West.
An overtime goal by Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski brought his CSKA Moscow a stunning 5-4 comeback win in the away clash against Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.
Neftekhimik startled the visitors in the first period taking a 4-1 lead, but CSKA showed strength of character and Alexander Radulov sent the game into overtime on 58 minutes striking his second goal of the match.
The former Army team is now fifth in the West, while Neftekhimik dropped out of the playoff zone to ninth in the East.
Two-time Gagarin Cup winner Ak Bars Kazan beat the recent leaders Lev Prague 4-2 to sink them to the seventh place in the West.
Czech giant Zdeno Chara scored for the first time since joining Lev from the Boston Bruins earlier this month, but that was not enough for the win and Lev suffered its fifth defeat in six games.
Ak Bars remains third in the East.
In the Russian city of Ufa, Salavat Yulaev snatched a 3-2 penalty shots win over KHL newcomer Slovan Bratislava.
New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky sent the game into the overtime scoring from the crease with just a minute to the final whistle.
Denys Khlystov hit the winning penalty shot to send the 2011 KHL champions to the fifth place in the East.
The Slovak team stands eighth in the Western Conference.
Elsewhere, in Kazakhstan, Barys Astana thrashed Spartak Moscow 5-1 and moved to the sixth place in the conference.
The first American to move to the KHL for the lockout period, Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers, made his debut for the Kazakh team spending 23 minutes on the ice.
Calgary Flames defenseman Anton Babchuk scored his first KHL goal to give his Donbass Donetsk a 1-0 away win over Vityaz Chekhov.