A goal and two assists from Pavel Datsyuk gave CSKA Moscow a 4-2 win over Sibir Novosibirsk on Sunday to lift the big-spending Moscow team to second in the KHL's Western Conference.
CSKA extended its winning streak to four games and is now two points behind the conference leader Dynamo Moscow.
CSKA and Sibir exchanged goals in the first period, Sibir forward Maxim Krivonozhkin leveling the scores after an opening goal from Toronto Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski, a lockout signing for CSKA.
Detroit Red Wings forward Datsyuk scored from a rebound with one minute to go in the second period before defenseman Alexei Marchenko doubled the lead early in the third.
A powerplay goal from Swedish wing Jonas Enlund made it a one-goal game before the KHL top-scorer Alexander Radulov of CSKA hitting the empty net in the dying seconds.
“You see that we don’t gain confident victories, but a win is a win,” Datsyuk said. “A victory is always more pleasant that a defeat.”
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov again failed to play and has made only four appearances for CSKA since signing his lockout contract last month.
“We have three good goaltenders, we will think of who will play the next game,” CSKA coach Valery Bragin said when asked about Bryzgalov’s absence.
Sibir coach Dmitry Kvartalnov lamented his players their timidity against CSKA’s big names.
“Our players are young, it was clear that they were timid, maybe because of the tiredness, psychological weariness,” Kvartalnov said. “We are not satisfied with our forwards.”
Sibir suffered its third consecutive defeat to stay fifth in the Eastern Conference after leading the standings earlier this month.