Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin’s first goal since moving to Russia during the NHL lockout was not enough to stop his Dynamo Moscow team losing 3-1 to SKA St. Petersburg on Sunday
The match was the KHL debut for another lockout signing, the New Jersey Devils’ Ilya Kovalchuk at SKA, who failed to make any points as his team won at Dynamo despite being outshot 30-25.
"It's a deserved victory," SKA coach Milos Riha said, praising Kovalchuk.
"We're happy that a leader's turned up in our dressing room."
Dynamo coach Oleg Znarok said he was proud of his team's determination.
"I've got nothing to reproach the guys for, they fought from start to finish," he said. "We had chances that could have decided this matchup."
SKA’s fourth win in seven games lifted the St. Petersburg team to sixth in the 14-team Western Conference after a slow start to the season.
Patrick Toresen scored the opening goal on 12 minutes before Ovechkin struck back two minutes later.
Goals from Maxim Afinogenov and Viktor Tikhonov proved crucial and Dynamo could not find a way back, even when the Moscow team pulled the goalie and had a power-play in the final minute.
In Sunday’s other games, all in the Western Conference, Atlant Moscow Region missed the chance to go top of the conference in a 3-2 defeat to Ukrainian team Donbass Donetsk, which left the bottom of the conference standings and is now ninth.
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl rose to fifth after beating Latvian team Dynamo Riga 2-1 after penalty shots.
But for a goal from Staffan Kronwall with three minutes on the clock, Dynamo Riga would have won 1-0 and avoided overtime.
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod won 3-0 against Spartak Moscow to go seventh in the West, becoming the only team of the day to record a regulation time win on home ice.
Goaltender Sergei Borisov faced 30 shots as he recorded Sunday’s only shutout.