A goal from lockout signing Alex Ovechkin gave Dynamo Moscow a 1-0 win at Lev Prague to lift last season's champion to the top of the Western Conference .
The Washington Capitals star decided the game at the start of the third period, hitting the empty net after intercepting a pass from Lev’s goaltender Tomas Popperle to one of his defensemen.
Popperle, who stopped 28 shots in the game, blamed poor-quality ice for his mistake.
“It was a swimming pool, not a rink for the game. I’ve never played in such conditions,” he said. “I wanted to cover the puck, but it stopped between my skates. The puck just stuck.”
Dynamo goaltender Alexander Yeryomenko made 29 saves for his second shutout of the season.
Lev is now fourth in the Western Conference after four defeats in five games.
The game saw a KHL record attendance of 16,317 spectators, which beat the previous record by 217 people.
Elsewhere, KHL newcomer Donbass Donetsk escaped last place in the Western Conference with a 4-1 home win over Severstal Cherepovets that sent the expansion team 13th.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Ruslan Fedotenko grabbed his first point since coming to Donbass as a lockout signing when he assisted Finnish wing Tuomas Kiiskinen for the opening goal.
Severstal remains seventh position in the West.
Dinamo Riga secured a home 2-1 victory over Dynamo Minsk in Latvia.
Alexander Kulakov opened the score for Dynamo Minsk before two goals from the hosts' Canadian players, with ex-Columbus Blue Jackets wing Alexandre Giroux and forward Jamie Johnson hitting the target.
Dinamo Riga rose to 11th while fourth consecutive loss sunk the Belarusians to the last place.