MOSCOW, December 8 (R-Sport) – Two goals from Pavel Datsyuk couldn't save CSKA Moscow from a 6-4 defeat to city rival Dynamo, which clings to the top of the KHL’s Western Conference.
Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin opened the score on minutes 13 converting a perfectly weighed pass by Filip Novak.
The Gagarin Cup champion shot to a 5-0 by mid second period thanks to two goals from Czech wing Marek Kvapil, Richard Gynge and Sergei Soin.
An improbable rally saw CSKA storm back to within a single goal in the third period with Datsyuk, Alexander Radulov and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski finding the net.
But Dynamo’s lockout signing Nicklas Backstrom hit an empty-net goal just one minute from the buzzer to seal it.
“I think Dynamo deserved the win,” Datsyuk said. “Today, Dynamo play very tactically, punished us for our mistakes, it is unacceptable.”
CSKA remains fourth with 23 wins after 33 games.
Ilya Kovalchuk’s SKA completed a 1-0 win against Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod thanks to Dmitry Kalinin’s slapshot to stay third in the West, six points behind Dynamo.
After a third-consecutive defeat, Torpedo sinks out of the playoffs zone to the ninth, while KHL newcomer Donbass Donetsk rose to the eighth after a 2-1 victory at fourth-placed team in the East, Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
Elsewhere, two-time KHL champion Ak Bars Kazan snatched a comeback 4-3 win over Amur Khabarovsk to remain at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Ak Bars captain Alexei Morozov scored an early opener, then the hosts twice came back from a goal down twice before Denis Kulyash nailed the winner on 52 minutes.
Amur suffered a fourth defeat in a row to stand second from bottom in the East with only 11 wins in 34 games.
Goals by lockout signings Nikita Nikitin and Sergei Kostitsyn helped Avangard Omsk stick to second place in the East after beating Vityaz Chekhov 4-2 on home ice.
The West's eleventh-placed team Vityaz is still in the chase for its first KHL playoff appearance, trailing Donbass by eight point.
In the Urals mountains, Traktor Chelyabinsk demolished Spartak Moscow 4-0 with prodigy forward Evgeny Kuznetsov adding one assist to his two goals.
Traktor stands third in the East, two points adrift of Ak Bars and Avangard, but has one game in reserve, while Spartak languishes at the bottom of the Western Conference.
In other games: Salavat Yulaev downed Metallurg Novokuznetsk 3-0; Barys Astana thrashed Dynamo Minsk 7-2; Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk beat Severstal Cherepovets 3-2; Dinamo Riga grabbed a 3-1 road win over Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg; and Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk defeated Sibir Novosibirsk 2-0.