MOSCOW, January 25 (R-Sport) – Metallurg Magnitogorsk’s hopes of winning the KHL’s Continental Cup as regular-season champion took a blow Saturday with a 2-1 road defeat at Sibir Novosibirsk.
The result leaves Eastern Conference leader Metallurg five points off Western leader and reigning Gagarin Cup champion Dynamo Moscow. Both have already qualified for the playoffs.
The game-winner came from Sibir’s Oleg Gubin with 37 seconds left on the clock in the third period. Earlier, Dmitry Monya had put Sibir in front on 10:04 of the first period before Canadian Francis Pare tied up the game for Metallurg on 13:09 of the second.
Sibir stays seventh in the East, with a 13-point cushion over the best of the non-playoff teams, Admiral Vladivostok, which has closed the gap to Traktor Chelyabinsk to just one point.
Admiral beat Salavat Yulaev Ufa 3-2 after defying a comeback from the two-time KHL champion. Admiral led 3-0 after the second period, before Salavat went 13-4 on shots and scored goals with Igor Mirnov and Tomas Zaborsky, but Admiral held on for the win, briefly taking eighth from Traktor.
Then Traktor, last year’s Gagarin Cup runner-up, took back the place with a 3-2 shootout win over Eastern basement team Metallurg Novokuznetsk, with Washington Capitals prospect Yevgeny Kuznetsov scoring the winner in the shootout.
In the Russian Far East, an entertaining but ultimately meaningless game ended with a 5-4 shootout win for Amur Khabarovsk on home ice against Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk. Neither team has realistic chances of reaching the playoffs.