Jaromir Jagr made his first on-ice appearance in the Russian capital on Thursday and didn’t disappoint the local fans, setting up two of Avangard Omsk’s five goals and being named player of the game as the Hawks topped Spartak Moscow by the final score of 5-2. Alexei Cherepanov failed in his bid to set a new team goal-scoring streak record, but kept his point-scoring streak alive at nine games — the longest point streak recorded in the KHL so far this season — with an assist on Anton Kuryanov’s second period goal. And Avangard recovered from the shoot out setback suffered at the hands of Atlant Mytischi last Friday to win their 8th game in nine tries, regaining their second place position behind league-leading Atlant.
The Hawks never trailed in the game, taking their first lead at 8:15 of the first period when Jagr fed Dmitri Ryabikin for the first of three Omsk power play goals as he broke in from the left point. Pavel Rosa picked up the second eight minutes later with a wrist shot from the hash marks that beat Spartak starter Martin Prucek to double the lead. Avangard’s only even strength goal of the game came with just over 30 seconds left in the period when Jakub Klepish put home a rebound of a Ryabikin point shot set up by Jagr.
But both teams were in the top five in the league in goals scored at the start of the game, and it looked like they might have the opportunity to show why when Alexander Yunkov scored just 19 seconds later to give the home team some momentum as the teams went to their respective locker rooms. That momentum carried over into the second period, and Spartak knocked the deficit to one at 3:37 of the period after a brutal turnover by Avangard defenseman Nikita Nikitin at the side of the Omsk net turned into a goal-mouth scramble and a goal for Spartak’s Alexander Drozhdetsky.
The two teams played a more even second and third period, with both Prucek and Omsk starter Alexander Fomichev forced to make a number of tough saves. But once again the Hawks made their hosts pay for their penalties when Kuryanov deflected a slap shot from Alexander Ryazantsev off a feed from Cherepanov at 17:07 of the second.
The teams would play a scoreless third period until Omsk captain Alexander Svitov, who lead the team (by far) in ice time with 22:29, put the icing on the cake with an empty net goal with 30 seconds to go after Kirill Knyazev lost an edge and the puck in the neutral zone, allowing Rosa and Svitov to go in on a 2-on-1 against former Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman Ivan Baranka. Baranka finished the game scoreless and a -1, but led his team in ice time with 20:37.
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