MOSCOW, January 29 (R-Sport) – Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov brought Traktor Chelyabinsk a crucial 4-3 shootout win Thursday over Admiral Vladivostok, his team's main rival for the last playoff spot in the KHL's Eastern Conference.
With four games to go in the regular season, Traktor strengthens its hold on eighth place, extending its advantage over Admiral to two points with one game in stock. As a result of the game, seventh-placed Sibir Novosibirsk secured a playoff spot.
Sergei Barbashev put Admiral in the lead early in the first period, but then Traktor took the lead twice, only for Admiral to tie up the game again. Kuznetsov was the shootout hero, the only one player to score.
Meanwhile, Eastern Conference leader Metallurg Magnitogorsk thrashed bottom-placed Amur Khabarovsk 6-1.
KHL top scorer Sergei Mozyakin, who was overlooked for Russia's Sochi Olympic team, registered a double to extend his points haul to 68, while his closest follower Jan Kovar made three assists to reach 66 points.
Metallurg heads into the Olympic break with a comfortable six-point lead over second-placed Barys Astana.