Admiral grabbed a shoot-out victory in Riga to move within three points of the top eight in the Eastern Conference. It was a nervy performance from the visitor, which knows it has little room for error in the closing stages of the season as it looks to break into the playoff places.
The Sailors took an early lead through Denis Vikharev in the fourth minute but failed to build on that advantage, despite going on to have the better of the first period. Alexander Salak repelled all further attempts on his net – the Czech would finish the game with 35 saves – and gradually Riga began to ask more questions at the other end.
The tying goal came midway through the third period on a delayed penalty. Marek Daloga got the goal after Salak raced to the bench to allow an extra attacker onto the ice and the game was tied. Dinamo’s point lifts it off the foot of the Western Conference ahead of Dinamo Minsk and – at least theoretically – keeps the team in contention for a playoff place. Defeat in regulation would have seen the Latvians become the first team mathematically unable to reach the post season.
Admiral’s hopes of extending the campaign are rather more viable, however, all the more so after Martin Bakos sealed a shoot-out success for the visitor. That takes the Vladivostok team to 52 points, with eighth-placed Metallurg on 55.