KHL: Atlant smash Avangard 5-1
In the KHL Atlant moved within eight points of overall leaders Salavat Yulaev after Fyodor Kanareykin's side thrashed Avangard in the league's only game on Wednesday.
Both sides came into the game holding a four-game winning streak, but each match for Wayne Fleming is his last as the Avangard's head coach is under huge pressure. The club's ambitious management is not satisfied with their 11th place in the league table.
Home side Atlant created the highest number of chances in the opening period.
Although the visitors' goaltender Aleksandr Fomichev came to the rescue on a number of occasions, Avangard struck first in the second period.
Jaromir Jagr broke the deadlock with a brilliant shot into the top corner. Atlant replied with their first line – Aleksandr Korolyuk, Sergey Mozyakin and Essa Pirnes made a fine advance, finishing with a shot by the Finn.
The hosts then proceeded to get their noses in front, as Atlant's top scorer Mozyakin showed off his dribbling abilities.
The atmosphere started to boil in the third period when Avangard were trying to get an equalizer. Their captain Aleksandr Svitov was thrown out of the game for misconduct.
Atlant took full advantage of this with Maksim Semenov making it 3-1 with a shot from near the blue line. The home side put the game beyond doubt four minutes before the final whistle.
Esa Pirnes scored his 17th goal of the campaign in this game, while Mozyakin wrapped the match up at 5-1.
It has been the fifth straight victory for Atlant, with a sixth likely on Monday when they play lowly team Barys.