MOSCOW, January 5 (R-Sport) - Ak Bars Kazan handed out a 9-3 thrashing against Salavat Yulaev Ufa on Saturday to take the lead in the KHL’s Eastern Conference.
The game pitted together two former Gagarin Cup holders as Ak Bars continued its good form after the New Year break, recording its fourth straight win, while Salavat Yulaev stays a disappointing sixth in the East with one win in its last five games.
Ak Bars stormed into the lead early on with three first-period goals, and made the score 7-1 by the end of the second period.
Kirill Petrov finished with a goal and two assists for Ak Bars, and his teammate Alexei Tereshchenko grabbed four assists to take his points tally for the season to 24 from 28 games.
Earlier in the day, last season’s runner-up Avangard Omsk beat Sibir Novosibirsk 3-1 to briefly take the top spot in the East, while Yugra Khanty-Mansiisk defeated Metallurg Novokuznetsk 5-4 in overtime.
Amur Khabarovsk ended Barys Astana’s eight-game win streak with a 5-4 victory.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.