Result of the day
Neftekhimik - Ak Bars 5-3. The Tatarstan derby is always the republic’s most important hockey confrontation. For Ak Bars, these games are considered just as crucial as their clashes with Salavat Yulaev. However, Vladimir Krikunov’s team had no problem fighting back from 0-2 down and inflicting one of the most painful defeats on their ‘elder brother’. This is the second time this season Ak Bars have lost after scoring the first two goals, and the second time Neftekhimik have fought back and won from such a position.

What is happening with the favorites this season? Dynamo Moscow have only recently recovered from their losing streak, Magnitogorsk and Yaroslavl are looking shaky, and Ak Bars have been struggling for two months. We certainly cannot say that injuries are to blame; indeed, all their defensemen are fit, but the results are still not coming.

In the day’s other matches, Metallurg Novokuznetsk were beaten by Salavat Yulaev 0-3, and Sibir defeated Barys 5-3.

Unbeaten 32 times
Salavat Yulaev goaltender Alexander Yeremenko’s clean sheet was his first this season, but his 32nd at the top level in his career. This season he managed to keep his goal untouched at the 15th attempt, and last year at the 14th.

Business as usual
Metallurg Novokuznetsk forward Alexei Krivchenkov, having received 25 minutes’ penalty time in the match against Salavat Yulaev, reclaimed his usual top spot on the list of his team’s law-breakers. He has now amassed 63 minutes of penalty time, and needs only 41 minutes more to match his total for the whole of last season.

In pursuit of Sushinsky
Salavat Yulaev attacker Patrick Thoresen (pictured) and Ak Bars forward Danis Zaripov are continuing their runs of earning at least one point in every game. Thoresen’s total now stands at 10 games (in this time, Ufa’s Norwegian has scored 10 goals and made 7 assists) and Zaripov has extended his sequence to 11 matches (8 goals and 7 assists)

The season’s best scoring spell, remember, belongs to SKA attacker Maxim Sushinsky: he has claimed points in 13 consecutive matches, and his run has not finished either.

Weakest front line
Metallurg Novokuznetsk have the league’s worst attack, having scored only 48 goals in 25 matches, averaging fewer than two per game. The Siberians have scored 14 times from powerplay, 30 times when evenly matched, two short-handed goals, and two into an empty net. With seven goals, Alexander Golovin is the team’s leading scorer, but occupies 76th place in the league.

Figures of the day
38 shots at the Metallurg Novokuznetsk goal from Salavat Yulaev

5 shots on goal from Metallurg Novokuznetsk defenseman Jiri Marusak.

26 minutes 6 seconds in play for Neftekhimik defenseman Renat Mamashev.

68.8% of 16 face-offs won by Salavat Yulaev attacker Sergei Zinovyev.

Key players
Alexander Yeremenko (Salavat Yulaev). Made 20 saves to keep a clean sheet.

Tomas Starosta (Neftekhimik). Scored his first goal of the season, spent 22 minutes 30 seconds on the ice, and finished with a 0.

Konstantin Koltsov (Salavat Yulaev). One goal and one assist.

Alexander Boykov (Sibir). Struck one goal and contributed further with two assists, collecting three points in a match for the first time in two years.

Dmitry Makarov (Neftekhimik). A goal, an assist, a rating of «+2» and victorious in 69% of 13 face-offs.

Quotes
“With such failure at converting chances it’s impossible to win,” - Metallurg Novokuznetsk head coach Dmitry Parkhomenko.

“It is great that the team helped Alexander Yeremenko to keep a clean sheet on his return from injury,” - Salavat Yulaev head coach Vyacheslav Bykov.

“My team was let down by bustle, fussiness, and some haste,” - Sibir head coach Andrei Tarasenko.

Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru

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