Result of the day
Metallurg Magnitogorsk – CSKA 0-3. It is hard to believe, but the last time the capital’s army men won in Magnitogorsk was way back in 1994, when the hero of today’s match, Nikita Filatov (on the right of photo), was only four years old. In the 15 years of his life since then, many major events have entered the history books, and one wonders if Nikita will join them.

Highly possible, seeing the way he stepped onto the ice to face the “Magnitka” without a trace of hesitation. The young player is performing against a background of considerable fatigue, having only just returned from America, and straight away was boarding the plane to the Urals, so he had just got acclimatized in time for the game with Metallurg. But all the same he scored two goals, and has collected five points in two matches.

The army men cannot get enough of such a forward, who has sorely missed playing, and who has something to prove - not only to the leadership of the club across the ocean, to coaches, to supporters, but most of all to himself, as he left Russia as a player with the highest potential, albeit still young and with very little experience of performing in the Superleague. It is to be hoped that he still has enough youthful enthusiasm to last for some time.

In the day’s other matches, Spartak won away to their Moscow neighbors Dynamo, 4-1, Dinamo Minsk overcame Lokomotiv in the shoot-out, 4-3, while their Riga namesakes fell at home to HC MVD, 1-2. Avtomobilist lost at home to Torpedo, 0-1, and Vityaz proved the stronger in their match with Traktor, winning in the shoot-out, 4-3, and finally, SKA outshone Atlant, 4-1.

Crisis at Metallurg
Today was the second time this season that Valeri Belousov’s side have failed to score on their own ice, the first being the game with SKA. In the first KHL championship they steadfastly managed to upset their guests, and in the Russian Superleague, the last time they displayed an excessively warm welcome was on 23rd January, 2007, when the visitors were Lokomotiv.

Barulin’s perfect match
CSKA goaltender Konstantin Barulin kept his first clean sheet of the season. In his previous 19 games he has only conceded an average of 1.7 goals, and the performance against Metallurg Magnitogorsk gives him the third best reliability coefficient, among colleagues who have completed over two matches.

Unwelcome guests
Spartak remain one of the league’s most aggressive away sides. On their travels the Red and Whites have so far collected 23 from a possible 43 points, bettered only by Salavat Yulaev and SKA. Not once have Milos Riga’s team failed to score away from home, although they have not yet managed to keep a clean sheet themselves.

Firing blanks
The last time Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod kept their goal intact in an away match was back in last season, on January 6th, when Evgeny Popikhin’s side managed a 2-0 at Ak Bars, two days after beating Lada in Togliatti by the same scoreline. In the first KHL championship there was one more success, when Torpedo won 5-0 in Minsk. Four shut-outs on their travels in a year and a half tells its own story.

Unruly Verot
After a brawl with Traktor’s Martin Grenier, Vityaz attacker Darsy Verot has 202 minutes penalty time this season. In comparison, his opponent has a mere 87 minutes.

Figures of the day
42 shots on the Lokomotiv goal from the players of Dinamo Minsk.

24 minutes 36 seconds on the ice managed by Spartak defenseman Viktor Kostyuchenok.

10 strikes at the target by Dinamo Minsk forward Jeff Platt.

76.2 % of 21 face-offs won by CSKA attacker Mark Hartigan.

Key players
Dimitrij Kotschnew (Spartak). Saved 31 strikes by Dynamo Moscow on his goal.

Evgeny Korolev (Torpedo). Spent 23 minutes 53 seconds on the ice, firing four shots on goal.

Sergei Zubov (SKA). Scored two goals in powerplay.

Nikita Filatov (CSKA). Struck a double in today’s away match, and spent more than 20 minutes on the ice.

Denis Mosalev (HC MVD). Was the most active of his team’s strike force, and scored the winning goal.

Jeff Platt (Dinamo Minsk). Played for more than 20 minutes, sent in ten shots on goal, and converted the decisive strike in the shoot-out.

Quotes
“The guys are very upset about the last goal; they wanted a shut-out, of course,” – SKA head coach Barry Smith.

“I think that for the first two periods we played some very decent hockey, but unfortunately our finishing let us down,” – Atlant head coach Nikolai Borshchevsky.

“We hope these three goals have brought an end to our scoring crisis,” – Traktor head coach Andrei Nazarov.

“I’m going grey,” – Vityaz head coach Mike Krushelnyski.

“To take just two points in six matches is a catastrophe,” – Metallurg Magnitogorsk head coach Valeri Belousov.

Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru

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