Result of the day
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg - Salavat Yulaev Ufa 4-3. These two sides could face each other in the first round of the play-offs, and what a contest that promises to be. In two meetings, the KHL new boys have taken points from the Conference’s clear favorites. The Yekaterinburg club, whose owners granted them a year to adapt, have already by early December proved to be a valuable addition to the tournament - the kind who can beat anyone, and indeed can lose to anyone. Avtomobilist recently lost a point in the game with lowly Vityaz, and now they have fought back from three goals down to defeat Yulaev.

The day’s other matches produced the following results: Metallurg Magnitogorsk - Avangard 5-3, Traktor - Barys 2-4, Dynamo Moscow - Ak Bars 4-2, Dinamo Minsk - Lada 4-2, Dinamo Riga - Neftekhimik 6-3, Vityaz - CSKA 2-1, SKA - Torpedo 5-1.

Comeback kings
Avtomobilist joined a select band of only four teams in the championship who have overturned a three-goal deficit and won. Previously, HC MVD, Salavat Yulaev and Vityaz all fought back to emerge victorious. Interestingly, Salavat and Vityaz find themselves on both sides of these stats: together with Lokomotiv and Lada they managed to squander three-goal lead this season.

Verot’s goal
Vityaz attacker Darsy Verot scored the fourth goal of his Russian career, and his first of this season. His best return is two goals in 2007-08, although in 90 matches he has earned 901 minutes of penalty time.

Four-star performance
Peter Podhradsky collected four points in a game for the first time in his career in Russia. The Barys defenseman scored one goal and made three assists against Traktor. Last season Peter, appearing for Torpedo, managed to earn three points on two occasions. Interestingly, in one of these games the victims were again Traktor.

Magnitogorsk’s new record
Metallurg Magnitogorsk’s seventh straight regulation time victory is a club record. The men from the Urals did put together an eight match winning run earlier this year, but one of these was in overtime. In these seven games, Valeri Belousov’s team have scored 31 and conceded only 13.

Hunting in packs
SKA twice today capitalized on penalties to Torpedo, and are now the League leaders for goals scored in powerplay. They have amassed 38 such goals this season - taking full advantage of 21.23% of their opponents’ dismissals.

Forward exchange
Dynamo Moscow and SKA have swapped attackers, with Oleg Saprykin moving from Moscow to Petersburg and Igor Makarov going in the opposite direction. Both have already made debuts for their new clubs. Makarov’s first appearance stretched to 10 minutes 47 seconds, yielded no points, but he did force a save from the Ak Bars goaltender. Saprykin earned the better statistics, coming on to the ice 16 times and spending a total of 13 minutes 29 seconds in play. The forward fired four shots on goal, supplied one assist and finished the match with a +1.

Figures of the day
41 shots at the Metallurg Magnitogorsk goal from the players of Avangard. All in all, 79 shots on goal in this game.

7 minutes 11 seconds spent in play by Ak Bars defenseman Ilya Nikulin.

7 shots at goal from both Dynamo Moscow defenseman Karel Rachunek and Neftekhimik attacker Maxim Yakutsenya.

70.8% of 24 face-offs won by Avtomobilist attacker Nikolai Bushuev.

Key players
Konstantin Barulin (CSKA). One of only three goaltenders in the championship who concede fewer than a goal per game, Konstantin today saved 28 of 29 shots on his goal.

Evgeny Varlamov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk, pictured, left). Spent more than 17 minutes on the ice, and earned an efficiency rating of +3.

Karel Rachunek (Dynamo Moscow). The most active player on his team, supplying assists for two goals.

Anatoly Nikontsev (Avtomobilist). In the 7 minutes 39 seconds he spent on the ice he struck two goals.

Hannes Hyvonen (Dinamo Minsk). Collected four points, with two goals and two assists.

Alexander Kucheryavenko (SKA). Made one assist and scored the winning goal.

Quotes
“In two periods we were disgraceful, and we’ll be investigating how it came about.” - Avangard head coach Igor Nikitin.

“After such a victory, there’ll probably be signs of “altitude sickness”, and I need to do all I can to keep the guys’ feet firmly on the ground.” - Avtomobilist head coach Marek Sykora.

“In hockey, if you display a complacent attitude, or - to put it bluntly - if you act the jerk, you get punished.” - Salavat Yulaev head coach Vyacheslav Bykov.

Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru

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