Result of the day
CSKA - Barys 3-5. The capital’s Army Men are now camped dangerously close to the edge of the play-off zone. The gap is nine points, but their recent results have been far from impressive, and only once in eight games have they taken the full three points. However, it would be naïve to expect all to run smoothly for a team under an inexperienced coach, and Sergei Nemchinov is obviously trying and searching for the answers, without always finding them. Lapses are appearing where you would least expect them. Keeper Konstantin Barulin, for example, boasts superb figures, and suddenly goes and concedes four goals in 21 minutes.

The impression Barys give is quite ambiguous. It is hard to understand how such a strong side could produce a six-match losing streak. They gave us the answer late in the game, when they allowed CSKA the freedom to mount a fightback. Either Barys are taking their foot off the gas towards the end or they are lacking in stamina. Either way, it will not do in the play-offs, and to get there they need to tackle this right now.

Slow starters
Dynamo Moscow continue to suffer in the first period. If the table was based on results in the starting 20 minutes of matches, then the Blue-&-Whites would be down in 20th place. Dynamo have failed to score a first period goal in 24 of their 39 games, the worst record in the KHL.

52-game curse lifted
For the first time this season, Dinamo Minsk have prevented their opponents from scoring, and ended a 52-match run of conceding in every game. There are now five clubs left in the league who are yet to keep a clean sheet, and only one of these, Neftekhimik, are in the play-off zone.

Attack is the best form of defense
Spartak Moscow’s Jaroslav Obsut became one of only nine defensemen to have scored in overtime. He has now twice won the match for his team and is just one winning goal away from joining Kevin Dallman and Alexander Guskov. Jaroslav also occupies third place in the KHL for attempts on goal by a defender, having so far fired 120 shots at his opponents’ net.

Masters of the shoot-out
Mytishchi hosted the meeting between the two sides whose games are most likely to reach the shoot-out stage. Both Atlant and Severstal are veterans of eight shoot-outs, and with Sunday’s game the Moscow Region side became the undisputed leaders, with seven victories to the Vologda Region side’s six. Sergei Mozyakin and Josef Straka have taken the most penalty shots, 15 each.

Making the extra man count
The game between Torpedo and Lokomotiv featured seven goals, but only one of these was scored at even strength. The Nizhny Novgorod men scored four goals in powerplay, and on this score they are now fifth in the KHL with 38 goals.

Figures of the day
71 shots on goal in the match between CSKA and Barys.

42 of these were from the CSKA players.

7 shots at goal by Dinamo Riga attacker Mikelis Redlihs.

88.9% of face-offs won by Barys attacker Jozef Stumpel.

26 minutes 46 seconds spent in play by Severstal defenseman Andrei Shefer.

74 minutes of penalty time in the game between SKA and Spartak.

Key players
Alexander Fomichev (Torpedo). Saved 31 shots in the game against Lokomotiv and helped his team to an important victory.

Zakhar Arzamastsev (Metallurg Novokuznetsk). Despite not earning any points for goals or assists, he still merited an efficiency rating of +2.

Jaroslav Obsut (Spartak). Added to his account the winning goal in overtime, two assists, and a rating of +2.

Jeff Platt (Dinamo Minsk). Scored two goals in 19 minutes, converting two of his four chances, and won 58.3% of 24 face-offs.

Evgeny Rymarev (Barys). Scored a goal and made an assist.

Konstantin Volkov (HC MVD). Scored one goal, made two assists, and finished the match with a +2.

Quotes
“We were hoping that New Year would bring in a new performance, but it hasn’t happened yet,” - Vityaz head coach Alexei Yarushkin.

“We’ll have a talk, and it won’t be a friendly chat,” - Sibir head coach Andrei Tarasenko.

“The reports which appeared claiming we damaged the Spengler Cup are not true - it was a glass replica. We were celebrating the victory and it slipped out of our hands,” - Dinamo Minsk head coach Alexander Andrievsky.

Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru

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