Result of the day
CSKA - Salavat Yulaev 1-3. Before this game, Salavat Yulaev coach Igor Zakharkin admitted that for the Ufa coaching staff the encounter with the Army Men means a lot, “A small part of my heart is still with this club”. He then added that his team must try to win in every game. In this respect, it was mission accomplished for the men from Ufa - they took three points and are unlikely to regard the match in Moscow as one of their toughest.
As for CSKA, back for the next game will be Nikita Filatov, who will need to prove his accusers wrong, after his performance in the U-20 World Championships incurred the lion’s share of the blame. The charge is that he is an individualist, and plays how his heart desires. In reality, Filatov is indeed a team player, and CSKA are more organized than the national side.
This game told us a lot about Sergei Nemchinov’s team: they have balance, they are persistent, but they are not without their problems, especially at the back. Up against Salavat, or against any other contender for the gold medal, they are not strong enough, but then again it is only the young coach’s first season.
Second goaltender’s goal
The Amur - Dinamo Riga game produced a real rarity. With the score at 0-2 the hosts, having been awarded a delayed penalty, pulled the goalie for a sixth skater but then guided the puck into their own net. As the last Riga player to have touched the puck, Edgar Masalskis was credited with the goal. This is the second goal by a goalie in KHL history, the first belongs to Ilya Proskuryakov, but Masalskis’s strike is more valuable as it turned out to be the winner. The goal still does not make the Latvian keeper the highest point-scoring goaltender. The leader is Robert Esche, with three assists.
In the match between Metallurg Novokuznetsk and Dinamo Minsk the visitors scored three goals in 1 minute 21 seconds, the third fastest of the current championship. The fastest of them all was achieved by SKA, who struck three times in 28 seconds against Severstal.
Into the top three
Dynamo Moscow, having scored three powerplay goals against Sibir, have now climbed to third place in the table of goals scored while outnumbering the opposition. Dynamo have now made use of the numerical advantage 41 times, bettered only by SKA, with 46 goals, and Salavat Yulaev on 42. At the very bottom lie Metallurg Novokuznetsk with 23.
Lokomotiv’s bad patch
For the first time in their KHL history, Lokomotiv have lost three straight games in regulation time. Their longest ever sequence of games without a victory is five, but in that spell the Yaroslavl club still managed to collect three points.
Vityaz get it together
Vityaz, with their 5:1 hammering of Barys, have posted their biggest victory in their time in the KHL. It is worth noting that the last time Alexei Yarushkin’s team managed a regulation time win was 17 games ago, way back in mid-November.
Figures of the day
36 shots at the Dinamo Riga goal by Amur.
25 minutes 17 seconds spent in play by Severstal defenseman Andrei Shefer.
72.2% of 18 face-offs won by SKA attacker Konstantin Gorovikov.
45 minutes of penalty time handed out by officials in the match between Severstal and HC MVD.
Edgar Masalskis (Dinamo Riga). Scored a goal and saved 34 shots.
Sergei Zubov (SKA). Scored a goal and finished the match with an efficiency rating of +2.
Maxim Solovyev (HC MVD). The defenseman added one goal, one assist, and a rating of +1 to his account.
Roman Lyuduchin (Spartak). Scored a goal, bringing his club victory in regulation time.
Jiri Hudler (Dynamo Moscow). Supplied the decisive passes for three goals.
Viktor Bobrov (Vityaz). Scored the winning goal and earned an efficiency rating of +2.
“There is one positive as well: we kept battling to the end,” - Torpedo head coach Evgeny Popikhin.
“We only played our game for the first 18 minutes. After that, SKA were the only team playing,” - Lokomotiv head coach Kari Heikkila.
Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru