Highlights of the day
Sibir is the leader in the overall championship table, having won both opening games – the first time the Novosibirsk club has made such a successful start to a KHL campaign. They opened the first KHL championship with two straight defeats, and last season began with one win and one overtime loss. Their success this time round is all the more impressive in that both victories were achieved away from home, in Khabarovsk.
21-year-old Vasily Tokranov (pictured) scored his first ever goal at this level. Until now, the Ak Bars defenseman had played nine KHL games (one in the first championship and eight in the second) but had only featured in the statistics for picking up penalties.
First into battle
The first brawl of the season was also the first to be punished by the new penalties. Nikolai Stasenko of Amur and Sibir’s Alexander Hellstrom were each handed five-minute penalties for fighting. If they had gone into battle during the game, instead of after the final siren, they would have been allowed to continue after serving their time on the bench.
First foreign legionnaire
Neftekhimik had a foreign player between the pipes for the first time in the club’s KHL history, and Canadian Scott Munroe helped his new team to victory over the Opening Cup winners Dynamo Moscow by saving 28 shots. The last time a foreign goaltender played for Neftekhimik was back in season 2007-08, and it was none other than Michael Garnett – now playing in the colors of Dynamo.
Stefan Liv (Sibir). Saved 20 shots at his goal and helped his team keep their 100% record at the start of this championship.
Vyacheslav Buravchikov (Ak Bars). A double for the defenseman, with the man from Kazan striking both his goals in powerplay.
Nikolai Belov (Neftekhimik). Took full advantage of a powerplay by scoring the game-winner against Dynamo Moscow.
Konstantin Gorovikov (Dynamo Moscow). Made two assists and finished with an efficiency rating of +2.
Sergei Lesnukhin (Vityaz). Scored a goal on his KHL debut.
Vladimir Tarasenko (Sibir). Has now scored in two straight games.
Quotes of the day
“ We fought and fought, but you can’t win if you don’t score. The Sibir goaltender had a great game, something I can’t say about our own keeper,” Alexander Blinov, head coach of Amur.
“It’s not a disaster,” Dynamo Moscow head coach Oleg Znarok.
“We ask our players to play tough, but without picking up penalties,” Vityaz head coach Alexei Yarushkin.
“I’m very happy that we had some youngsters in the team today. It was a chance for us to let them get out there and play,” Ak Bars head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru