Three short-handed goals
All three of today’s games featured a short-handed goal, with Yugra’s Mikhail Yakubov, Neftekhimik’s Maxim Pestushko, and SKA’s Sergei Brylin (pictured) the scorers. It was the first short-handed goal of the season for each player, although Pestushko was among the leaders in the previous championship with three such goals to his name.
It should also surprise no-one that one of these goals came from Yugra, who on this count boast the second best figures in the League, having scored five goals while outnumbered. The KHL individual record belongs to Alexei Tereshchenko, who two years ago punished the opposition’s complacency with no less than six short-handed goals in one season.
No way past Biryukov
Mikhail Biryukov stretched his unbeaten spell in goal to 152 minutes and 54 seconds, the fourth longest of the current campaign, and within touching distance of Erik Ersberg in third place. To overtake the Salavat Yulaev man, the Yugra goalie needs only to keep his goal intact for less than half a period.
Biryukov has already set a new personal best this season: in previous KHL championships he had never gone more than 100 minutes without allowing a goal. Indeed, in his past two seasons, spent at HC MVD and Dynamo Moscow, Mikhail managed just the one shutout, but now he has two under his belt already.
Figure of the day
Brandon Sugden of Vityaz has now played six consecutive games without spending a single minute in the penalty box, doubling the Canadian forward’s most disciplined spell of last season. In all, Sugden has made 19 appearances in the KHL and amassed 216 minutes of penalties – approximately three times more than his total playing time. In the current championship he has spent more than four minutes on the ice just three times, has only once gone past the five-minute mark, and has never played more than eight minutes.
Mikhail Biryukov (Yugra). Saved 33 shots out of 33.
Evgeny Ryasensky (Neftekhimik). Spent over 21 minutes on the ice and finished at a +2.
Rinat Ibragimov (Yugra). Also earned a +2 and played for more than 21 minutes.
Mikhail Yakubov (Yugra). Scored two goals.
Sergei Brylin (SKA). Scored for the third consecutive game, spent a little over 17 minutes on the ice, and won almost 70% of his face-offs.
Ivan Khlyntsev (Yugra). Made two assists and merited a +2.
Quotes of the day
“To be honest, I didn’t think we’d have enough strength, because all this flying one day and playing the next day takes a lot out of you,” Yugra head coach Sergei Shepelev.
“I can’t believe that after a day and a half our team started playing like that! Well, I can’t! It was a totally different team. I really don’t like to believe that our level could get so low,” Severstal head coach Dmitry Kvartalnov.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru