Metal men fall apart
Not once in the current championship had Metallurg Magnitogorsk lost a game after scoring the first two goals, but for their conquerors, Sibir, it is already the second time they have performed such heroics. Only champions Ak Bars have a better record, having bounced back from 0-2 to win on three out of eight occasions. The most likely team to collapse in such manner is still SKA; the army men have led 2-0 in four games but contrived to lose three of them. As for allowing the first two goals in a game, the men from Novokuznetsk have done it the most often, 15 times already, whereas the Omsk men have the best record, with only two such bad starts.
Down to the wire
Amur’s victory over Traktor in the shootout was a surprise to fans of both teams. Until today, the Khabarovsk outfit had not won a single shootout, whereas the Chelyabinsk team had an unbeaten record.
The men from Magnitogorsk also tasted defeat in the shootout for the first time this season, after an epic battle in Novosibirsk. They should feel no shame in losing a shootout to Sibir, however, as Andrei Tarasenko’s team has won three out of three in the current campaign.
So now only three teams in the KHL are yet to lose a shootout: Sibir, of course, plus Severstal and Neftekhimik, while only Dynamo Moscow still await a shootout victory. To be fair, we should note that the men from Moscow, Cherepovets, and Nizhnekamsk have only taken part in one series.
Outnumbered, but not outplayed
Metallurg Magnitogorsk struck two short-handed goals in today’s game, bringing the team’s total for the season up to three. Dinamo Riga currently lead the standings on this count, having scored three times as many.
Every team in the KHL has punished the opposition for complacency on a power play at least once this season, apart from one – Atlant.
Figure of the day
4 minutes and 10 seconds was all it took Salavat Yulaev to hit three goals against Novokuznetsk today, but this was only the 16th fastest three-goal blitz of the season. The record for the championship belongs to SKA, who shocked Ak Bars with three goals in just one minute 18 seconds.
Yann Danis (Amur). Saved 24 out of 25 shots, and was unbeaten in the shootout.
Miroslav Blatak (Salavat Yulaev). Spent over 22 minutes on the ice, scored the game-winner, and finished at a +1.
Georgijs Pujacs (Sibir). In 20½ minutes’ playing time he set up one goal and was one of the liveliest attackers in the team, hitting 8 shots.
Jonas Enlund (Sibir). Along with Pujacs he was the most active player in the game with 8 shots and, like Georgijs, did not score himself but supplied the decisive pass for a goal.
Sergei Fedorov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk). Spent over 17 minutes in play, scored a goal, made an assist, and won 11 out of 17 face-offs
Viktor Kozlov (Salavat Yulaev). Added a goal, an assist, and a rating of +2 to his account.
Quotes of the day
“This game was like a qualifier to get into the play-offs. All is not yet lost; we still have a chance,” Amur head coach Sergei Svetlov.
“We let ourselves down with penalties. We picked up five in a row, and two or three of them were completely unnecessary,” Metallurg Magnitogorsk head coach Kari Heikkila.
“Of course, three points from a game is a lot, as Dmitry Sergeyevich Yushkevich said, but to take two points against such a skilful, well-trained and well-prepared team is marvelous,” Sibir head coach Andrei Tarasenko.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru