The triumvirate of bad boys
Three players currently share the distinction of having spent most time in the penalty box. Avtomobilist’s Angel Krstev and Lokomotiv’s Alexander Guskov have now been unexpectedly joined by Yugra’s Alexei Pepelyaev. All three have been sent to the bench 24 times, while just behind them with 23 are Alexei Yemelin of Ak Bars and Oleg Piganovich of Spartak. Curiously, only one Vityaz player, Josh Gratton, features in the top 20 persistent offenders. The KHL record belongs to Branislav Mezei, who in the first KHL championship made 56 trips to the penalty box.

Petrov’s hat-trick
Atlant attacker Oleg Petrov hit three goals today and claimed the third fastest hat-trick of the season, taking just 22 minutes and 46 seconds. Viktor Bobrov of Vityaz boasts the fastest treble, scoring his in 13 minutes 37 seconds. For Petrov, although he has scored a few doubles, this is his first hat-trick in the KHL. He had taken three points in a game only twice before, but today he added an assist to his three goals.

18th shutout
In three seasons in the KHL Vasily Koshechkin has kept his goal intact no less than 18 times in the regular championship, and if we include his perfect games in the play-offs then today in Nizhny Novgorod Koshechkin reached the 20 mark. No other goalie can boast as many shutouts in the KHL, even though Vasily has been far from brilliant in the current campaign, keeping only two clean sheets, saving just 91,6% of shots and allowing 2.72 goals per game – a figure which does not even place him in the top ten goaltenders this season.

Figure of the day
Josh Gratton of Vityaz now has 170 minutes of penalties, putting him ahead of his team-mates Darsy Verot and Chris Simon, by 9 minutes and 50 minutes respectively.

Key players
Vasily Koshechkin (Severstal). Saved 39 shots out of 39.

Denis Sokolov (Avtomobilist). Spent over 22 minutes on the ice and earned a rating of +2.

Tommy Wargh (Yugra). Supplied the decisive pass for a goal and finished at a +2, despite playing on the losing side.

Anatoly Nikontsev (Avtomobilist). Scored two goals, including the game-winner.

Valery Khlebnikov (Avtomobilist). Was only in play for a little over 10 minutes, but still managed to set up two goals and merit a +2.

Alexei Kaluzhny (Avangard). Spent more time on the ice than any other forward in the game - over 25 minutes, during which he won 15 out of 24 face-offs, scored a goal, and supplied the pass for the game-winner.

Quotes of the day
“Almost everything we tried came off this evening, so on the whole we had a very good game,” Atlant head coach Milos Riha.

“I wanted Yekaterinburg to see a good team, playing good hockey, but this only happened in the first period,” Dinamo Minsk head coach Marek Sykora.

“We knew that with the change of coach, and with Nazarov’s appointment, the team would get a playing system and Vityaz would perform a lot better than at the start of the season,” Avangard head coach Raimo Summanen.

Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru

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