Two shutouts
Karri Ramo now has four shutouts to his name this season, and on this score he has drawn level with Atlant’s Konstantin Barulin. It is also the Avangard goalie’s second perfect game against Amur in the current championship, although Ramo was made to work a little harder today, saving 25 shots, against the 22 he stopped in their first meeting.

Minsk goaltender Andrei Mezin also kept his opponents off the scoreboard today, and celebrates his second clean sheet of this campaign, and indeed in the KHL. As for Ramo, if we include all the stages of his career in Russia, then today’s was his eighth shutout.

Sibir set new club record
It is the first time this season that Metallurg Novokuznetsk lost after scoring the first two goals. The steelworkers had built a similar advantage in four previous games and had held on to win all four of them.

And throughout their time in the KHL, the Novokuznetsk men have jealously guarded such a head start: in the previous campaign they scored the opening two goals in nine games and won seven, while in the season before they held on in nine out of eleven.

As for the men from Novosibirsk, their fighting spirit in the KHL gets better and better. In the first championship they lost all 16 games in which they had gifted the opposition a two-goal start, and the following year they came back to win two games out of 14. This season Sibir allowed the first two goals on nine occasions, but Andrei Tarasenko’s team has fought back to claim victory three times already.

Leading trio
Dinamo Riga attacker Alexanders Nizivijs struck the game-deciding shot in the shoot-out for the third time already this season, and joins Maxim Sushinsky and Stanislav Chistov as the joint leaders in this category. There is still a fair way to go to the end of the regular championship, so maybe one of the three will break the KHL record, which is just one goal away. The record is shared by four players: Nils Ekman and Jakub Klepis clinched shootout victory four times in the first KHL championship, and this feat was matched the following year by Sergei Mozyakin and Oleg Gubin.

Figure of the day
39 players have now appeared for Traktor this season, including Dmitry Sayustov who made his club debut today. Never before has the Chelyabinsk club used so many players in a single championship. In the first season Traktor managed with just 32 players, and the following year got by on slightly fewer – 31 in all.

Key players
Mikael Tellqvist (Dinamo Riga). Saved 20 shots out of the 21 he faced from the championship leaders.

Anton Belov (Avangard). Spent over 21 minutes on the ice and set up three goals.

Alexander Guskov (Lokomotiv). Supplied the pass for a goal and was rated the most valuable player in his team, earning a +3.

Artem Voroshilo (Sibir). Scored his first goal of the season and added his first assist of the season, despite only being on the ice for a little under 9 minutes. Finished at a + 2.

Petr Sikora (Dinamo Minsk). Had 6 shots at goal, two of which found the target.

Alexander Radulov (Salavat Yulaev). Once again took three points, scoring one goal and creating two others, and now boasts 37 assists for the season.

Quotes of the day
“Even with a result like this, after the game I told the guys they made a lot of mistakes and we need to put things right in good time – you just cannot play like that,” Ak Bars head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.

“There wasn’t much between the teams in this game, because at even strength we couldn’t pressure our opponents, but in power play we looked fantastic, and that was the deciding factor,” Avangard head coach Raimo Summanen.

“We’ve just been watching before the press conference how Salavat’s first line gets results and Avangard’s first line gets results. Today, sadly, we didn’t have our first team players available,” Yugra assistant coach Nikolai Solovyev.

“Our opponents outplayed us in every department: in offense, in defense, and they closed down the neutral zone really well. Having shut off all our shooting positions, all Dinamo left us was the corners,” Barys head coach Andrei Khomutov.

Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru

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