Hat-trick hero
Pavol Demitra (pictured, right) today became the nineteenth player to score a hat-trick this season. The Lokomotiv attacker struck his three goals in 30 minutes and 52 seconds, giving him the sixth fastest treble of the current championship. The fastest so far belongs to Pavol’s teammate and linemate, Alexander Korolyuk, who took only 9 minutes 19 seconds.

Demitra is 36, but is still a Lokomotiv rookie, and this means he now boasts a team record – no other player has notched as many points in a debut season at the Yaroslavl club. Pavol’s account shows 14 goals and 33 assists, and he still has plenty of time to add some more.

Metallurg rusty in overtime
Metallurg Novokuznetsk’s games in the KHL have gone to overtime on 34 occasions, but the Siberians still tend to struggle in the extra five minutes, with just 5 of those 34 resulting in victory. Moreover, three of these were back in the first championship, when they overcame Traktor, Sibir and Avangard. The Novokuznetsk men have just one overtime win each for the following two seasons, with Barys the victim both times.

Today it was Avangard who inflicted late misery on Metallurg, and for the third time. Torpedo and Sibir each have two overtime wins over Novokuznetsk.

Crushed by Traktor
Traktor’s 6-1 triumph over Torpedo equaled the club’s biggest victory of the season; they had earlier rolled over Avtomobilist by an identical scoreline.

Strange that throughout the two previous championships the Chelyabinsk men managed only one win by such a margin - a 5-0 against Khimik (we will not include the technical victory over Vityaz, who had failed to count their foreign players).

Today’s defeat in Chelyabinsk was the heaviest of the campaign for the Nizhny Novgorod men, but not their worst in the KHL. During the previous two seasons they suffered a 1-7 thrashing from Salavat Yulaev and were twice hammered 2-8 by Atlant.

Figure of the day
Exactly 120 minutes’ playing time has elapsed since Mikhail Biryukov last allowed a goal - a little over 75 minutes short of the record unbeaten spell in the current championship, set by the very same Biryukov.

The Yugra goaltender boasts two more impressive spells for this season: one of 103 minutes 55 seconds, and another lasting 121 minutes 37 seconds.

Key players
Jeff Glass (Barys). Saved 41 shots out of 42.

Karel Rachunek (Lokomotiv). Spent over 23 minutes on the ice, provided the pass for a goal and earned a rating of +2.

Deron Quint (Traktor). One goal, one assist, and a +2.

Vitaly Yachmenev (Traktor). In his first outing back from injury he scored the game-winner and added an assist.

Patrick Thoresen (Salavat Yulaev). Made amends in front of his fans for his -3 in his last game by scoring a double.

Pavol Demitra (Lokomotiv). Scored a hat-trick and made the assist for the team’s other goal.

Quotes of the day
“For many players returning after injury, they need skating time to get their form back. But Vitaly Yachmenev is an experienced player and he doesn’t need that time, he just went out and started playing just like he used to,’ Traktor head coach Valery Belousov.

“What I didn’t like was this: Sibir’s fans have always been fine, I always respected them and I still do, but today they were constantly shining a laser into our goalie’s eyes. So, when we allowed that goal, the guys asked the officials to do something about it,” Barys head coach Andrei Khomutov.

“What about the line changes during the game? We needed to save it somehow, so we decided to try something different. There are not too many games left until the play-offs, and we have to consider everything: including games when you are behind, where maybe sometimes you have to play two lines and one-and-a-half,” Sibir head coach Andrei Tarasenko.

Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru

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