Match of the day
Dinamo Riga 4
SKA St. Petersburg 1
Just as we were starting to think that we'd lost Dinamo Riga, the team from Latvia's capital served up a surprise, dominating the conference's leader. That said, anyone who's been paying attention to the Latvian team's game could see that they've occasionally played some very good hockey – the main problem has been inconsistency. Getting to the root of it isn't easy, though. Maybe they weren't physically prepared, or maybe they weren't able to adjust to changing circumstances mid-game. And you have to remember that Riga is facing the notorious «sophomore slump.» Everyone is going to Riga with guns blazing. And so, finally, Riga managed to play a consistent game and won. Now they've got seven points to make up to earn a playoff berth.
With his goal against Severstal, Barys attacker Maxim Spiridonov (pictured) became one of the League's three players to score points in nine straight games, along with Lokomotiv's Gennady Churilov and Salavat Yulayev's Alexander Radulov. Over that period, the forward has come up with five goals and seven assists. The 31-year-old attacker has 20 points to date, nearly half of his personal record of 43 points, set last season.
Keeping the run alive
Barys is continuing to improve its team record for the number of matches in a row where it scores at least one point. Now they've gone nine games without being shut out, scoring a combined 23 points. Last season, the Astana team had a five-game stretch in the regular season during which they managed to avoid defeat.
Fourth double in three seasons
Atlant attacker Oleg Kvasha has doubled up for the fourth time in three seasons. Two years ago, while playing for Vityaz, he managed to come up with two goals twice. Last season, playing for Traktor, he made Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) suffer a double. This year his victim was Avangard.
Dinamo Minsk had its first KHL win ever against the Moscow army team. Last season, CSKA won both their encounters, by 8-3 in Moscow and with a 4-3 overtime win in Minsk. The army team managed the cleanest game this season, with just four minutes of penalty time. Nonetheless, they let in one goal while down a man.
Not only was this the first time that Dinamo Riga dominated the St. Petersburg army team, they also had multiple goals. In their three previous meetings with SKA, Riga only managed a single goal. That was last year, but the goal was also enough to earn them a full point in the table.
Severstal had 40 shots on Barys' goal.
CSKA defender Konstantin Korneyev spent 30:49 on the ice.
Severstal defender Maxim Chudinov made six shots on goal.
Severstal attacker Marek Zagrapan won 14 of 18 faceoffs, or 77.8 percent.
Players from Dinamo Riga and SKA racked up a combined 88 minutes in penalties.
Players worth watching
Edgar Masalskis (Dinamo Riga). Stopped 35 shots during the game against SKA.
Trevor Letowski (Barys). Scored the winning goal, had one assist.
Mikelis Redlihs (Dinamo Riga). Had one goal and one assist.
Quotes of the day
«Jeff Glass again played very well in the goal.» Barys head coach Andrei Shayanov.
«We couldn't quite squeeze it out at the end, we couldn't score one more.» Severstal head coach Andrei Pyatanov.
«Our emotions were running away at times, which is why we had so many unnecessary penalties.»« Atlant interim coach Valery Bragin.
«I think we weren't playing with enough emotion – too much of it went into the game with SKA.» Avangard head coach Igor Nikitin.
«The attackers had plenty of chances to score, but today they didn't have the skills or the composure to do it.» CSKA head coach Sergei Nemchinov.
«We need points now, so the victory over CSKA was very timely.» Dinamo Minsk head coach Alexander Andriyevsky.
Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru