Match of the day
Metallurg Magnitogorsk 2
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 1 OT.
Last year, and the year before that, these teams squared off in the playoffs – and Lokomotiv came out on top. This season, a lot is being said about how the strength of Valery Belousov's team is in its attack, led by Sergei Fedorov, but that the Magnitogorsk defense isn't the strongest. You get the impression, though, that Metallurg is carefully listening to and reading everything said about them, then going out and disproving it. For example, people started saying that Sergei Fedorov's impact hasn't been very noticeable – and then he scored three goals in four games. Some thought Ilya Proskuryakov might be too young, and then he delivered back-to-back shutouts. And so this game was the answer to those who thought the defense wasn't that tough: they allowed one goal in 60 minutes against a serious opponent that is clearly on the upswing.
So be careful when you start criticizing Magnitogorsk for something. They'll immediately go and prove you wrong. For now, this is a team with no weak points.
Janne Pesonen (pictured) from Ak Bars scored three goals, becoming the tenth player to manage the feat this season. In terms of firing speed, Janne ranks sixth – he scored his goals in 24:56.
Missing the extras
Lada has been in four games this season that have gone down to shootouts, and has lost every one of them. In that regard, Togliatti is worst in the league, although there are another four teams that just can't manage to win when it comes down to penalty shots. Interestingly, Yury Petrov is the only one on Petr Vorobyev's team who makes good on his shots. Another five players who were sent out one-on-one against the goalie came up empty.
After earning another six power plays, Neftekhimik now shares first place with HC MVD for most attempts to capitalize on being a man up. Vladimir Krikunov's players have already been on power plays 134 times. But capitalizing on the chances isn't Nizhnekamsk's strong suit. They rank just 13th in the League for power-play goals.
Avtomobilist attacker Igor Magogin became the latest player to tally three assists in one game. It was Magogin's first appearance in Russian hockey's top division, following several years in Tyumen and Nizhny Tagil.
Another one down
Andrei Pyatanov is no longer Severstal's head coach. Cherepovets, with 20 points, is in 11th place in the West – one from bottom. Severstal had 33 points after 20 games last season.
A big victory
HC MVD defeated Traktor Chelyabinsk 7-0 to earn its biggest margin of victory in an away game in the team's short history. Their previous record was from the 2006-07 season, when they tore apart Vityaz in Chekhov by a score of 9-3.
Metallurg had 43 shots on goal against Lokomotiv.
Ak Bars defender Andrei Pervyshin spent 25:04 on the ice.
Metallurg attacker Alexei Kaygorodov won 73.7 percent of his 21 faceoffs.
Players worth watching
Michael Garnett (HC MVD). Blocked 26 shots on goal for a shutout. He also successfully defended a shootout.
Vladimir Loginov (Sibir). Spent more than 20 minutes on the ice and finished at a +1.
Alexander Berkutov (Spartak). Scored the winning goal in overtime, on a power play from a penalty committed against him. He finished the game at a +1.
Tomas Rolinek (Metallurg Magnitogorsk). In 17:46, he had two shots on goal – including one score. His overtime goal earned the team two points.
Igor Polygalov (Neftekhimik). Had a double against Metallurg Novokuznetsk.
Quotes of the day
«I was.» HC MVD head coach Oleg Znarok, after being asked who was best on his team that night.
«I think it's fair, though, that Spartak won, since they played just a bit better.» Avtomobilist head coach Marek Sikora.
«The game was pretty flat, which had something to do with our place in the league standings,» Sibir acting head coach Andrei Tarasenko.
Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru