Result of the day
Dinamo Minsk - Dynamo Moscow 4-2. It is difficult to overstate the significance of this result for the Belarusian side. Not once have the Minsk men won in regulation time in the last eight games, gathering a mere 6 points. It begs the question: did they replace the coach too early? This win over such strong opponents will give an emotional boost to Alexander Andrievsky’s team.
Even this victory, however, will not quite solve all their problems. All four of Minsk’s goals were scored by defensemen, and such a situation will hardly please a coach who has, in any case, already set about making changes. In Belarus they are again reaping the fruits of a not too successful selection this summer: letting some players leave and sending others to the nursery club. Already 34 players have appeared for Dinamo this season - too many for just two and a half months. But perhaps, now, after this success against their Moscow namesakes, things will be different - if not new players to fill the gaps, then better interaction between the ones they have at hand.
In the day’s other matches, HC MVD lost in overtime to Atlant, 2-3, Lada lost in overtime to Neftekhimik, 3-4, Barys proved stronger than Amur, winning 4-3, Sibir Novosibirsk overcame Metallurg Novokuznetsk, 3-0, and, finally, SKA defeated Riga Dinamo in overtime, 3-2.
Another debut for Belov
For 36-year-old attacker Oleg Belov, Metallurg Novokuznetsk is the 13th club of his career. Having stepped out onto the professional arena in 1992, he played for CSKA, then left for the US to play for Cleveland and Long Beach before moving to Europe in 1996, turning out for clubs in Sweden and Italy. In 2001 Oleg played in the Swiss championship, and then returned to Russia, having one season at Magnitogorsk, five years at Novosibirsk, then a year at Khabarovsk, and now Novokuznetsk.
First clean sheet
Novosibirsk Sibir goaltender Yury Klyuchnikov has kept his first clean sheet in the KHL. In the past, in 115 matches in the lower league he has only kept his goal untouched on four occasions.
Barys attacker David Nemirovsky has claimed his third winning goal of the season, more than anyone else at the Kazakhstan club. He has in total 11 goals in his account, but his strikes against Sibir, Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Amur proved decisive.
If Lada are winning by two goals it doesn’t necessarily mean victory will follow. In the current tournament, the Togliatti team have had such an advantage over the opposition in 11 games, but have won only six of them - the worst record in the KHL. Moreover, on this occasion they were facing Neftekhimik, who have recovered to win from a two goal deficit more times than any other side, having already achieved four such fightbacks.
Untouchable in overtime
Neftekhimik are still yet to lose a single game in overtime. On two occasions out of five they have won, and on the other three neither side emerged victorious. On this score their Togliatti opponents, Lada, have practically the opposite statistic. Eight times their games have gone into overtime, and they have not won any of them, although Petr Vorobyev’s side have only lost two of these.
The current season’s leading scorer, Dinamo Riga’s Marcel Hossa, notched a double strike against SKA and moved his total up to 22 goals. After just 28 games, he has already matched his total for last year, when he needed 51 matches to score 22 times.
Power for an hour
Moscow region side HC MVD have still not managed a win when the match goes past the hour mark. Three times they have found themselves in overtime and three times in a shoot-out. Last season they experienced the opposite. Only once throughout the entire championship did they lose a match which lasted longer than 60 minutes, although last season they did not reach the play-offs.
The best-behaved match so far in the KHL is the meeting between HC MVD and Atlant, with only one player receiving a penalty. Interestingly, neither club has a reputation for clean play, with HC MVD having an average over 15 minutes penalty time per match, and Atlant averaging over 19 minutes.
Figures of the day
41 shots at the Lada goal from Neftekhimik.
7 shots at the Riga Dinamo goal from SKA attacker Maxim Sushinsky (pictured).
25 minutes 23 seconds on the ice for Atlant defenseman Andrei Zubarev.
76.5% of 17 face-offs won by SKA attacker Petr Cajanek.
Yury Klyuchnikov (Sibir). Made 17 saves, and achieved the first clean sheet of his top-level career.
Vladimir Malevich (Neftekhimik). Took part in two scoring attacks, one of which produced the winning goal, and finished the match with a +1.
Vladimir Denisov (Dinamo Minsk). Scored one goal, made one assist, and earned a rating of +1.
Talgat Zhaylauov (Barys). Added to his account one goal, one assist, and a rating of +2.
Maxim Sushinsky (SKA). Struck two goals, made two assists, and has now scored points in 15 successive matches.
Oleg Kvasha (Atlant). Scored the winning goal for his club for the third time this season.
“You have to start playing at the very beginning, not when you are already 1:3 down.” - Neftekhimik head coach Vladimir Krikunov.
“In the end our youth let us down, they wanted to score, but it happened to be into our own net.” -Amur head coach Alexander Blinov.
“Mistakes like these only appear against a background or tiredness.” - Sibir head coach Andrei Tarasenko.
“Why did it not come off for our forwards today? Bad luck.” - Metallurg Novokuznetsk head coach Dmitri Parkhomenko.
Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru