Nizhny Novgorod (17:00)
Result of the day
Barys – Metallurg Novokuznetsk 3-2. At first sight, an ordinary match, where one could have easily predicted the victory by the third-placed side in the Eastern Conference over the twelfth. Besides, the statistics were also against the Novokuznetsk men, who had taken only one point from their previous seven games. But at the press conference the head coach blamed his attackers for failing to perform, and rightly so - six goals in seven games is a catastrophe. Moreover, from this sequence we need to strike out the previous meeting with Barys, a 2-3 overtime defeat, when defenseman Dmitry Orlov scored a double.
Barys have considerably fewer problems, if indeed they have any at all. And although under the stewardship of Andrei Shayanov the team have stalled recently (six points from five matches), the groundwork done in October should allow them to feel comfortable.
And Barys indeed won the match, but note the statistics: shots on target numbered 82 (plus some awful misses) of which five found the net, and add to these the guests’ failure to convert a penalty shot... This game stayed on a knife-edge until the very last minute, as the Siberians, trailing 0-3, suddenly struck two goals in 18 seconds and turned the match into a real thriller.
In the day’s other matches, Dinamo Minsk lost at home to SKA, 2-4, Lokomotiv were defeated in overtime by Dinamo Riga, 2-3, Ak Bars took revenge for their recent defeat to Neftekhimik, winning 5-3, and Salavat Yulaev hammered Sibir, 6-1.
In the match between Ak Bars and Neftekhimik, Alexei Morozov and Dmitry Kazionov scored within only 24 seconds, the sixteenth fastest ‘double’ of the current championship. As for three goals against the same team - in this case, Neftekhimik (the third strike coming from Alexander Stepanov) – it is the sixth fastest, the Kazan men needing only 2 minutes and 50 seconds to score their three goals.
Metallurg’s achievement is even more impressive. Their two successful strikes against Barys came just 18 seconds apart - the 12th fastest double of the championship.
Buravchikov out of luck
Ak Bars defenseman Vyacheslav Buravchikov found himself sent to the penalty bench twice against Neftekhimik, and both times his opponents made his absence count. Buravchikov has climbed to fifth place in the table of the championship’s unluckiest players: five of his nine dismissals have resulted in goals for the opposition.
Sergei Zinovyev became the championship’s twelfth player to score three goals in a game, achieving this in only 26 minutes 28 seconds, and claiming eighth place in the table of fastest-scoring snipers. Salavat Yulaev have now matched Avangard regarding hat-tricks, although both of the Omsk side’s triple strikes have come from the same player, Jaromir Jagr, whereas for the Ufa team both Zinovyev and Patrick Thoresen have struck trebles.
Zaripov still chasing Sushinsky
The battle for the longest run of scoring in every game continues unabated. With a goal and an assist in his last outing, current leader Maxim Sushinsky stretched his sequence to 16. Breathing down his neck is Danis Zaripov of Ak Bars, who has scored points in 13 straight matches.
It is now eight times this season that Dinamo Minsk, having pulled the goalie for an outfield player, have conceded into an unguarded net, already equaling the worst total for last season, belonging to Torpedo.
Figures of the day
45 shots at the Barys goal from the Metallurg Novokuznetsk players.
9 of them made by defenseman Jiri Marusak.
26 minutes 38 seconds spent in play by Barys defenseman Kevin Dallman.
88.2% of 17 face-offs won by Novokuznetsk attacker Fedor Polishchuk.
Jeff Glass (Barys, pictured). Saved 43 shots and helped his team collect three points.
Ilya Nikulin (Ak Bars). Scored a goal, finished the match with a +3, and spent 24 minutes 44 seconds on the ice.
Alexei Vasilyev (Lokomotiv). Made two assists.
Girts Ankipans (Dinamo Riga). Made two assists.
Sergei Zinovyev (Salavat Yulaev). Scored a hat-trick and made one assist.
Maxim Sushinsky (SKA). Scored a goal and made an assist.
“This victory still leaves questions about us, the answers to which we will have to find in training.” – Ak Bars head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.
“Our main problem was that we lost 90 percent of the individual battles in the game against Dinamo Riga.” – Lokomotiv head coach Kari Heikkila.
Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru