Result of the day
Spartak – Dinamo Minsk 5-6 SO. Just as Milos Riha feared, following the sparkling victory over Dynamo Moscow his team would have a dip in form, and after this match against the men from Minsk he was already left speechless by his players’ lack of discipline in defense.

But then, Minsk Dinamo can hardly boast the most reliable defense either, with 94 goals conceded in 31 games - quite a few for a club with claims to a play-off spot. However, it is difficult to expect much from a team playing five defenders, especially playing five defenders against Spartak’s lively and persistent forwards. For evidence, note the 36 shots fired at the Minsk goal.

In the day’s other matches, Severstal were defeated at home by SKA, 3-8, and Dynamo Moscow overcame HC MVD in the shoot-out, 3-2.

8 goals against Severstal
Only twice in the last 11 years did the Cherepovets club let their opponents score eight times in a match. The last time they suffered such a setback was on 15th February 2005, when they lost by the exact same score to Metallurg Magnitogorsk. In that game four years ago the Cherepovets men were actually leading at one stage, but then let their advantage slip.

8 goals for SKA
Since their beginnings in 1998, the Saint Petersburg Army Men had never before struck eight goals on their travels. In fact, the club from the banks of the Neva had never even fired more than six past the home side. They have sometimes displayed an ability to lose heavily, going down 0-13 on one occasion, so it is a little out of character for their forwards to exhibit such confidence away from home.

Yet another departure
Vityaz have officially announced that they are parting company with Mike Krushelnyski, and the team will be under the leadership of general manager Alexei Zhamnov from Sunday. The Chekhov club have taken only 30 points from 30 matches and are currently bottom of both the Western Conference and the entire KHL championship.

Two-point victory
Dynamo Moscow’s shoot-out win over HC MVD is the first time this season the Muscovites have emerged victorious after being level at the end of regulation time. Until now they had either lost in overtime (twice) or in the shoot-out (also twice). Last year the Blue-and-whites managed four wins in overtime and three in the shoot-out.

Figures of the day
36 shots from Spartak players at the Dinamo Minsk goal.

80.8% of 26 face-offs won by SKA attacker Konstantin Gorovikov.

25 minutes 54 seconds spent in play by Dinamo Minsk defenseman Andrei Antonov.

6 shots on target from Spartak’s Branko Radivojevic and Minsk Dinamo’s Jeff Platt.

Key players
Mikhail Biryukov (Dynamo Moscow). Saved 21 shots and was unbeaten in the shoot-out.

Raymond Giroux (SKA). Made one assist and finished the match with a +3.

Andrei Antonov (Dinamo Minsk). Spent more time on the ice than any other player and earned an efficiency rating of +3 - both of them personal bests for the current championship.

Maxim Rybin (SKA, pictured). Fired in three shots at goal, two of which found the net.

Yury Babenko (HC MVD). Scored two goals.

Branko Radivojevic (Spartak). Scored two goals, and was the most active player of his team's forward line.

“They scored the first against us with a ricochet, and the second when our goaltender slipped and fell.” - Oleg Znarok, HC MVD head coach.

“We needed points, and I’m happy that we won, even in the shoot-out.” - Alexander Andrievsky, Dinamo Minsk head coach.

Saprykin came up to me and asked to move to another club.” - Andrei Khomutov, Dynamo Moscow head coach.

“I said at the start of the week that we were starting to defend well, but now I take it all back.” - Milos Riha, Spartak head coach.

Alexei Shevchenko,

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