Result of the day
Sibir Novosibirsk – Spartak Moscow 4-6. This turned out to be a very attractive game: ten goals, a fight, which sadly could have developed into a mass brawl but for swift and decisive intervention from the officials, and a string of surprises from the visitors, for whom Dmitry Upper came to the fore by scoring a double.
The hosts staked everything on open hockey, but lost to a team that really loves opponents who charge forward. Andrei Tarasenko may use this as a lesson to his players on caution, but could he really have held them back? With six wins from last nine games they have the taste of success, and after the home defeat at the hands of HC MVD they wanted to make it up to the fans who, it must be said, are still not rushing to fill the stadium. But a game like this, despite ending in defeat, is another reason to book early for the next encounter featuring Sibir.
In the day’s other two matches, Amur were beaten at home by HC MVD, 0-1, and Metallurg Novokuznetsk also lost at home to Lokomotiv, 0-2.
Third fight for Reitz
Sibir defenseman Erik Reitz fought his third battle of the season, and this time emerged a clear winner, although his opponent, Spartak attacker Martin Cibak, is completely new to fist-fights and it is no surprise he lost to a more experienced opponent. It is worth noting that Reitz has at last broken the record for penalty minutes in a single game this season, earning 59 minutes - one more than HC MVD defenseman Filip Novak’s punishment in the match against Vityaz.
Amur and HC MVD have been facing each other since the 2006-07 season, but today was the first time the Khabarovsk club failed to score, although they have kept four clean sheets themselves in these matches. In the first KHL championship, Amur were not beaten once by the Militia Men, but this season they have lost both meetings.
Tjarnqvist on fire
It is a big occasion when Lokomotiv defender Daniel Tjarnqvist earns points in a game. He played 22 games before making his first assist and now, in his 31st appearance, he has at last scored a goal. There is still one defenseman at Lokomotiv who has played over 20 matches and is yet to score - Evgeny Nurislamov.
Metallurg Novokuznetsk have failed to win any of their last 12 games and have taken just two points from this grim spell, the worst run of results this season from any club in the KHL. Dmitri Parkhomenko’s team, who after eight matches occupied eighth position, have slid out of the play-off zone and now find themselves second from bottom of the table.
Figures of the day
67 shots in the game between Metallurg Novokuznetsk and Lokomotiv.
37 of these were struck by Lokomotiv players.
6 shots on goal from Spartak forwards Branko Radivojevic (pictured, right) and Dmitry Upper (pictured, left).
24 minutes 34 seconds spent in play by Amur defenseman Vitaly Shulakov.
66.7% of 24 face-offs won by Dmitry Upper.
Michael Garnett (HC MVD). Saved 24 shots and kept his second clean sheet of the season.
Daniel Tjarnqvist (Lokomotiv). His first goal for Lokomotiv turned out to be the game-winner.
Filip Novak (HC MVD). Set up his team’s winning goal, spent more than 22 minutes on the ice, and finished with an efficiency rating of +1.
Igor Korolev (Lokomotiv). Was the most active attacker in his team, and claimed one assist.
Dmitry Upper (Spartak). Added three points to his account, with two goals and an assist.
Martin Cibak (Spartak). Scored two goals before joining Erik Reitz in battle.
“We flew in late evening, lived by Moscow time, and the guys did their duty to the end, and kept to the game plan,” - HC MVD head coach Oleg Znarok.
“We played very badly in defense, made a lot of mistakes,” - Spartak Moscow head coach Milos Riha (pictured, center).
“We’re now writing the story of the season, but we still haven’t written anything good,” - Metallurg Novokuznetsk head coach Dmitry Parkhomenko.
Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru