Result of the day
Lada Togliatti - Metallurg Novokuznetsk 3-0. Hockey news from Togliatti reads like a war story: Will the club survive? Will the team stay in the city? Yet every time things seem really grim, they surprise us all. This time they fired in just 11 shots on goal and routed Metallurg Novokuznetsk 3-0, and once, back when the players had a long spell without being paid, they crushed Metallurg Magnitogorsk 5-1.

The players recognize that all this takes its toll on their preparations, but stepping out onto the arena they leave their problems behind. Out on the ice, you have to give it your all or else not play at all if you want to take revenge on your employers. During the match it is not the club owners who depend on you, but your teammates, who are in the same boat as you. Such a philosophy can bring results.

With Metallurg things just go from bad to worse, failing to score for the ninth time this season, already equaling the record for the KHL. So obvious are their problems that Dmitri Parkhomenko does not even criticize the forwards anymore. The Siberians’ coach recognizes they lack a leader, and something needs to be done before the transfer window closes on January 15th. Then again, there is probably no rush as they are hardly likely to make the play-offs.

Kuznetsov the eighth
Barys Astana goaltender Alexei Kuznetsov has become the eighth keeper this season to get involved in a brawl and be barred from the rest of the game - Kuznetsov’s first penalty minutes of the season. He is a long way behind the leader of the bad boy keepers: Georgy Gelashvili has collected 78 minutes.

Dirtiest game of the season
Astana hosted the season’s most foul-ridden match. Between them, Barys and SKA amassed 169 minutes of penalty time (122 - 47), beating the previous record of 163 minutes set by Atlant and Vityaz. The KHL’s dirtiest match ever was last season’s encounter between Vityaz and Dinamo Minsk, who managed to earn 242 minutes of penalties.

Unbeaten Semenov
Lada goaltender Alexei Semenov, in his debut season at the top level, kept his goal intact for 60 minutes for the first time. Up to now the keeper has not had the best record, having conceded an average of 3.22 goals per game. Semenov’s career in the lower league included spells in Samara, Serov, Yekaterinburg, Khanty-Mansiysk and Dmitrov. In four seasons he has played 70 matches and kept four clean sheets.

Garnett surpasses himself
HC MVD goaltender Michael Garnett, with his clean sheet in the game against Avtomobilist, has now played 166 minutes 55 seconds without conceding, beating his own achievement last season, when his unbeaten spell in goal stretched to 121 minutes 25 seconds. To take second place among KHL keepers this season, Michael needs to add just 9 more minutes. The record for the season belongs to Dynamo Moscow’s Vitaly Yeremeyev - 221 minutes 29 seconds.

Magnitogorsk firing blanks
For the first time in KHL history, Metallurg Magnitogorsk have failed to score in two games running, with consecutive defeats to HC MVD, 0-2, and to Lokomotiv, 0-3. the last time the men from the Urals went two games without a goal was way back in January 2005, but then they at least managed to grab a point, losing 0-4 to Moscow Dynamo before playing out a 0-:0 with Lada.

First battle for the new boy
Vityaz attacker Brandon Sugden began his career with the Chekhov club just as everyone expected, by starting the third period with a brawl. He tangled with Vadim Shakhraychuk, and from the resulting fight received a 25-minute penalty. Until that point Brandon had spent 5 minutes 57 seconds in play, managed no shots on goal, then saw his opponents capitalize on his dismissal, and earned an efficiency rating of -1.

Deadly Kazan
Ak Bars, having scored twice against Sibir in powerplay, are now the second best in the league for making the extra player count, with 19.8%, just behind leaders SKA who boast 21.7%. In contrast, Sibir this season have now twice conceded while enjoying a one man advantage.

First victory in overtime
In the capital’s clash between CSKA and Dynamo, both clubs went completely against their previous performances in overtime. Until today, Sergei Nemchinov’s side had not once lost in overtime, and Andrei Khomutov’s team had never scored the golden goal.

Figures of the day
61 shots on goal in the match between Salavat Yulaev and Atlant.

46 shots at the Barys goal by SKA.

6 shots on goal each from SKA attacker Maxim Sushinsky, Spartak forward Stefan Ruzicka, and his team mate Ivan Baranka.

25 minutes 7 seconds spent in play by Spartak defenseman Jaroslav Obsut.

77.8% of 27 face-offs won by Atlant attacker Jiri Novotny.

Key players
Alexei Semenov (Lada). Saved 29 shots and kept his first clean sheet of the season.

Vitaly Anikeyenko (Lokomotiv). Scored a goal, made an assist and finished the game with a +1.

Filipp Metlyuk (Avangard). Spent over 15 minutes on the ice, earning a +2.

Konstantin Gorovikov (SKA). Scored a short-handed goal, made one assist, and won 11 of 12 face-offs.

Vladimir Antipov (Salavat Yulaev). Spent over 11 minutes, but fired in four shots at goal, two of which found the target.

Roman Lyuduchin (Spartak). Scored two goals from three strikes at goal.

“It was a contest until they made that mistake in the third period,” - Avangard head coach Igor Nikitin.

“It was a very good and varied game today. It seemed I was back in Canada,” - SKA head coach Barry Smith.

“Any 30-year-old player plays better than any 19-year-old,” - Traktor head coach Andrei Nazarov.

Alexei Shevchenko,

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