Result of the day
HC MVD Moscow Region – Traktor Chelyabinsk 1-2. The Moscow Region team were division leaders for a long time, but they will not go into the New Year festivities in the best of moods. This defeat by Traktor means they surrender the division’s top spot to Lokomotiv and drop to third in the Western Conference. Certainly no disaster, but it will get the players fired up, and there is no need for restraint now it is game on.

Strange that things went wrong just as Michael Garnett had posted his second long unbeaten spell, overtaking those of every keeper bar Vitaly Yeremeyev. It is also the first time HC MVD have lost in regulation time having conceded just two goals.

The Chelyabinsk side face a totally different situation. Last month it seemed the team were cursed with bad luck, and they now unexpectedly find themselves in the top eight. But holding on to this position and making the play-offs will not be so easy, sandwiched between Sibir, who have already produced a superb spell, and Lada, financial troubles notwithstanding, and indeed Avtomobilist, who have adjusted very well to their first season in the KHL. After the short break the Chelyabinsk men will face a testing time.

Shipachev the third
Severstal’s Vadim Shipachev has become only the third player to claim four assists in one game, joining Alexei Yashin of SKA and Salavat Yulaev’s Sergei Zinovyev.

One Radulov passes…
Salavat Yulaev attacker Alexander Radulov supplied the passes for three goals in the game against Avangard. It is the fifth time this season the forward has earned three points in a match, but the first to be purely from assists. His record haul in one game is four points, achieved last season when he scored two goals and made two others against Dynamo Moscow.

…and another Radulov scores
Metallurg Magnitogorsk attacker Igor Radulov has taken part in three shoot-outs this season and successfully converted every penalty shot. No other player at the Urals club boasts such a record, and two of Igor’s strikes have been game-winners.

Lada’s hat-trick
Lada have equaled their best run in the KHL - three straight regulation time victories. They have managed such a spell twice this season and once last year. The Volga club’s longest run of collecting points from every game is 10 matches.

Neftekhimik just do not lose in overtime. Vladimir Krikunov’ side have won three times during the extra five minutes and a further three times let the game go advance to the shoot-out. Neftekhimik are one of six clubs who are yet to suffer “sudden death”. In contrast, Metallurg Novokuznetsk have already lost five times in overtime.

Costly dismissal
Traktor defenseman Oleg Piganovich (pictured) is not feeling lucky. Already nine of his dismissals have resulted in goals for his opponents, and on this score he has now overtaken Sibir’s Denis Kartsev. One in three of Oleg’s dismissals results in a goal, although going by percentages it is poor Andrei Kolesnikov of Vityaz who is unluckiest of them all. On five occasions he has left his team a man short, and on four of these his opponents have scored.

Figures of the day
79 shots on goal in the game between Dinamo Riga and CSKA.

44 shots on the Torpedo goal by Severstal.

9 shots at goal from Severstal attacker Josef Straka and CSKA forward Petr Schastlivy.

27 minutes 4 seconds spent in play by CSKA defenseman Konstantin Korneyev.

88.2% of 17 face-offs won by Ak Bars attacker Jarkko Immonen.

Key players
Ilya Proskuryakov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk). Saved 19 of the 20 shots he faced and was unbeaten in the shoot-out.

Alexander Budkin (Traktor). Scored the winning goal and finished the match with an efficiency rating of +1.

Andrei Kuteykin (Salavat Yulaev). Was the team’s most active player with five shots on goal, scored the winner, and earned a rating of +2.

Yury Petrov (Lada). Scored a goal and made an assist, earning points for the fifth straight game.

Vadim Shipachev (Severstal). Featured in every one of his team’s goals, making four assists.

Alexei Tereshchenko (Ak Bars). Scored two goals, including the winner, ending his spell of 18 matches without a goal.

“We conceded a goal in the third period, but it didn't spoil my impression of the game,” - acting head coach Lada Sergei Svetlov.

“Maybe we were a little in awe of the opposition, and we gave them too much freedom in our own half,” - Spartak head coach Milos Riha.

“It's so long since the players last saw their wives, girlfriends, children, and besides, the season wears you out. We’ll have a rest,” - Avangard head coach Igor Nikitin.

“You could say three of their goals were self-inflicted,” - Neftekhimik head coach Vladimir Krikunov.

Alexei Shevchenko,

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