Result of the day
Dinamo Riga - Traktor 2-3. It looks like the Chelyabinsk men are moving still further away from their early season problems. Instead of trying to rival Vityaz for the title of most aggressive team, they have shunned hectic battles of strength and have started to pick up points. There is the other question of why they have had to change their usual playing style, as tough play had not troubled them too much in the last two seasons. It seems there are two reasons: firstly, Traktor have not been the most active in the transfer market, and overall they lose more players than they acquire. Secondly, the League has improved to such a level that if you find yourself playing short-handed, you will now be punished with goals.
Andrei Nazarov, given hardly the most generous assortment of players, is doing everything to fulfill the club’s minimum demand for the season - reaching the play-offs. If halfway through the championship things were not quite working out, then now it is all looking much better.
Klyuchnikov’s first assist
Sibir goaltender Yury Klyuchnikov has claimed his first assist of the season, and indeed the first in his KHL career. Yury took part in the scoring move when his team were in powerplay and trailing 0-1. With the keeper’s direct involvement, Sibir leveled the score and went on to claim victory over Amur.
Four wins in a row
For the fourth time in the KHL, the Army Men from Petersburg have won four straight away games. They had two four-game winning runs in the first tournament and now two this season. Moreover, if we only include games in the regular championship, then SKA have a record of five consecutive victories on their travels. They strung together four away wins at the end of last term and added another at the start of the current season, but are yet to achieve five in a row in the same championship.
Severstal catch Atlant
Severstal have caught up with Atlant’s total of nine matches settled by the shoot-out. In terms of shoot-out victories, however, the Mytischi side are the sole leaders, with eight wins against six for the Cherepovets men.
Will to win
Atlant have fought back to win from two goals down for the first time this season. All 12 previous occasions when the Mytischi men trailed by two goals resulted in defeat. Incidentally, there are now only two clubs in the League who still cannot boast such exploits, Lada and Metallurg Novokuznetsk.
As for Neftekhimik, who allowed Atlant to bounce back, the Nizhnekamsk club have now twice generously surrendered a two-goal advantage.
Dynamo’s record run
Never before in the KHL have Dynamo Moscow posted such a successful sequence, taking points from all the last 14 matches. A modest nine games was last year’s record spell. The record for the League belongs to Salavat Yulaev, who this season went on a run of 16 matches in which they collect at least a point.
Problems in powerplay
Torpedo are now the undisputed second placed team in the table of clubs who concede goals in powerplay. Seven times they have lost a goal in spite of the extra player. Metallurg Novokuznetsk take first place, having conceded 10 such goals. Interestingly, the Nizhny Novgorod men were punished by an opponent not known for scoring short-handed goals. Lokomotiv have to date only managed three goals while outnumbered, and significantly all three featured a contribution from Zbynek Irgl, who scored two and made the third.
For only the second time ever in the championship, Vityaz have conceded into an empty net. The KHL leaders on this score are Dinamo Minsk, who have suffered nine such goals. Spartak, the team who punished the Chekhov men, have now scored four into an unguarded goal, but Dinamo Riga lead the way with seven.
Figures of the day
44 shots at Vasily Koshechkin’s goal from the Dynamo Moscow players.
81.3% of 16 face-offs won by Ak Bars attacker Jarkko Immonen.
26 minutes 9 seconds spent in play by Ak Bars defenseman Ilya Nikulin.
Georgy Gelashvili (Lokomotiv). Saved 24 shots in the game against Torpedo.
Nikita Shchitov (Spartak). Made one assist, finished the match with an efficiency rating of +1.
Nikita Korovkin (Traktor). Despite collecting no points, still finished the match with a rating of +2.
Yegor Milovzorov (Sibir). Scored a goal and made two assists, helping his team to end their eight-game losing streak.
Alexander Suglobov (CSKA). Converted the winning shot in the shoot-out in the game against HC MVD.
Jeff Platt (Dinamo Minsk). Scored a double against Avtomobilist.
“Both sides had a lot of players sent off, and we were poor in powerplay, in both ‘five on four’ and ‘five on three’,” - Sibir head coach Andrei Tarasenko.
“I think we deserved at least a point from the game,” - Amur head coach Alexander Blinov.
“I was struck by Lada’s unselfish play,” - SKA head coach Barry Smith.
Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru