Result of the day
Sibir - Salavat Yulaev 2-4. Interest in this game was heightened after the Ufa men lost their previous three games, and news began to surface about the content of conversations the club’s owners had with the head coach - reportedly: what is going on? What could be causing problems with such a squad? It was the opposite situation with the Novosibirsk men. After their last game, when they broke their run of eight defeats in a row, the coach noted that the players’ mood had lifted and they were ready to keep on winning.

It did not turn out that way, but no one can say Salavat Yulaev had their ideal game. There is still the question of whether Vyacheslav Bykov is easily dealing with the problems that appear. Clearly, the coach had demanded more self-discipline from his players and indeed they responded with noticeably fewer mistakes, and perhaps when the score reached 3-2 there was only going to be one winner. But we should mention that luck also played a large part. The first goal flew into Sibir’s net via a ricochet, and the second was the result of a childish blunder.

In the end a sensation, in the form of a fourth defeat for Salavat Yulaev, was not to be, and now the Novosibirsk side must keep their heads up and try to put together a successful run. It is a bit early to expect them to match the level of hockey’s greats.

Not following the script
Amur have scored their third short-handed goal of the season. Interesting that Igor Ignatushkin scored in the opponent’s goal in the middle of the game, as in the first two occasions the Khabarovsk men’s opponents had pulled the goaltender, and Ruslan Khasanshin and Alexei Kopeykin took full advantage for the Far-Easterners.

First victory
Vityaz went into the game against HC MVD haunted by the most depressing statistic - 14 defeats in fourteen encounters. Finally the curse has been lifted. At the 15th attempt, The Chekhov team defeated the Militia Men, albeit in overtime. The win was all the more precious in that it was on their enemy’s own ice.

Personal best
Barys attacker Maxim Spiridonov equaled the record for the season by firing 11 shots on goal in the game against Amur. He joins Denis Stasyuk of Metallurg Novokuznetsk, who threatened the goal 11 times in September’s game against Torpedo. For Spiridonov it is his best result not only for this season, but in all his time in the KHL. Last year, Maxim struck 8 shots on target against Dynamo Moscow.

Mirnov’s ‘hat-trick’
Following on from Alexei Simakov, Igor Yemeleyev and Alexei Zavarukhin, attacker Igor Mirnov is the fourth player in the KHL to change clubs three times in the same season, after scoring a minimum of one goal at each club. Simakov and Yemeleyev went on their travels in the previous championship, and Zavarukhin and Mirnov in the current one. This year, Igor has struck goals for both Atlant and HC MVD, and now needs to find the net for Sibir.

Yet another collapse
For the 21st time, Lada opened the scoring, and for the 11th time they went on to lose. On this score they have one of the worst records of the season, with only Vityaz losing a higher percentage of games after scoring the first goal. Interestingly Severstal, today’s conquerors of Lada, are not known for fighting back from an early setback. This is only the sixth time in 26 that Dmitry Kvartalnov's team have managed to change the course of the game.

Kulyash scores everywhere
Avangard defenseman Denis Kulyash scored a goal in only his second appearance for his new club. Denis has scored in every championship in which he has taken part; he even managed to get on the scoresheet in his first ever tournament, while at CSKA in season 2003-04, even though he played only 10 games. Kulyash’s personal best is the 16 he struck in the first KHL championship for Moscow’s Army Men, and to break his own record he now needs only four more goals.

Lokomotiv’s biggest defeat
In the current championship the Yaroslavl men have twice lost by a three-goal margin to Nizhny Novgorod’s Torpedo, but in the game against CSKA the Railwaymen set three very negative records. It was their heaviest defeat in the KHL championship, their worst home defeat, and the first time this season they conceded more than five goals. The last time Lokomotiv were beaten so soundly was back in 2007, at the hands of Khimik.

Deadly finishers Ak Bars
Ak Bars scored in 50% of powerplays in the game against Atlant, and are now the third best in the League at punishing opponents’ dismissals. The Kazan club’s scoring percentage is 18.8%, bettered only by SKA and Torpedo. Zinetula Bilyaletdinov’s team also climbed to third place for scoring percentage while playing “5 on 4”, with 16.89%, just behind SKA and Avangard.

Zubov takes top spot
The brilliant play from Petersburg defenseman Sergei Zubov (pictured) in the game against Neftekhimik has propelled him to the top of the table of highest scoring defenders. With one goal and two assists, Sergei overtakes Kevin Dallman. Zubov’s account now shows 35 points, 8 goals and 27 assists, two points ahead of the Barys defenseman.

Dynamo’s first collapse
For the first time this season Dynamo Moscow have lost a game after scoring the first two goals. In the previous 10 occasions they enjoyed such a start they invariably went on to win. But it is the second time that Avtomobilist have fought back to win from two goals down.

Hat-trick hero Musatov
Spartak’s Igor Musatov is the fourteenth player this season to score a hat-trick, although of these only Jagomir Jagr and Patrick Thoresen have two trebles to their name. Musatov’s triple strike took 45 minutes and 3 seconds, the ‘slowest’ of the championship so far, but it was the first hat-trick by a Spartak player this season.

A single penalty
It is the second time this season that Metallurg Magnitogorsk have only once broken the rules in the course of a game. Curiously, in both games the Urals men have lost points. In the first, they only managed to defeat Avangard in the shoot-out, and today they were beaten by Dinamo Riga. The best behaved team of all in the League is still Ak Bars, who have collected on 537 minutes of penalty time from 45 games.

Not a home-loving team
Dinamo Minsk have suffered their 14th regulation time defeat on their own ice, and with this they have ‘caught up’ with the bottom club in the League - Vityaz. Moreover, the Minsk men lost to one of the League’s most unwelcome guests, Traktor, who on their travels have enjoyed 10 regulation time victories over the hosts, the sixth highest total in the League.

Figures of the day
45 shots at the Dinamo Riga goal from the Metallurg Magnitogorsk players.

11 shots on goal from Barys attacker Maxim Spiridonov

26 minutes 58 seconds spent in play by Traktor defenseman Alexander Sazonov.

83.3% of face-offs won by Ak Bars attacker Jarkko Immonen.

Key players
Nolan Schaefer (CSKA). Enjoyed a spectacular game in Yaroslavl, saving 37 shots.

Andrei Shefer (Severstal). Made two assists, and finished the game with an efficiency rating of +3.

Sergei Stupin (Avtomobilist). Given a little over seven minutes of play, he made superb use of it, earning himself a rating of +2.

Dmitry Kazionov (Ak Bars). Scored two goals and made an assist.

Petr Cajanek (SKA). Added one goal, two assists, and a rating of +3 to his account.

Joshua Gratton (Vityaz). Has still not once been sent off until the end of a game, and in the game against HC MVD he scored one goal and created another.

“For the first time this season, I’ll say that we faded towards the end,” - Metallurg Novokuznetsk head coach Dmitry Parkhomenko.

“Probably, luck was with us,” -Vityaz head coach Alexei Yarushkin.

“Not one of our central forwards performed to his level,” - Lokomotiv head coach Kari Heikkila.

“I think the fans should pay more to see such a game,” - SKA head coach Barry Smith.

Alexei Shevchenko,

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