Result of the day
Torpedo - Neftekhimik 5-3. The journey of the Nizhny Novgorod men through this championship is more reminiscent of bobsleigh than hockey. It is impossible to predict how the team will play from one period to the next, and it seems even the players themselves do not know what lies in wait for them around the corner. This season they have already experienced a six-game losing run, but have also taken points from five games in a row, and now they have just ended a spell of five straight defeats, albeit not all of them in regulation time.
The game against Neftekhimik was like the story of their season. First Torpedo raced to a five goal lead, then came close to throwing it all away. The players admit they are a little troubled by these ups and downs, but Vadim Shakhraychuk considers that such inconsistency is only to be expected, as indeed all has not been well at the club. No-one knows if the team has the stamina to earn a ticket to the play-offs, and neither Dinamo Riga, nor Severstal, nor CSKA are planning to give up without a fight.
As for Neftekhimik, once again they have suffered because of the goaltender. Vadim Tarasov posted a strange statistic - 4 goals conceded from only 6 shots. Vladimir Krikunov is in the hunt for a forward, but does not rule out acquiring a new goalie by the end of the month.
Five against three
Torpedo have seldom this season been handed a two-man advantage, a miserly 17 times in the tournament to date. The goal they scored playing “5-on-3” against Neftekhimik was just the sixth of the championship for the Nizhny Novgorod side.
It was the 19th time the men from Nizhnekamsk have found themselves playing “3-on-5” and the goal was the fifth they have conceded.
Torpedo’s Pavel Brendl (pictured) scored two goals in a game for the fifth time this season. His fastest double strike came against HC MVD, just 6 minutes 14 seconds between goals, and his slowest was against Lada - 27 minutes 44 seconds.
Three times unbeaten
Ak Bars goaltender Petri Vehanen now has three clean sheets for the season. This puts him in seventh place overall, but we should note that the Finn has made only 19 appearances for the Kazan club. Of all the goalies who boast at least one clean sheet, only Atlant’s Jan Lasak has played fewer games in the KHL, and he has just one perfect display to his name.
Toothless in attack
Lada have now failed to score in six games this season. The Togliatti men are third in the league on this score, behind only Avtomobilist and Metallurg Novokuznetsk. The club from the banks of the Volga also drew a blank in seven games last season.
Triumph in adversity
Vityaz forward Sergei Belokon’s third short-handed goal of the season makes him joint leader on this count, together with Sibir‘s Dmitry Tarasov. Sibir and Vityaz both have one more player featuring in the top ten: Tarasov’s clubmate Evgeny Muratov is on two goals, and Yaroslav Tulyakov at Chekhov has just the one.
Vityaz attacker Darsy Verot has now amassed 345 minutes of penalties, already surpassing the record total for the entire first KHL championship, when the most punished player was Chris Simon with 263 minutes. Verot, however, is still a long way from breaking his own personal ‘best’ set two years ago, when he collected a grand total of 508 minutes.
Figures of the day
40 shots at the Torpedo goal from the Neftekhimik players.
25 minutes and one second spent in play by CSKA defenseman Georgy Misharin.
75% of 16 face-offs won by Torpedo attacker Vadim Shakhraychuk.
Petri Vehanen (Ak Bars). Saved all 26 shots in the game against Lada.
Vitaly Novopashin (Torpedo). Added a goal, an assist, and an efficiency rating of +2 to his account.
Konstantin Korneyev (CSKA). Scored a double, added an assist, and earned a +2.
Nikita Filatov (CSKA). Made two assists, collecting two points for the second game in a row.
Jarkko Immonen (Ak Bars). Scored two goals, the second of which was the game-winner.
Pavel Brendl (Torpedo). Twice turned his team’s numerical advantage into goals, despite spending only 11 minutes out on the ice.
“We started the game at a very slow tempo and only managed to get going in the second period,” - CSKA head coach Sergei Nemchinov.
“To be honest, we gave a very limp performance today,” - Vityaz head coach Alexei Yarushkin.
Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru