Highlights of the day

Fifth coach to be fired
Vityaz became the fifth KHL club already this season to change their coach, replacing Alexei Yarushkin with Andrei Nazarov, who took his first training session on Thursday. Yarushkin was in charge for 40 games, of which only 11 were victories, although these included a club record of three straight regulation time wins in the KHL. His record victory was 5-1 against Barys, and his worst defeat was the 0-8 at the hands of Torpedo. In the current championship the Chekhov men have collected just 7 points and are adrift at the bottom of the table. Yarushkin remains on the club staff and will assist Andrei Nazarov.

Four doubles
Four more players have now scored two goals in a game. For Amur defenseman Alexander Osipov, it is the first double of his KHL career. In the previous KHL campaign the 21-year-old defender celebrated just one goal in 17 games, but he already has 4 goals to his name this season.

Sergei Fedorov (pictured) of Metallurg Magnitogorsk also grabbed his first double, and the goals were the veteran’s first of the current championship.

Sibir attacker Yury Petrov’s double brings him within touching distance of a new personal best for scoring in the KHL. His account now shows 5 goals, getting ever closer to the 7 he struck in the first championship. Yury has struck two goals in a KHL game before, back on the 11th of February 2009, while wearing the colors of Lada Togliatti.

Viktor Kozlov of Salavat Yulaev also today scored his second double in the KHL.

End of a nightmare
Traktor today finally put an end to their miserable sequence of six straight regulation time defeats. Never before had the Chelyabinsk club suffered such a long losing streak in the regular championship, although they came close at the end of last season, when they lost the last five games before the play-offs. To be fair to Traktor’s fighting spirit we should note that in none of the six games did they suffer a heavy defeat, and they failed to score in only one game. They allowed 20 goals during the unhappy sequence, which included two defeats at the hands of Yugra and also heralded a change of coach for the Chelyabinsk side.

Figure of the day

10 minutes 55 seconds was all the Ak Bars players needed to score five times against Metallurg Novokuznetsk, the fastest five-goal burst by any team this season. The record for the KHL was set in the first championship, when Metallurg Magnitogorsk overwhelmed HC MVD with an avalanche of five goals in just 5 minutes and 24 seconds.

Key players

Alexei Murygin (Amur). Saved 37 shots, helping his team to a second successive victory.

Vasily Tokranov (Ak Bars). Contributed two assists and was the most valuable of all his team’s defenders, finishing at a +2.

Alexander Osipov (Amur). Struck his first ever double and also earned a +2.

Alexander Radulov (Salavat Yulaev). It was the fourteenth game in a row in which he scored points, but the first time this season that he struck the game-winner.

Dmitry Pestunov (Traktor). In his 16 minutes on the ice he scored a goal, made an assist and won 16 of 25 face-offs.

Stanislav Chistov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk). Scored two goals in regulation time and then sealed victory for his team in the shoot-out.

Quotes of the day

“We’re making problems for ourselves but then we’re solving them,” Ak Bars head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.

Masalskis was tired: He flew to Riga and back for his work visa, trained yesterday and today, but all the same we decided to play him,” Yugra head coach Sergei Shepelev.

“In the changing room the players were celebrating like kids, which tells me we’ll stick together and stay united as a team,” Traktor head coach Valeri Belousov.

“I don’t usually comment on referees, but in places there were things I hadn’t seen for a long time,” Avtomobilist head coach Evgeny Popikhin.

“It's a relief that Sergei Fedorov managed to score, and they were very important goals,” Magnitogorsk Metallurg head coach Kari Heikkila.

Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru

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