Salavat’s shutouts
Salavat Yulaev’s Swedish goalie Erik Ersberg is celebrating his first shutout in only his fourth game for his new team. It is worth taking a look at how Erik’s heroics compare with fellow goaltenders at the Ufa outfit. In the first KHL championship, Vadim Tarasov was unbeaten in his sixth outing, but Alexander Yeremenko had to wait until his 14th. The two keepers earned three shutouts each that season. The following year, Vitaly Kolesnik’s first clean sheet came at the eighth attempt and he went on to enjoy five shutouts that season, with Yeremenko adding two more. Against this background, Ersberg can safely say he has been the quickest of all to settle into his new job. Today’s shutout was Salavat’s second of the season, with the first being earned by Kolesnik.

Fedorov’s lightning start
Forward Fedor Fedorov becomes the second player to appear for three teams this season. He began the current campaign at Magnitogorsk before crossing over to Neftekhimik, but after just 8 games with the Nizhnekamsk men he moved on to Mytishchi. And at Atlant he has made an explosive debut, scoring two goals and creating two more. Curiously, a month and a half back, in his first outing for Neftekhimik he was just as ruthless, hitting a double in regulation time and then scoring the game-deciding shot in the shootout. But those were to be his last goals for the Nizhnekamsk team.

Severstal off the mark
Severstal finally played their first shootout of the season today, and it was the Cherepovets men who grabbed the extra point. Curiously, last season Severstal featured in more shootouts than any other team, enduring 13 in all, and winning seven of them. They also celebrated seven shootout victories in the first KHL championship, out of nine attempts. Severstal’s most lethal finisher has been Josef Straka, who in two seasons has scored five game-deciding shots, while Oleg Gubin had four under his belt. Over the last three campaigns, Straka has been on shootout duty more than any other player: in today’s encounter with SKA he stepped onto the ice for the 30th time.

Figure of the day
21 games. That was how long Salavat Yulaev’s Andrei Taratukhin had to wait for his first goal of the campaign. In the first KHL championship he struck in his 9th appearance, and a season later he scored in his very first outing.

Key players
Vasily Koshechkin (Severstal). Saved 38 shots and was unbeaten in the shootout.

Maxim Kondratyev (Salavat Yulaev). Was rated the most valuable player on his team with a +3.

Marat Kalimulin (Lokomotiv). Supplied the pass for a goal and finished at a +3.

Igor Volkov (Salavat Yulaev). Scored a goal and was the highest-rated attacker on the team, meriting a +2.

Sergei Mozyakin (Atlant). Scored the game-winner and made two assists in a performance which earned him a +4.

Yury Trubachev (Severstal). Converted the decisive shot in the shootout, made one assist and four times threatened the opposition’s goal.

Quotes of the day
“If we’ve raised the bar so high that now we’re battling for the leadership of the Eastern Conference, then we should keep it there,” Sibir head coach Andrei Tarasenko.

“The fact that we used only one youngster today tells you that today we were facing an opponent that was ahead of us, and one that had to be beaten,” Salavat Yulaev head coach Vyacheslav Bykov.

Alexei Shevchenko, special to

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