Chekhov’s duels
Shootout successes have been few and far between for Vityaz in KHL championships, with just 7 wins against 12 defeats in three seasons. The Chekhov team managed to edge out Torpedo, Metallurg Novokuznetsk and Ak Bars in the first championship, and Lada and Traktor in the second. This season, Andrei Nazarov’s men had another win against Ak Bars and now today’s triumph at SKA. It was the third time a game between the two teams has had to be settled by a shootout series, and the top scorer of game-deciding shots for Vityaz is still Gleb Klimenko, who now wears the colors of SKA. Back in the first championship he scored two game-winning shots. The Chekhov man most often on shootout duty this season is defenseman Dmitry Megalinsky with four attempts, two of which found the target and one clinched victory for Vityaz.

Minsk men’s double advantage
Atlant were two players short for almost two minutes in their home game against Dinamo Minsk, but still the visitors could not score. The men from Belarus are not always so generous; indeed, they share with three other teams the season’s highest total of goals scored while playing 5-on-3, with seven so far. However, if we go by percentage, the Minsk men are not the League’s most ruthless. No-one comes close to champions Ak Bars, who boast a 50% record at converting a two-man advantage into a goal. Yugra’s record is 7 goals from 20 attempts, Neftekhimik’s is 7 from 21, while Dinamo Minsk needed 24 chances to score their seven, giving them a percentage of 29.17. But Marek Sykora’s outfit is still the envy of several teams on this count: Amur’s record, for example, is a lowly 16.67% (one goal in six tries) while Atlant’s figures are twice as bad again: two goals in 25 attempts.

Riga men win at last
Dynamo Riga’s success today ended a run of 11 straight games without winning in regulation time, during which they scored 19 goals, allowed 33, and collected just 5 points – a win and a defeat in the shootout plus an overtime victory. Never before had the team gone so many games without taking three points. The Latvians’ previous worst spell in the KHL came in the first championship, when they suffered eight straight losses in regulation time, and their darkest period last season was just five games without a regulation time success, in which time they managed to earn two points.

Figure of the day
Today was only the 20thtime in the KHL history that Vityaz earned under ten minutes of penalties. The Chekhov men’s most disciplined performances have seen them handed 4 minutes, a total they have achieved twice. In all, the team has incurred 5,029 penalty minutes in 153 games in KHL championships.

Key players
Andrei Mezin (Dinamo Minsk). Saved 38 shots out of 39.

Artem Ternavsky (Vityaz). Topped up his account with a goal and an assist in 22 minutes and 50 seconds on the ice.

Guntis Galvins (Dinamo Riga). In more than 20 minutes’ playing time he had one shot and supplied the passes for two goals.

Brock Trotter (Dinamo Riga). Scored two goals, won 12 out of 20 face-offs, and earned a rating of +1 in 15½ minutes on the ice.

Dmitry Upper (Atlant). Scored his first goal for Atlant and then converted the game-deciding shot in the shootout.

Artemy Panarin (Vityaz). Fresh from winning the World Junior Championship with Russia, the youngster made two assists, and then sealed victory for his team in the shootout.

Quotes of the day
“It’s really hard playing against a team with such a tough defense: a row of four players along the blue line, waiting for any mistake from you, and God help you if you make one,” Atlant head coach Milos Riha.

“I’ve bumped into a lot guys from this SKA team during my playing career; I even exchanged a few words with some on the way to the press conference. So I had our guys specially prepared for the game in Petersburg,” Vityaz head coach Andrei Nazarov.

“I’m glad we have Ozolins back – a real captain,” Dinamo Riga head coach Julius Supler.

Alexei Shevchenko, special to

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