Dynamo vs Vityaz
Dynamo Moscow’s losing streak today stretched to ten games, equaling the record for the season set by Vityaz at the start of the campaign. It is worth comparing the two: the Chekhov men lost their first ten games and in that spell collected just three points (two defeats in overtime and one in a shootout) while Dynamo Moscow notched 4 points (three shootout losses, one overtime). Vityaz scored 20 goals and conceded 36, whereas Dynamo scored 19 and allowed 38. Vityaz scored in every game, Oleg Znarok’s team scored in every game but one. Finally, none of the Chekhov team’s defeats were by more than a two-goal margin, whereas the Muscovites were hammered 2-7 by Lokomotiv.
End of a dry spell
Despite Evgeny Artyukhin having considerable playing experience in both North America and Russia, this is nonetheless his debut season in the KHL, and he had to wait until his 15th outing before scoring his first goals. Last season’s longest run of goalless games for a SKA forward was 14 games, suffered by Albert Leshchev, but the longest dry spell of all came in the first championship - 17 games from Timofei Shishkanov.
Two periods wasted
It is quite rare in the KHL for a team leading after two periods to go on and lose the game. This season five teams have still not thrown away a single game during the last 20 minutes, and this includes Amur, who are unlikely to even make the play-offs. Dinamo Riga, on the other hand, seem to make a habit of it: of 13 games in which the Latvians have started the third period in front, they have lost six - by far the Riga men’s worst season on this score. In the first KHL championship they never suffered such a collapse, and it happened only once in the following campaign.
As for SKA, today’s fightback was the second time this season the Petersburg men have rescued a game in the final period. This has been achieved most often by Salavat Yulaev and Ak Bars, while only Spartak have not yet come from behind to win during the third period.
Figure of the day
1,857 spectators attended the Dinamo Riga vs SKA game. This figure would normally be considered catastrophically low for the Latvians, only the game took place in Liepāja, whose arena has a capacity of 1,700.
Dominik Hasek (Spartak). Saved 31 shots out of 32 to prolong Dynamo Moscow’s losing streak.
Grigory Zheldakov (Spartak). Spent over 20 minutes on the ice, scored no points but earned a +1.
David Petrasek (Dinamo Minsk). Spent 22 minutes and 30 seconds in play, had three shots at goal, scored the game-winner and merited a +1.
Juraj Mikus (Spartak). Scored his second winning goal for Spartak since his recent move from Dinamo Riga, and finished at a +1.
Evgeny Artyukhin (SKA). Threatened the goal three times and scored twice, including the killer goal in overtime. Finished at a +2.
Lauris Darzins (Dinamo Riga). Scored for the seventh game running.
Quotes of the day
“There’s no panic here – Hell will freeze over first. The team is working hard and training hard. I think one way or another we’ll get out of this situation,” Dynamo Moscow head coach Oleg Znarok.
“Now I’m worried the team may lose match fitness [over the five rest days]. Although the players need to rest, of course; as many are already zombies, with no movement,” Dinamo Minsk head coach Marek Sykora.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru