The greatest goals and most spectacular saves, starring Lauris Darzins, Alexander Barabanov, Andrei Svetlakov, Dmitry Shikin, Juha Metsola and Ilya Ezhov – the KHL is proud to bring you the best moments from the twelfth playing week of the tenth Championship.
Dynamo Moscow's young forward Alexander Petunin was named Rookie of the Week, thanks in part to his super solo strike against Amur, in which he sailed past three opponents. It was only the second goal of his KHL career, but good enough to begin our countdown of the 10 best goals of the week. Next is Neftekhimik captain Oleg Piganovich, with a close range finish to a slick passing move against CSKA. Damir Zhafyarov is the Admiral crew member most frequently to feature in this list, and he returns this week with an excellent powerplay marker against the men from Minsk. Our seventh best goal is an individual effort, this time from one of Spartak's leaders, Lukas Radil, who seemed to barely notice the Traktor players as he skated past them. There is a happier clip for Traktor fans at number six, with Chelyabinsk's latest Boy Wonder Vitaly Kravtsov capping a dashing foray into enemy territory by providing a sublime assist to Alexander Sharov while falling to the ice.
In the game against pace-setter SKA, Amur's promising young forward, Alexei Byvaltsev, treated us to a sublime pass to put his partner, Oleg Li, in a one-on-one with Mikko Koskinen, and Li made no mistake. Next is Mikhail Glukhov of Ak Bars, who deftly drew the Dinamo Minsk goalie out of position before stroking the puck into an unguarded net. In third place is a breathtaking burst of pace by CSKA's Andrei Svetlakov, a neat exchange of passes with comrade Andrei Kuzmenko, and a ruthless finish past the helpless Salavat Yulaev goalie. Petersburg's Alexander Barabanov spun 360 degrees to bedazzle a Kunlun Red Star defenseman by the boards, and crowned the move with a precision back-handed shot into the net, earning second place in our list, but the author of our gold-medal goal of the week was Dinamo Riga forward Lauris Darzins, gratefully collecting a long pass without breaking stride, bearing down on the Avtomobilist goalie, and elegantly tapping the puck home before the startled defense had time to react, and this in his first match back after a long lay-off.
We kick-start our listing of the finest saves of the week with three-time Gagarin Cup winner Alexander Yeryomenko, who rescued Dynamo Moscow in the match against Kunlun Red Star with a timely intervention at the far pipe. Then we have the first of two saves from Ilya Ezhov of Neftekhimik. Here he gracefully did the splits to thwart Jokerit. Metallurg Magnitogorsk was second-best in the recent match against Spartak, but Vasily Koshechkin still produced a point-blank reaction save good enough to take eighth place in our countdown. Next we have some swashbuckling stuff from Ak Bars netminder Emil Garipov, sprinting a dozen yards out of his goal and successfully defending his net. At number six is the first of two stops from Juha Metsola of Amur, cruelly denying Dynamo Moscow with the glove.
At number five, Barys Astana's Swedish goalie Henrik Karlsson produced an impressive falling save to break Avangard hearts, while his fellow countryman, Markus Svensson of Spartak, takes fourth spot by emerging victorious in a duel with Oskar Osala. Ilya Ezhov is in third place, showing great agility to get a leg across an open goal to keep CSKA from scoring, and Juha Metsola's second save, an amazing close-range stop with the glove,was our second best of the week, but for us, the finest of them all was this show of vision and athleticism from HC Sochi's Dmitry Shikin, lying on the ice, but somehow arching back to reach the puck and leave Jokerit's Olli Palola to wonder how had he not scored.