Hockey’s a team game, but the game between Slovan and Dinamo Riga turned into a personal duel. Lauris Darzins picked up 4 (2+2) points for the visitor; Jeff Taffe had 3 (1+2) for the host. No goals were scored without the involvement of one of those players, so Dinamo took the verdict by a 4-3 margin. Earlier in the day, Swedish defenseman Viktor Svedberg got his first KHL goal as Barys won 4-1 at Kunlun Red Star.
Viktor Svedberg’s first goal in the KHL wrapped up a convincing victory for Barys on its visit to China.
The Swedish defenseman, who arrived recently from Linkopings having previously been part of the Blackhawks set-up, added an empty net goal to seal the win for his new club. However, the key moments of the game came midway through the second period when Barys scored twice in 60 seconds. Anton Sagadeyev got the first on a breakaway, soon followed by Nikita Mikhailis applying the redirect to a Darren Dietz shot.
That snapped a 1-1 tie in the game. Matthew Frattin gave the visitor a first period lead, Wojtek Wolski cancelled it out early in the second period. Barys goes into the international break one point behind Avangard at the top of the Chernyshev Division, Red Star is in a playoff spot despite remaining level on points with ninth-placed Traktor.
Dinamo Riga snapped its long losing streak to go into the international break with a boost. A hard-fought success at Slovan earned the Latvians a first win in eight attempts.
The game got off to an explosive start. Jeff Taffe put Slovan in front after eight seconds, but the lead was wiped out by Lauris Darzins just 28 seconds later. Both players went on to have big games and were involved in all their team’s goals on the night.
Darzins and Dinamo were the first to show. The Latvian power play came up trumps either side of the first intermission and Darzins collected assists on tallies from Mikelis Redlihs and Linus Videll. Slovan clawed back that 1-3 deficit late in the second stanza; Taffe assisted on a Rudolf Cerveny marker before the duo reversed roles for the tying goal three minutes later.
Darzins struck again in the 47th minute to restore Dinamo’s lead, and this time Taffe and Slovan could find no response. The Slovaks slipped to a 10th straight defeat.