Vasily Koshechkin had his 80th KHL shut-out to help Metallurg to victory at Dinamo Riga. The veteran goalie is the first to reach that milestone since the league was founded and he did so after making 28 saves to frustrate the Latvians this evening. The win was also good enough to put the visitor back into the playoff places in the Eastern Conference.
Koshechkin wasn’t the only notable goalie: Riga’s Alexander Salak was back on the ice for the first time since Dec. 9. However, he was beaten midway through the first period by his compatriot Andrej Nestrasil. The Czech forward extended his productive run to four games, and he wasn’t done there.
After Dinamo produced little offense in the first period, the home team raised the tempo in the second, outshooting Metallurg 16-7 and keeping Koshechkin busy. But there was no way past the Metallurg goalie and early in the third Sergei Mozyakin emerged from the penalty box to set up a second goal for Nestrasil. That put the game beyond Riga, which remains at the foot of the Western Conference table.
Veli-Matti Savinainen potted the game-winner for Jokerit after an entertaining game in Yaroslavl finished tied at 3-3.
The Railwaymen were missing Grigory Denisenko and Daniil Misyul, both of whom lined up for Russia at the World Junior Championship in Ostrava. However, another product of the famed Yaroslavl school, Artur Kayumov, gave home fans plenty to get excited about in the second period. He scored twice in that middle frame to cancel out Jesse Joensuu’s first-period opener and give Lokomotiv the lead. That advantage was short-lived, though, as Joensuu tied the game with a power play goal in the 39th minute.
Kayumov’s contribution rather overshadowed the debut of new signing Vladimir Tkachyov, recently arrived from Ak Bars. He lined up on the right of the first line, partnering Anton Lander and Pavel Kudryavtsev but having little impact on the game.
In the third, Jokerit again went in front thanks to Mikko Lehtonen, but Loko tied it up thanks to Magnus Paajarvi Svensson with seven minutes left. Neither team could force a winner in regulation and Loko’s prospects took a big hit when Roman Savchenko took a minor penalty in the last minute. That meant Jokerit started overtime on the power play, and the Finns dominated the extras for the 61 seconds it took for Savinainen to find the winning goal.