Alessandro Seren Rosso Alessandro Seren Rosso
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Omark and Metsola swap places in Moscow, Dietz plays Pushkin, Jokipakka tops everyone in the hardest shot competition, and Hellberg blanks the opponents. KHL.ru presents the best international action of the 18th week.

Linus Omark

F, Salavat Yulaev, 2 G, 1 (0+1) points, -1

For once, Linus Omark had underwhelming numbers, earning only one assist in Salavat Yulaev's losing effort in Nur-Sultan. Two days later, the Swede posted no points as Ufa once again lost to Avtomobilist. In both games, Omark wore the 'C' for the Green Men as Panin is still serving his disqualification. However, at the Sunday FONBET 2020 KHL All-Star Game, Omark once again stole the show. If a few years ago, he had a shootout attempt with a flaming stick, this time, he lined up as a goalie in the Bronze Medal game as Team Chernyshev took on Team Kharlamov. With Omark on goal, the team led by Bob Hartley won the first period with a 3-2 score, then secured the win in the shootout blanking the opposition after Metsola returned to his familiar place between the piping only for the second period. With Salavat stuck on the Eastern Conference's eighth place, it's time for Omark to step up and post more solid numbers in Week 19 as Salavat starts off facing Admiral in Ufa.

Juha Metsola

G, Salavat Yulaev, 2 G, 89.98%, GAA 3.41

Just like Omark, Juha Metsola posted underwhelming stats for Ufa, losing both games in the week and losing the goaltending duel to Henrik Karlsson and Jakub Kovar. But once again like Omark, Metsola stole the show at the FONBET 2020 KHL All-Star Game, not only helping Team Chernyshev winning the bronze but lining up as forward swapping places with an inspired Linus Omark. The Finn goalie, known for spectacular saves and consistent play between the piping, picked up an assist helping his teammate Nikita Soshnikov scoring the 3-2 goal in the first period. He then returned to the crease and helped Team Chernyshev to send the game to SO, where they eventually won bronze hardware thanks to Omark's return to the net. Metsola must now raise the bar as the stakes go up as the playoffs approach.

Darren Dietz

D, Barys, 2 G, 1 (1+0) points, even

The 18th week of the regular season was good for the Barys' captain, who helped his team winning both games, against Salavat Yulaev and Metallurg. In the first encounter, Darren Dietz was silent but logged 23:04 of time on the ice as Barys took the lead 5-3 late in the third period. Two days later, Dietz scored his ninth of the season as Barys defeated Metallurg 4-3, cementing their status of the third seed of the Eastern Conference. However, Dietz's best performance happened on Sunday – when he played Alexander Pushkin and read a poem in Russian in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the FONBET 2020 KHL All-Star Game. He wasn't less active on the ice as well, helping Team Chernyshev winning the bronze and scoring twice in the semifinals. Barys is now in the third position in the standings – with more than ten games to go, will the Kazakh franchise climb even higher?

Jyrki Jokipakka

D, Sibir, 3 G 1 (0+1) points, even

With last week's three victories, Sibir is now on a six-game winning streak as the team climbed up to the Eastern Conference's fifth place. Jyrki Jokipakka, who is the fifth most-iced defenseman in the League, started the week assisting on Danil Romantsev's 3-3 goal in the third period against Kunlun Red Star in China. At his first participation in the KHL All-Star Game, Jokipakka won the hardest shot competition with a blistering 164.15 km/h (101.99 mph). Alexander Ryazantsev's record is still unbeaten, but Jokipakka deserves praise for his win. At the Skill Show, he also had his shootout attempt with a Christmas Tree costume. Now that things will turn serious again, Sibir will need Jokipakka's thundering shot to secure themselves a spot on the Eastern Conference's playoffs.

Magnus Hellberg

G, SKA, 2 G, 97.30%, 0.50 goals-against average, 1 shutout

Magnus Hellberg didn't make the FONBET 2020 KHL All-Star Game, but he was nothing short than great between the piping for SKA last week. First, the towering goalie blanked Dinamo Riga as SKA had an easy, 2-0 win at home, then, two days later, Hellberg had 25 saves as St. Petersburg defeated Jokerit with a 4-1 score. The Swedish goalie is now one of the hottest netminders in the League, and SKA will rely on him to catch up CSKA, who is leading the Western Conference with a five-point gap.

Alessandro Seren Rosso Alessandro Seren Rosso
exclusive for khl.ru

Related clubs

Barys (Nur-Sultan) Barys (Nur-Sultan)
Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
SKA (Saint Petersburg) SKA (Saint Petersburg)

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