D, Spartak, 3 G, 6 (3+3) points, +4
The Swedish blueliner had an exceptional week last time around, with three multi-point games in a row. Despite Djuse’s great efforts, the team led by Oleg Znarok lost its first match in Magnitogorsk, but then only had wins as the week enrolled. After a goal and an assist on the southern Urals, Djuse tallied the game-winner on Jan. 6, when the Red-and-Whites thumped Traktor in Chelyabinsk with a 6-2 score. He also helped Sergei Shirokov make it a 5-1 game in the second period’s dying seconds. Two days later, Spartak won again in style — this time in Helsinki — with Djuse opening the score after only eight minutes. He added an assist that night, bringing his total points to six in only three games last week. Spartak has now surpassed Severstal at the Western Conference’s seventh place, and they are further cementing their playoffs chances. Thanks to his efforts, Djuse was awarded Best Defenseman honors last week.
F, Dinamo Minsk, 3 G, 6 (4+2) points, +2
The American forward is red hot recently, scoring points in bunches and helping Dinamo Minsk in its playoffs push. Last week, Prince was outstanding again for Minsk, helping them winning two games of three. Prince, who’s now wearing the ’C’ after Yegor Sharangovich left the team, started with a double against SKA — including the OT game-winner. Prince also had a pair of helpers that night, participating in all Minsk’s goals for the critical home win. Two days later, on Jan. 7, Prince had another double — his eighth in the KHL — helping Minsk defeating Dinamo Riga. Prince and Dinamo Minsk were shut out by Alexander Yeryomenko, as the Belarusian franchise was scoreless for the first time in the season. Prince was awarded Best Forward of the week honors, and Dinamo Minsk is currently the fifth seed in the Western Conference.
F, Salavat Yulaev, 2 G, 5 (4+1) points, +2
The Finnish scorer was once again incredible for Ufa last week, posting his first poker in the KHL as Salavat Yulaev defeated its archrivals Ak Bars Kazan in the Sunday’s green derby with a 7-3 score. Moreover, he also set a new KHL record for Finn players — previously, no Finn scored more than Esa Pirnes’ 50 points with Atlant back in the first KHL season. Now Harty will move into new territory as he is currently leading the league after surpassing Vadim Shipachyov on the top of the scoring race. However, Salavat Yulaev also lost to Avangard last week, with Hartikainen getting a helper. The Ufa franchise is the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, and Tomi Lamsa will need his top scorer to produce even more goals and assists as things get tough in the KHL.
F, Spartak, 3 G, 6 (3+3) points, +4
The Slovak forward is having an excellent season in Moscow, and last week he scored points in all games, helping Spartak getting two Ws and climbing up in the standings for its playoffs push. Bakos was instrumental in the Red-and-Whites’ 4-1 win in Helsinki. He first had an unassisted even-strength goal that eventually emerged as the game-winner. Then, in the dying seconds of the final stanza, he found the Jokerit’s crease with an empty-netter that sealed the deal for Oleg Znarok’s gladiators. The Slovakian forward has been an excellent acquisition for Spartak this summer, and his signing is now paying dividends for the Red-and-Whites. Spartak is currently the seventh seed in the Western Conference.
F, Ak Bars, 3 G, 5 (3+2) points, +2
The Frenchman is having an incredible season in Kazan, and is currently one of the league’s top players. Da Costa is now on an eleven-game scoring streak, scoring 19 points in this span. Ak Bars won two games of three last week, losing only to Salavat Yulaev in the Green Derby. However, Da Costa managed to have two points that night as well, opening the score after only three minutes and assisting Andrei Pedan in his fifth goal of the season. Two days earlier, Da Costa had another two-point game when Kazan defeated Traktor 3-2 SO. The Frenchman also scored in the middle stanza of Jan. 6 Kazan’s win in Moscow against Dynamo, tying the game at one. Da Costa has now amassed 46 (21+25) points in 39 regular-season games for Kazan and is the fourth scorer in the league.
D, Severstal, 3 G, 3 (1+2) points, +3
The Canadian D-man is having a tremendous second year in the KHL, helping Severstal be the surprise of the season in the Western Conference. The team led by Andrei Razin is currently the fourth seed in the West, with a four-point gap over Vityaz. Lalonde opened the score in Severstal’s 4-2 away win over Kunlun Red Star, then had two assists in a Cherepovets losing effort against Avangard. In the week’s third game, Lalonde posted no points when Severstal defeated HC Sochi (4-2), but posted a plus-1 rating and logged almost twenty minutes of time on ice. The 30-years-old Canadian defenseman is a crucial member of the Severstal defensive line and is expected to increase his role in sight of the postseason.