G, Barys, 3 G, 3 W, 94.62%, GAA 1.66, 1 SO
Barys is in great shape lately, and Henrik Karlsson was excellent between the pipings. The Swedish-born netminder added three Ws last week, bringing his total wins in a row to four — last week, Barys defeated Amur with a 3-2 score. Karlsson started the week with a 21-save win over his former team, Jokerit, then shut out Dynamo Moscow on Jan. 21, when he had his 28th career shutout. The veteran goaltender, who represents Kazakhstan on the international scene since 2018, recorded another victory when Barys defeated Vityaz in OT on Saturday. The Kazakh franchise is currently the seventh seed of the Eastern Conference — their playoffs qualification is now almost certain. For his efforts, Karlsson had just been named the best goalie of the week.
F, Dinamo Riga, 3 G, 5 (2+3) points, +1
The Saskatchewan native is recovering after a slow start in Riga, and last week has completed a three-game scoring streak with five points. Lipon started the week tallying the game-winner when Dinamo historically won in Kazan on Jan. 19. After a save by Ivan Nalimov on Dmitry Voronkov, Lipon — who had an assist earlier that night — deflected from close range a centering pass by Miks Indrasis. Lipon had another two-point game a couple of days later, when Dinamo lost to Metallurg in Magnitogorsk. On Jan. 23, Riga lost again, this time to Dynamo Moscow, but Lipon tallied his fifth of the season when he opened the score at the end of the first period. Despite Lipon’s efforts, however, Dinamo Riga is now out of the playoffs for the seventh year in a row.
D, Barys, 3 G, 0 (0+0) points, +4, 0 PIMs
Lintuniemi is yet to appear on the scoresheet for Barys, but he has been rock-solid in the D-zone for the Kazakh franchise, playing perfect defense and only amassing two PIMs in his second career game. The 25-years-old defenseman, who hails from Helsinki and spent two seasons within the Jokerit’s system, played perfect defense last week for the Kazakh franchise. For example, in the Saturday game, Barys allowed four goals to Vityaz, but none with Lintuniemi on the ice. Quite the opposite, since Lintuniemi amassed a plus-two rating for that match — including being on the ice when Nikita Mikhailis tied the game at four in the third period. Lintuniemi has only played 14 games with Barys, but it looks like he found his groove in the Kazakh capital.
D, Traktor, 2 G, 3 (1+2) points, even
The Traktor defenseman is having a strong season in Chelyabinsk, especially in the most recent times. Last week, Traktor won two games of three, and Bailen was instrumental for the Southern Ural franchise especially in Thursday’s 2-1 win over Salavat Yulaev. The 31-years-old D-man assisted both goals, first helping Tomas Hyka netting his 11th of the season, then Pontus Aberg winning the game in OT with a laser-beam shot on a powerplay stretch. Earlier in the week, Bailen scored a goal to Avangard, but Traktor lost 2-3 to the Hawks in a hard-fought game. Bailen’s efforts helped the Southern Ural franchise climbing to sixth place in the Eastern Conference’s standings. The Chelyabinsk side is yet to clinch the playoffs, but it’s only a matter of time.
D, Vityaz, 3 G, 2 (1+1) points, +3
It wasn’t the best week for the Moscow Region team, who only won one game of three — against Sibir Novosibirsk on Jan. 19. However, that was the game when Jakub Jerabek played his best, producing two points for Vityaz, including assisting on Justin Danforth’s game-winner in the first period. Later that night, he also scored the empty-netter that sealed the deal for Vityaz. The Czech blueliner, who was back to Vityaz this summer after lining up for the Podolsk side in the 2016-2017 campaign, also amassed a plus-1 rating in the 4-5 OT defeat against Barys. Currently, Vityaz is fighting against Spartak for the Western Conference’s eighth seed — it won’t be easy for the Jerabek’s team to fall into the playoffs again, also considering that the Muscovites have amassed the same points as Vityaz but playing one fewer game.