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Dinamo Riga travels to Kazakhstan, match between Jokerit and Avtomobilist cancelled.

The KHL is back after the New Year pause with eight games on tap in Russia and Kazakhstan. The matchday starts with the fourth Far East derby of the season – the Sailors prevailed in the first three editions, will the Tigers hunt them back?

The action moves to Novosibirsk, where Sibir hosts Ak Bars. Both teams have been in good shape in the old year’s tail, and it will be interesting how they will fare in the new one. In Nur-Sultan, Barys hosts Dinamo Riga. The Kazakhs are in need of points for the playoff qualification fight, while Dinamo will certainly want to achieve another victory and perhaps reach Vityaz in the West’s 11th spot in the standings.

Metallurg has already clinched a postseason qualification, but hardly they will be much relaxed when they visit Salavat Yulaev. In their previous two encounters, the teams had a total of 16 goals – fireworks are to be expected today in Ufa.

The action then moves to the West, where the battle for the playoffs is fiercer than ever. Ninth seed Torpedo visits Neftekhimik which is also on a playoff hunt. The Nizhny Novgorod side is trying to surpass Dinamo Minsk, who visits Severstal today on a real playoff battle. In Moscow, a slumping CSKA side will try to recover its form hosting Avangard, while Lokomotiv will try to earn two points on a heated showdown against Dynamo Moscow.

The evening game between Jokerit and Avtomobilist has been cancelled.

10:00: Admiral (11-28-5, 11th E) vs Amur (17-22-6, 10th E)

About the game
Admiral enters tonight’s game, the fifth of a nine-game home series, on a two-match losing streak.
Amur plays its lone road game of the series and defeated SKA on Monday.
Admiral has defeated the Tigers three times this season (2:1, 2:1, 1:0).
Amur’s forward Alexander Gorshkov is on a four-game scoring streak, with 4 (2+2) points over that span.

Injury list
Admiral: Rihards Bukarts, Evgeny Grachyov, Dmitry Lugin.
Amur: Alexander Gorshkov, Michal Jordan, Gleb Koryagin, Alexander Kuznetsov.

13:30: Sibir (24-16-4, 6th E) vs Ak Bars (27-11-6, 3rd E)

About the game
Sibir is at its seventh of an eight-game home series and is on a two-match winning streak.
Ak Bars enters the second of a nine-game road trip and is also on a two-match winning streak.
Sibir has already defeated Ak Bars this season (2:0).
Sibir’s forward Nick Shore is on a three-game scoring streak, with 4 (2+2) points over that span.
Ak Bars’ defenseman Steven Kampfer is on a seven-game scoring streak, with 11 (3+8) points.

Injury list
Sibir: Trevor Murphy.
Ak Bars: Alexander Burmistrov, Kirill Panyukov, Dmitry Voronkov, Dmitry Yudin.

Milestone alert
Sibir’s defenseman Maxim Goncharov lines up for his 500th KHL game.
Ak Bars’ forward Danis Zaripov and his head coach Dmitry Kvartalnov reach the 800-game mark tonight.
Ak Bars’ goalie Igor Bobkov may reach 30 career shutouts.

14:00: Barys (19-21-4, 8th E) vs Dinamo Riga (14-20-9, 12th W)

About the game
Barys enters the third of a four-game home series and lost to Salavat Yulaev on Wednesday.
Dinamo Riga is in the middle of a three-game road trip and defeated Torpedo on Thursday.
Dinamo Riga has already defeated Barys this season (3:2).

Injury list
Barys: Cody Kunyk.
Dinamo Riga: Nerijus Alisauskas, Daniels Berzins, Alexander Protapovich, Kristaps Sotnieks.

Milestone alert
Dinamo Riga’s forward Martins Karsums may score his 300th KHL point (currently at 299).

14:30: Salavat Yulaev (27-12-5, 4th E) vs Metallurg (32-10-2, 1st E)

About the game
Salavat Yulaev starts a two-game home series fresh off a win over Barys on Wednesday.
Metallurg is at its fifth of a six-game road trip and is on a two-match losing streak.
Salavat Yulaev has already defeated Magnitka twice this season (7:2, 5:2).
Salavat Yulaev’s forward Sakari Manninen is on a five-game scoring streak, with 7 (4+3) points over that span.
Salavat Yulaev’s forward Alexei Kadeikin is on a three-game scoring streak, with 5 (1+4) points.
Their teammate, forward Nikolai Kulemin, is also onn a three-game scoring streak, with 4 (1+3) points.

Injury list
Metallurg: Grigory Dronov, Mikhail Pashnin.

Milestone alert
Metallurg’s defenseman Alexei Maklyukov lines up for his 300th KHL game.
Metallurg’s forward Anatoly Nikontsev may score his 100th career assist.

17:00: Lokomotiv (23-13-8, 6th W) vs Dynamo Moscow (29-12-3, 2nd W)

About the game
Lokomotiv ends a two-game home series and lost to Spartak on Wednesday.
Dynamo Moscow is at its third of a four-game road trip and lost to Severstal on Thursday.
Both teams have defeated each other once this season (3:1, 1:4).
Lokomotiv’s goalie Daniil Isayev is on a 77:43 shutout series.
Dynamo Moscow’s forward Oscar Lindberg is on a seven-game scoring series, with 7 (6+1) points over that span.
Dynamo Moscow’s defenseman Vyacheslav Voynov had seven assists across his latest four games, while forward Eric O’Dell had three helpers in three matches.

Injury list
Lokomotiv: Maxim Shalunov.
Dynamo Moscow: Mikhail Fisenko, Vyacheslav Yefremov.

Milestone alert
Lokomotiv’s forward Artur Kayumov may reach 100 KHL points (currently at 99).
His teammate, defenseman Alexei Marchenko, may score his 100th career assist (currently at 99).
Dynamo Moscow’s forward Bogdan Yakimov lines up for his 300th KHL game.

17:00: Neftekhimik (19-18-7, 7th E) vs Torpedo (20-17-7, 9th W)

About the game
Neftekhimik lines up for his lone home game of the series and lost to Sibir on Wednesday.
Torpedo starts a three-game road trip and is on a three-matches losing streak.
Torpedo has already defeated Neftekhimik this season (6:3), but Neftekhimik won its previous five home games against Torpedo, with the latest loss dated Sep 12, 2017 (2:3 OT).
Neftekhimik’s forward Dan Sexton is on a four-game scoring streak, with 4 (1+3) points over that span.
His teammate, forward Vyacheslav Leshchenko, scored a goal in each of his five previous games.
Torpedo’s goalie Alexei Murygin is on a 95:02 shutout streak.
Torpedo’s forward Damir Zhafyarov is on an eleven-game scoring streak, with 16 (4+12) points and can establish a club’s record.
Torpedo’s forward Kenny Agostino is on an eight-game scoring streak, with 13 (6+7) points over that span.
Torpedo’s forward Andy Miele is on a nine-game scoring streak, with 12 (6+6) points.

Injury list
Neftekhimik: Alexei Puzanov.
Torpedo: Artur Tyanulin, Daniel Zaar.

17:00: Severstal (25-12-7, 5th W) vs Dinamo Minsk (21-15-8, 8th W)

About the game
Severstal ends a three-game home series and defeated Dynamo Moscow on Thursday.
Dinamo Minsk starts a four-game road trip fresh off a win over Metallurg on Wednesday.
Each team has already defeated each other this season (4:3 SO, 1:4).
Dinamo Minsk’s goalie Patrik Rybar is on a 62:11 shutout streak.
Dinamo Minsk’s forward Taylor Beck is on a three-games scoring streak, with 6 (1+5) points over that span.

18:00: CSKA (17-13-4, 4th W) vs Avangard (26-16-2, 5th E)

About the game
CSKA is at its fourth of a six-game home series and lost its latest couple of matches.
Avangard plays its lone road game of the series and lost to Traktor on Thursday.
CSKA’s forward Joakim Nordstrom is on a three-game scoring streak, with 4 (1+3) points over that span.
The Hawks have already defeated CSKA this season (4:0).
His teammate, forward Pavel Karnaukhov, is also on a three-game scoring streak, with 3 (2+1) points over that span.

Injury list
CSKA: Nikita Rtishchev, Danil Yurtaikin.
Avangard: Yaroslav Kosov.

19:30: Jokerit (27-12-6, 3rd W) vs Avtomobilist (17-21-6, 9th E)

Match cancelled

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