On January 3, Metallurg Magnitogorsk resumed KHL action after their New Year’s break, having last played on December 27. This time, they played Dynamo-Minsk at home. Ilya Samsonov started in goal for the fourth straight time for Magnitka while Jhonas Enroth, who had formerly played in the NHL, primarily for the Buffalo Sabres, was the netminder for Dynamo-Minsk. The last time the two teams played was back on September 17 when Magnitogorsk opened up a three-goal lead only to give up five unanswered goals in the third period and lose 5-3.
As a result, Magnitka was out for revenge. They started off the first period well when defenseman Nikita Pivtsakin scored at the 13:25 mark of the first period to give Metallurg Magnitogorsk the 1-0 lead. Magnitka outshot their opponents in the opening frame, albeit by a small margin, 8-6. The lead held up through Period 2, as Magnitka outshot Dynamo Minsk, 14-9, in the middle frame period.
But then came the third period. Less than a minute into the period, Evgeni Kovyrshin of Minsk scored, thanks to a turnover by a Magnitka player, tying the game at one. At the 15:14 mark of the period, Oskar Osala (a former Capitals draft pick and player for the Hershey Bears) of Magnitogorsk attempted to clear the puck but inadvertently landed onto the stick of Evgeny Lisovets of Minsk, who knocked it in the net to give the visitors the 2-1 lead, and ultimately the win. Ironically enough, Magnitka had 22 shots in the third period while Minsk had just eight, but Minsk benefitted from two costly turnovers and ended up winning the game.
It was a very heartbreaking loss for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, given they had led for most of the game and dominated in possession, only to lose in regulation. The game included shots that hit the post and missed the open net. In this game, Samsonov made 21 saves out of 23 shots on goal for a save percentage of .913, while Enroth made 43 saves out of 44 shots (a .977 save percentage) and basically “halaked” Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
Head Coach Viktor Kozlov’s postgame comment: “I congratulate Dynamo with the victory. It was a good game. We created a lot of things that had to be realized, having such a potential in the attack. But we defended the defender. And the attackers should have scored, especially with so many points that they create. Again, you need to pay tribute to the ‘Dynamo’, which is well-defended. And a couple of our mistakes allowed the Minsk team to score the goals that allowed them to win. But life does not end there. Let’s analyze the match and we will continue to work.”
Game Account from Metallurg Magnitogorsk Website
Recap from KHL Site
Press Conference From Viktor Kozlov
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Game Highlights Video
Game Highlights from Dynamo-Minsk Site