Players You May Recognize
None, I literally didn't recognize a single person on Khabarovsk's roster.
|Quite a long trip back home after this game.|
First periods over the past week have been rather quiet in Magnitogorsk games and the trend continued in this matchup. Both goalies started off flawlessly despite a powerplay opportunity for each team. Evgeni Malkin had at least three opportunities from the slot and also drew a penalty, but none of it was useful in trying to beat Khabarovsk goalie Alexei Murygin.
After a scoreless first, the home team came out with three strong shifts to open the 2nd period and drew a high sticking penalty. Magnitogorsk killed it off and went on a short attack before Mats Zuccarello was called for a weak trip that looked very much like a dive. Though Malkin argued the team's case, Metallurg went to the penalty kill and and succeeded yet again.
Roughly half way through the period, Magnitogorsk drew a powerplay which ultimately led to chaos and a goal. Sergei Gonchar was unable to control a puck at the blue line and was beat in a race to the puck by an Amur forward. The forward went in on Gelashvili at full speed on a breakaway, but the goalie stoned him. As the play turned back to the offensive zone, Gonchar ended up with the puck and took three strides in from his point position before ripping a shot past Murygin for a 1-0 lead. From potential goat to hero in about 30 seconds summed up Gonchar's powerplay shift.
The second period would end with more Magnitogorsk penalties. First Nikolai Kulemin took a high sticking penalty late in the period, then Gelashvili was called for slashing on the penalty kill. With the second period expiring, Khabarovsk would begin the 3rd period with a 5 on 3 for over a minute.
|Tyler Kennedy could even finish this chance.|
The scoresheet was missing just one Pittsburgh-connected player late in the 3rd and he had no intentions of disappointing his fans back in the US. After taking a pass from Gonchar, Evgeni Malkin skated through a couple of Amur players and deked out the last defenseman. As he finished his deke and was falling to the ice, Geno unleashed a backhander that found the back of the net for a 3-0 lead.
The game would come to a quiet end shortly thereafter as Magnitogorsk earned their 7th win of the season behind the firepower of Sergei Gonchar, Cal O'Reilly, and Evgeni Malkin and the goaltending of Georgi Gelashvili.
Final Score: Metallurg Magnitogorsk 3 Amur Khabarovsk 0Magnitogorsk improves to 7-0-3-3 and Khabarovsk drops to 4-2-0-10.
|Celebrating PP goals like they've been there before...|
Cal O'Reilly - Going into this game, I was ready to complain that O'Reilly had shown very little chemistry with his new linemates compared to when he was with Nikolai Kulemin. His work with Sergei Mozyakin changed my mind greatly though. Aside from the goal (his first of the season), O'Reilly and Mozyakin showed a strong prowess for how to attack the net and provide puck support for each other. O'Reilly has been impressively productive (11 points) for a guy who only gets roughly 15 minutes of ice time per game.