After having to sit through a month of KHL regular season games, RMNB finally got the matchup they’ve been waiting for Tuesday, as two of their favorite Russian Caps Prospects faced off against one another. 2009 Second Round Draft Pick Dmitri Orlov and Metallurg Novokuznetsk played 2010 First Round Draft Pick Evgeny Kuznetsov and Traktor in Chelyabinsk.
Both prospects faired well early in the game. Kuznetsov had a beautiful, primary assist (his first of the year) on the game’s opening goal scored by Alexei Tertyshny. If you take a look at the game highlights above and fast forward to the 16 second mark, you’ll see Kuz, #92, take a pass behind the net, curl multiple times (a la Michael Nylander) before handing the puck off to a charging Tertyshny. Tertyshny then skated hard towards the slot, unleashed a wrist shot that was blocked, found his own rebound in his legs and then fired a backhander past a sprawled Alexander Vyukhin. 1-0 Traktor.
However, five and a half minutes later Metallurg responded on the powerplay. Again if you refer to the above highlights around the 53 second mark, you’ll see Dmitri Orlov, #9, help bring the puck into the offensive zone. After some dump and chase, Metallurg regained possession of the puck in the corners and set up their powerplay. After multiple passes around the perimeter, Orlov found Ruslan Khasanshin down low. Khasanshin, with no other play available, passed back to Dima who decided to wind up and fire a shot from the point. Orlov’s wicked, Gonchar-esque slapshot found its way past former NHL goaltender Sebastien Caron short-side. Orlov’s first goal of the season tied the game up 1-1 and also brought some momentum back for Metallurg, who was badly outplayed in the first period.
After the second period passed without a marker, Metallurg scored back-to-back goals in the third. 17 year old defenseman Zakhar Arzamastsev notched a nifty, unassisted goal while Vaclav Nedorost scored on the powerplay. Metallurg led 3-1. With 6 minutes left in the game, Gennady Razin brought Traktor back to within one goal with a slapshot from the point after a brilliant end-to-end rush by Yegor Dugin.
With 56 seconds left and Metallurg serving a penalty, Traktor was in prime position to tie it up. Head Coach Andrey Sidorenko pulled Caron and Traktor enjoyed a 6 on 4 advantage. Evgeny Kuznetsov wound up having the two best scoring chances, but could not find the back of the net. First, he missed on a shot from the slot, and then with 4 seconds left, he missed on a wraparound. Metallurg Novokuznetsk wins 3-2.
Goals/Shots: Orlov – 1/2 – 50%, Kuznetsov – 0/5 – 0%;
Assists: Orlov – 0, Kuznetsov – 1;
TOI: Orlov – 18:29, Kuznetsov – 10:41;
Special Notes: Metallurg, considered one of the worst teams in the league, won despite the fact that they had only 14 shots on goal… Three of Metallurg’s best players weren’t able to be with the team Tuesday. The players had visa issues that prevented them from getting back home from Astana where they had just played Barys.