Kulikov Continues To Shine Defensively In Shutout Win

Florida's young blueliner helped lead Lokomotiv Yaroslavl to a 2-0 victory over Severstal Cherepovec.

Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (pictured above in action from last season) continued his stellar defensive play of late, logging 18:30 minutes of ice time, taking one shot on goal and finishing with an even rating during the 2-0 home win in Saturday action from the KHL. Kulikov was paired with former Winnipeg Jets defenseman Mark Flood for much of the game. He was also called for tripping in the second period but Lokomotiv killed off the penalty.

After a scoreless opening period, Sergei Plotnikov scored his fourth goal of the season at the 13:04 mark of the second with just five seconds remaining on a Lokomotiv power play with the assists going to Flood and Columbus Blue Jackets center Artem Anisimov. A holding call on Severstal's Petr Caslava gave Yaroslavl the man advantage.

An early third period score, just twenty-four seconds into the frame, by Alexander Chernikov put the game away for Yaroslavl. The even strength tally was Chernikov's fourth of the season. Yury Petrov and Staffan Kronwall combined to set up the clinching goal.

Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves for Lokomotiv to post his first shutout of the season while Vasily Koshechkin stopped 20 shots taking the loss for Severstal Cherepovec.

The win moved Lokomotiv Yaroslavl within two points of Western Conference-leading Dynamo Moscow.