Panthers’ Kulikov Stout As Lokomotiv Gets By Traktor

Florida defenseman keys strong defensive effort in shootout win over Chelyabinsk

Dmitry Kulikov (pictured above in action from last season) continued to soak up ice time like a sponge during Lokomotiv’s thrilling 3-2 shootout win over Traktor Chelyabinsk in Monday action from the KHL. Kulikov was paired with former Winnipeg Jets defenseman Mark Flood for much of the game and logged 20:27 minutes of ice time, finishing with no shots on goal and a -1 rating during the road victory in a matchup of two of the KHL’s top clubs. Lokomotiv’s Emil Galimov opened the scoring with his first goal of the season on the power play at the 5:06 mark of the first period. Maxim Karpov would tie things up for Traktor Chelyabinsk ten minutes later, beating Semyon Varlamov with the teams skating at even strength. Sergei Plotnikov would net his third goal of the season just one minute into the second period, to give Yaroslavl the lead back with assists going to Yegor Averin and defenseman Alexander Guskov who was making his first appearance of the season for Lokomotiv after coming over in a trade from CSKA Moscow on Friday. Traktor would turn up the heat in the third period and Jan Bulis would score off a feed from Alexei Vasilchenko to tie the game at 2-2 at the 12:27 mark. After a scoreless overtime, Alexei Kruchinin scored the winner for Lokomotiv in the fifth round of the shootout. It was the only shootout tally for either team. Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves to post his fourth win of the season while Michael Garnett made 22 saves in the losing effort for Traktor. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl remained in first place in the Tarasov Division. Dmitry Kulikov has now suited up in 7 games, scoring 1 goal and 1 assist to go with a -4 rating and 10 shots on goal.